Written by Liza John
Having more than one bun in the oven can be exhilarating. Multiple pregnancies are more common in women who become pregnant naturally in their 30s and 40s, or those who have undergone IVF treatment to conceive. Carrying singleton pregnancies to full term is no small task and if you are expecting twins or triplets, the rewards, as well as the risks, increase.
All the behaviours deemed healthy in single pregnancies remain true for multiple pregnancies as well. If you have recently learned that you will be receiving more than a single bundle of joy at once, read ahead to know more about what to expect throughout the duration of your pregnancy:
Increased Morning Sickness
If you are getting multiple babies in one pregnancy, then you will have to weather worse morning sickness than the ones singleton pregnancies go through. Hormones like hCG, progesterone, relaxin, and estrogen are behind this nasty and unpleasant ordeal. Speaking simply, more young ones mean more hormones which lead to worse symptoms.
It is no new knowledge that pregnancy is going to result in a big belly. Baby bumps with only one bean inside can go unnoticed well into the first trimester but expecting to do the same here is a pipe dream. Here’s a fact — multiple pregnancy means a big belly. Even though the development varies across individuals, stay prepared and get those stretchy maternity pants ready.
With great power comes great responsibility and with a big baby bump comes reduced mobility. Unlike carrying a single baby, the bulk of multiple babies along with the usual trials of pregnancy means that getting up without support or staying on your feet becomes next to impossible.
A New Friend In OB/GYN
Without a doubt, individuals expecting more than a single kid at once will be seeing their doctor more often than their singleton counterparts. More diagnostic scans to check the growth of the babies and extra care for the mothers going through the risky pregnancy means you get to develop a special bond with the technicians, nurses, and doctors.
Complications To Expect
Extra medical attention is essential while expecting in higher-order multiples. More often than not, premature birth is seen in cases of multiple pregnancies and the babies arrive before the prescribed 40 weeks are up. Pregnancy can take a toll on the mother’s health and carrying multiple babies at a time puts the mother at a higher risk for:
- Anaemia: Usually caused by iron deficiency and leading to not having enough red blood cells, anaemia can leave the expecting mother more fatigued and weaker. Severe anaemia can cause dizziness and increased heart rate.
- Gestational Diabetes: This is a kind of diabetes that appears during pregnancy and goes away after giving birth. There is an increased risk for the condition to present in multiple pregnancies and the individuals who develop the condition have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes at a later stage. This is why individuals expecting more than one baby at a time should take a glucose tolerance test.
- Pre-Eclampsia: Also known as hypertension, this condition results in potentially dangerous forms of high blood pressure.
- Hyperemesis Gravidarum: Unlike the usual morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum or severe morning sickness results in prolonged nausea. Accompanied by excessive vomiting which leads to dehydration, the condition usually needs hospital treatment.
To prevent unnecessary complications during the gestation period, remember to take help from a health care expert who has attended to a multiple pregnancy before.
Pregnancy, having taken a massive toll on the mother’s body, does not end with childbirth. A significant portion of the new parents goes through postpartum depression. It is the depression that appears in mothers between one month into the pregnancy and one year after giving birth is termed postpartum depression. Adjusting to the changes brought on by additions to the family can certainly be taxing. Multiple pregnancies run a higher risk of developing this condition and necessary help should be given to manage it.
Another condition that individuals going through multiple pregnancy are prone to is postpartum haemorrhage. This is the heavy bleeding that appears after giving birth. It happens when the uterus has not contracted enough. Not giving immediate attention to the condition can lead to shock and death.
Even with the complications involved, expecting in higher-order multiples means more love and joy to share. At the same time, it is crucial to provide a little extra care to the mother so that the pregnancy goes smoothly. Carrying more than one baby at a time puts the mother at high-risk. Therefore, do not forget to choose a medical practitioner who has prior experience in providing care during a multiple pregnancy.
Be sure to get advice from other parents who have gone through similar situations to build a strong support system for yourself. Expecting parents should prepare themselves wisely during the gestation period and get ample rest during this time to be in their top form when the babies finally arrive.