What to know about Having Twins or Multiple Birth Babies

By: Julie Fletcher

Twins and Multiple births are increasing in frequency

At one time, it was not as likely for a woman to have twins. Women who had twins in either their family or in their child's father's family had nature on their side when it cam to the birth of multiple children. These days, thanks to several factors, more twins and multiple births are occurring. Not long ago, National Geographic pointed out that multiple births have risen in rate of occurrence by four hundred percent over the past twenty years.

Fertility drugs and the risk of twins multiple births

What exactly is the reason behind the rise of multiple births? It has long been known that multiple births could be caused by the fertility drugs used by couples in their quest for a child of their own. More couples are able to afford the treatments, so the likelihood of a multiple birth is possible in each case. Because fertility drugs stimulate the ovaries, it is more likely that a woman who is using fertility treatments will release more than just one egg when she ovulates. In vitro fertilization raises the chances of multiples or twins by twenty to forty percent. This all depends on how the embryos are placed inside of the womb. There are other fertility treatments, gamete intrafallopian transfer and zygote intrafallopian transfer, and these are also likely to result with twins or other multiple pregnancies. There are many couples who wish to have twins or more children in one birth, but there are many risks in such pregnancies. Medicine today increases the health of pregnancy in general, but many twins and other multiple births seen on TV or in other media outlets are only success stories. There are definite drawbacks to planning for multiple births, even in the best cared for pregnancy.

Nutrition and good health during a multiple birth pregnancy

Thanks to the advance of medical knowledge and treatments, twins are carried to term more often than in days past. This is also true with multiple babies, such as triplets and up. Better health, diet, and exercise have made it easier for women to carry healthy babies, including twins, up to their due dates. Prenatal vitamins have been formulated in easier to digest forms, allowing the body of a pregnant woman to absorb the nutrients more readily. The identification of which vitamins and minerals work best together has increased this digestion and absorption, which results in babies being able to thrive inside the womb.

Many women wait to have children until after their career has been established. This means that more women are waiting until they are older to have children. In older women, the cycle of egg release can change, sometimes with the woman releasing an odd number of eggs instead of the normal one. There is a possibility o releasing one, two, three, or none at all. This release of extra eggs very obviously increases the chances of any sperm in the area being able to fertilize one or all of them. The same is true of women who have been on birth control, mainly hormonal birth control for an extended period of time. When the birth control is stopped, there is a very good possibility you are suddenly ultra fertile. Both of these factors are much like the ones you have read regarding fertility treatments. During birth control usage, the womb is rendered as an environment unfriendly to any fertilized egg and in some cases ovulation is suppressed. The sudden withdrawal of the hormonal birth control can cause the release of multiple eggs which increases chances of pregnancy in general.

Carrying twins can be very tiring

Not only is the addition of an extra baby to carry taxing on the body, it can be taxing on the mind. People may divulge scary stories of twin or multiple pregnancies. To a woman who has just found out she is carrying more than one baby, hearing such tales may cause her fear and extra stress she does not need. While it is true that carrying more than one baby usually results in an early labor and premature labor does give a higher risk of medical or developmental problems, this is no reason to spend a pregnancy in fear. Stress is very detrimental to a pregnancy. Statistics are only that, statistics. Each and every pregnancy is different, so there is never a reason to think that yours will be just the same as another mother. There is strength in positive thinking, constant worry can actually cause contractions and bring on early labor, while relaxation, acceptance, and being positive will increase your odds of a happy, healthy pregnancy, birth, and babies.

Get Your Home Ready for Twins or a Multiple Birth

Of course, by now you know it is time to start buying doubles(or triples) of everything. Cribs, clothing, and other baby items. But did you know there are companies that will actually give parents of multiples free diapers and other baby related products? A quick search on your favorite search engine will give you a list of such companies. Diaper companies may not always list this 'freebie' so it may pay to give the makers of your preferred diaper a call at their customer service number to ask. If you plan to use cribs instead of co-sleeping, at first it may be a good idea to let the babies sleep together for comfort. Remember, they have spent many months in the womb together, so it will be very comforting for them to sleep in very close proximity to one another. You may even find yourself with a bit more time for rest, yourself.

Don't forget, the tips for having a single baby still apply to twins. A few weeks before a planned birth, start stocking up on casseroles and other easy to prepare meals. Making doubles of the meals you are already eating, then freezing half each time will cut down on your cooking time later on when time becomes a very precious commodity. Anything you can do now to save time later should be done! Make sure to place items where you will be using them, such as bath items near the sink, diapers next to the changing table (and a few next to the couch), and anything else you think will come in handy.

Multiples are a lot of work, but also joy 'multiplied'.

Article Comments: Leave Comment

Other Articles In: Concerns and Expectations