While earlier cases of multiple pregnancies were very low, they have increased considerably in recent times, mainly because of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and the use of various fertility drugs.
Another reason for this is that, in recent times, more women are planning to give birth later on in life. Women above the age of 35 are more likely to have a multiple pregnancy (having more than one baby inside you).
A multiple pregnancy puts your body at a greater risk of developing various problems than a single pregnancy.
Does It Mean My Pregnancy Is ‘High-Risk’?
All multiple pregnancies are treated as high-risk pregnancies to avoid complications. Your doctor will schedule your appointments more frequently than women who are pregnant with a single baby and ask you to go for more ultrasound appointments to ensure all your babies are growing at the ideal rate. An ultrasound also helps your doctor see if all your babies have enough room to grow inside.
Here are a few things you might experience if you have a multiple pregnancy.
- Weight gain
- Shortness of breath
- Growth of the uterus, which will put more pressure on other organs
- Back ache, pelvic pain and heart burn
- Need to urinate more than those who have a single pregnancy
- Urinary problems
When you have a multiple pregnancy, it means there is additional stress on your uterus and body. It leads to a larger placenta and increased hormonal levels. Collectively, this can cause certain pregnancy-related complications.
Some of the risks you may face with a multiple pregnancy are:
- High blood pressure
- Problems in digestion
- Pre-term labor and birth
- Gestational diabetes
- Premature membrane rupture
- Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia
- Bleeding more than normal after delivery
Some of the risks your babies may face in a multiple pregnancy are:
- Low birth weight
- Pre-term delivery
- Unequal size
- Birth defects
- Slower development and growth
Keeping The Pregnancy Healthy
While you may not be able to know how your pregnancy will progress, you can take precautionary steps, especially if you’re planning to conceive after 35.
- Pre-Conception Health Analysis: Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to know if you need any special supplements or tests.
- Maintain A Healthy Weight: Make sure you exercise regularly and are not overweight to have a fit pregnancy. Your doctor will be the best guide in determining if you’re over- or under-weight.
- Go For Regular Pre-Natal Checks: Speak to your doctor if there are more pre-natal checks required than you are currently scheduled for and don’t miss appointments for a trouble-free pregnancy.
- Eat Healthy: Eat as many home cooked meals as possible, especially those rich in calcium, iron, folic acid and protein.
Work closely with your doctor to ensure a safe and happy multiple pregnancy.