Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How Harmful is Multiple Pregnancy?

by: Kenrick Austin

If you're seriously interested in knowing about multiple pregnancy, you need to think beyond the basics. This informative article takes a closer look at things you need to know about multiple pregnancy.

There used to be a theory that twins skipped a generation, but now it is believed that twins are more likely to have a multiple pregnancy themselves. Obviously this is genetic, but it is a valid point to consider if you are a twin and want to become pregnant. Similarly, if your family history or that of your partner's includes twins, then there is an increased chance that you will have a twin pregnancy as well.

Older women are more likely to have a multiple pregnancy. There is an increased ovulation of multiple eggs in older women and this can lead to a higher chance of the woman having a twin pregnancy. Fertility treatments can also lead to an increased chance of multiple pregnancies. It is also evident that women from African backgrounds are more likely to have pregnancies that are twins or more.

Having a multiple pregnancy can be very exciting. There is something special about having twins. If you have learned that you have a multiple pregnancy, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.

In a multiple pregnancy, the financial implications are more pronounced than in a single pregnancy. You will require two of everything - two bassinets, two cribs, two strollers (or one double stroller) and many pairs of clothes. And because every baby is different, you will have to learn from each child individually when he or she needs to eat, or needs a change of diapers. A minimum of double the diapers and baby formula will be needed, and these expenses can add up very quickly.

Finances aside, a multiple pregnancy can take a toll on your sanity. Two babies equals double the crying and double the sleepless nights. Regardless if it's a multiple pregnancy or a single pregnancy you will have to cope with crying and sleeplessness anyway. But one advantage of a multiple pregnancy is that you'll only have to go through it once, assuming you will not be having more children. For parents that have a single birth but desire more than one child, it will be necessary to endure the "terrible twos" more than once. A multiple pregnancy will also mean only one labor and delivery, and only one hospital stay.

Those of you not familiar with the latest on multiple pregnancy now have at least a basic understanding. But there's more to come.

Medically speaking, a multiple pregnancy is automatically considered a high-risk pregnancy. Keep in mind, however, that most women successfully carry a multiple pregnancy with no unusual complications. Normal pregnancy ailments such as mood swings and back pain may be exaggerated, but in general you can expect the same symptoms and discomforts of a regular pregnancy.

Monitoring your nutritional intake is imperative with a multiple pregnancy. You will need to eat more, but avoid gaining an excessive amount of weight. It's a delicate balancing act that will need to be discussed at length with your doctor. A general guideline is to increase your caloric intake by around 250 to 350 calories per day for each additional child you are carrying and increase the amount of protein you consume. A multivitamin might also be advised, but doubling the recommended dosage can be dangerous so seek the advice of your doctor before taking additional vitamin supplements.

In a multiple pregnancy, you will need to visit your doctor more often than during a single pregnancy. You will also need additional ultrasounds to closely monitor the development of both fetuses. In terms of delivery, a multiple pregnancy will usually end approximately two weeks before the normal due date. Most multiple pregnancy births are early. This is because the womb is stretched by multiple pregnancies quicker than during a single pregnancy, and the cervix then opens earlier than normal.

Before giving birth to more than one baby at a time, you must consult with your doctor about your delivery options. It is preferred to deliver through a normal vaginal birth, although a Cesarean section delivery could be recommended if there are any complications that could be a danger to you or your babies during a vaginal delivery.

You can't predict when knowing something extra about multiple pregnancy will come in handy. If you learned anything new about multiple pregnancy in this article, you should file the article where you can find it again.

About The Author

Kenrick Austin is the webmaster at