What Multiples Means for You
From 1980 to 2009, the rate of twin births increased by 76 percent, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. That means that one in about every 30 babies born in the United States is a twin. Thanks to fertility treatments and women having babies later in life, more and more women find themselves pregnant with multiples – but what does that mean for you? Whether you knew multiples were a possibility due to IVF or were completely surprised to hear two (or more) heartbeats at your first ultrasound, the following tips can help you prepare for what’s to come as a mom-to-be of multiples: –Get to know your doctor. You will see your doctor more regularly to track your babies’ growth and check for preterm labor as well as to monitor your health. All of these visits will give you the chance to talk to your doctor about questions and concerns. –Get to know your nutrients. While women pregnant with one baby are generally counseled to again between 20-35 pounds, moms of multiples will likely need to gain 35-50 with twins – gaining an appropriate amount of weight is healthy for you and your babies. You will need to consume even more folic acid, calcium and protein to help your babies grow; take your prenatal vitamin, eat lots of fruits and veggies, and make sure you’re getting enough lean protein for all of you.
–Get to know the warning signs. Complications can increase with multiple pregnancies, so it’s important to monitor how you are feeling and to note any significant changes. Manage your blood pressure, stay on the lookout for signs of preterm labor (contractions, cramping, pressure, bleeding, diarrhea) and note any significant changes in how you feel. The average pregnancy with twins lasts about 35 weeks while triplet pregnancies average 33 weeks, according to the March of Dimes, while the goal is generally to reach 37 weeks to help your babies continue to develop. Vaginal delivery can be possible if the first baby is facing head-down, although a C-section might be recommended in case of any complications. And while you won’t need double or triple of everything, stocking up on diapers, wipes and bottles (as well as offers of help) ahead of
time will make your transition to a mother of multiples a little easier.