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Double (and Triple!) the Joy: What to Know About Carrying Multiples 

We’re here for you on your journey of expecting multiples.


Carrying multiples is an incredible journey, filled with unique joys and challenges. Whether you’re surprised by twins on an ultrasound or planning a multi-baby family through fertility treatments, the questions can pile up: What caused this? What should I expect? When does it get “real”? 


In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about expecting multiples, from understanding the “whys” and “hows” to navigating the physical and emotional ups and downs. We’ll also discuss the risks associated with carrying multiples. From early symptoms to delivery day and beyond, we’ll cover it all, empowering you to embrace the double (or triple!) dose of love and conquer any concerns along the way. 

How Multiples Happen

There are two main ways you might find yourself expecting multiples: fraternal multiples and identical multiples. Fraternal twins or triplets happen when two or more eggs are released by the ovaries and fertilized by separate sperm. This can be influenced by factors like your age, race or family history. 


Identical multiples, on the other hand, originate from a single fertilized egg that splits early in development, resulting in babies with the same genetic makeup. The reason for this split remains a bit of a mystery, although factors like assisted reproductive technologies might play a role. Triplets and other higher order multiples can be identical, fraternal or a combination of both.

Understanding the Risks with Carrying Multiples

While carrying any baby comes with potential complications, multiple pregnancies do raise some unique concerns. The biggest risk is preterm birth, with over 60 percent of twins and nearly all higher-order multiples arriving before 37 weeks. This can lead to low birth weight and potential health issues for the babies. 


Other increased risks include gestational hypertension, a type of high blood pressure that can occur during pregnancy, as well as anemia, where you don’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen. 


Multiples themselves are also more susceptible to certain birth defects, like neural tube defects. It’s important to note that these risks are not guarantees, and many multiple pregnancies progress smoothly. However, being aware of them allows for close monitoring and early intervention if needed. Open communication with your healthcare provider is key to navigating these considerations and ensuring a healthy journey for yourself and your multiples.

What to Expect When Expecting Multiples

Carrying multiples throws a delightful curveball into the typical pregnancy experience. While many symptoms like fatigue and nausea might feel similar, expect them to be amplified. Morning sickness might morph into all-day queasiness. And that bump? Get ready for it to pop sooner and grow at an accelerated pace! You’ll likely experience increased pressure and discomfort as your uterus stretches to accommodate multiple babies. 


Don’t be surprised by earlier and more frequent prenatal visits, additional scans, and closer monitoring due to the higher risk of complications like preterm birth. This increased attention is meant to ensure the optimal health of both you and your growing multiples. Compared to a singleton pregnancy, it’s like fast-forwarding the physical changes and amplifying the emotional rollercoaster, but with double (or triple!) the love and excitement along the way.

Preparing for Multiples Mayhem

You may have heard the term “baby brain” before, but get ready for “multiples mayhem.” Sleep will become a precious commodity once the babies arrive, with frequent feedings and synchronized crying guaranteed to disrupt even the deepest slumber. 


Be ready for double the diaper duty, laundry and logistical hurdles. Managing car seats, trips to the pediatrician, and bath time for tiny humans who might not follow the same schedule can feel like a juggling act. Emotionally, you might experience mom guilt due to the inevitable juggling of needs, and exhaustion can wear down your patience. 


The key to navigating these challenges is preparation. Build a support network early: enlist family and friends, or hire help. Research specialized gear and routines for multiples, like twin feeding pillows and double strollers. Prioritize your physical and mental well-being by delegating tasks, scheduling self-care breaks, and seeking support groups for mothers of multiples. Remember, even though it’s challenging, the laughter, love and unique bond with your multiples will make it all worthwhile.


No matter where you are in your parenting journey, contact us today with any questions you have about your health. 


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