So much happens during a pregnancy. Whether it is a diet change, modifications in sleeping posture, the discomfort of morning sickness, or increased mood upheaval, all are part and parcel of pregnancy and one must try and understand the reasons behind these things that occur in the body.
Similarly, looking out for signs of a multiple-pregnancy is quite important to prepare you for what is to come. The diet and care needs also change depending on the kind of pregnancy you have.
So, before dwelling into a detailed discussion about a multiple-pregnancy, let us first understand what it actually means.
Overview of a multiple pregnancy
In most simplistic terms, more than one fetus in the womb is termed as a multiple pregnancy. And this growth of more than one fetus simultaneously quite natural and its frequency is one in a hundred cases.
How does a multiple pregnancy occur?
A normal human female is designed to release only one egg in each menstrual cycle. And a hormone called progesterone, which is released by the first egg that is produced, controls the release of any other egg during that particular menstrual cycle. And when this control fails, at that time release of two or more than two eggs is possible. And these multiple eggs get fertilized by the sperm and more than one embryo gets planted in a female’s uterus.
What are the causes of a multiple pregnancy?
The major cause of a multiple pregnancy is intake of fertility drugs to induce ovulation. The medication causes release of more than one egg from the ovaries, leading to a multiple pregnancy.
Apart from that, another possible cause is in-vitro fertilization or test tube baby. The chances of multiple pregnancy increases if more than one embryo is transferred to the uterus. Moreover, the egg can split even after the transfer and can lead to identical twins.
Furthermore, women above 35 years of age are more likely to produce more than one egg in a single menstrual cycle. Hence, older women are more prone to multiple pregnancy.
Signs and symptoms of multiple pregnancy
Some mothers can tell at the beginning of their pregnancy if they are carrying multiple babies. But if you are not one of those than these visible signs can help you detect multiple pregnancy for yourself and for others. Of Course ultrasound can always give an accurate answer but apart from that you can check these.
- Weight gain:
If an expected mother follows proper diet plan than a singleton mother can gain upto 5 to 7 pounds in the first trimester. But if this weight gain exceeds largely than it might be the most visible sign of multiple babies.
- Excessive fatigue:
An excessive fatigue is the most common complaint of all those experiencing multiple pregnancy. Because in early trimester, the bodily energy gets drained in taking care of the babies only and a very little energy is left for the daily routine of the mom.
- Abdomen size:
The most visible sign is the size of the abdomen. A multiple pregnancy woman outgrows much sooner and requires maternity clothes much sooner than a singleton.
- Fetal movement is evidence that may give mothers an acute hunch that more than one baby is moving around.
- Excessive morning sickness and breast tenderness
Any of the common symptoms of pregnancy may appear in the first trimester. But if you experience them at a greater degree than usual, it might be indicative that you are carrying multiple.
Types of a multiple pregnancy
Though a multiple pregnancy is a common phenomenon it would be interesting to note that even a multiple pregnancy varies in its type. And these types can be detected through an ultrasound towards the beginning of the pregnancy.
Ultrasound reveals if each baby has its own chorion and amniotic sac. And based on these, there are three types:
These twins have their own chorion and amniotic sac. They have different placenta and can be both; fraternal or identical.
These are babies who have a common chorion and amniotic sac. They share the same placenta and are always identical.
Twins sharing a chorion but different amniotic sac comes under this. They share one palcenta and are identical in appearance.
Risks associated with a multiple pregnancy
There are many pregnancy problems that are more likely to appear in case of multiple pregnancy, that are,
- Having one of the babies born with birth defect. This might happen when something is wrong with genes or chromosomes.
- Increased blood pressure
- Gestational diabetes
- Chances or early conception i.e. premature birth, which may again lead to risks of death, defect or any illness.
- High chances of miscarriages if the mother’s womb is unable to carry multiple babies.
What if you are having a multiple pregnancy?
With the increased advancement in science and technology, it is no more a challenge to detect a multiple pregnancy. You can always look out for the above-discussed signs and symptoms.
And in such a case, you need to take care of your health much more. It includes a proper diet plan and healthy eating, plus gaining required healthy weight to gain enough nutrients for the little babies inside you. Stay well, eat healthy, be positive and keep stress at bay and soon you will have tiny babies to cuddle and care.