Pregnancy Care Guide
Preconception check up
How to get pregnant
Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy
Foetal Develpoment
First Trimester
Second Trimester
Third Trimester
Changes in the woman
Check Ups and Tests
Blood Tests
Urine Tests
Tests on the Uterus
Diet and foods for the pregnant
Essential Nutrients
Recommended Daily Diet for the Expectant Woman
Tips for Healthy Eating
Wholesome Eating During the Trimesters
Exercises during pregnancy
Antenatal care
Complications during Pregnancy
Causes of repeated abortions and miscarriage
High Risk pregnancy
Twins and multiple pregnancies
Gestational diabetes
Pregnancy induced hypertension
Bleeding during pregnancy
Preterm or premature labour
Ectopic pregnancy
Rhesus Factor

Twins and multiple pregnancies

Multiple pregnancies are on the rise in recent years with more and more twins and other types of multiples being born. The majority of the reason for this rise is the increased use of fertility drugs. There are more than one ways that multiples are conceived:

  • Multiple eggs are released or there is more than one ovulation. Both (or more) eggs are fertilized and you have unidentical twins. This can happen because of fertility drugs or genetic reasons.
  • One egg is released but splits in two after it is fertilized by the sperm and identical twins are made. This can happen with or without fertility drugs. Since identical twins carry the same genetic material, they are always the same sex, always look alike, and always have the same blood type. They may be mirror images of each other.

During pregnancy, an increased demand is placed on the body of a woman carrying more than one baby as well as additional placentas or one larger placenta. The discomforts of pregnancy are accentuated, since there is an increased demand on the circulatory system and the uterus is larger in size. The chances of PTH and preterm labour are greater. For these reasons, many physicians place these women on bed rest at around 28 weeks gestation.

Women experiencing a multiple pregnancy have higher protein and caloric requirements. Additional protein is necessary to provide for adequate growth of the babies and to ensure good muscle tone of the over distended uterus. Women who eat well during pregnancy decrease their chances for complications and increase their chances for delivering at term.

Preparing for multiple pregnancies
In general you need to increase the amount of protein that you eat. Protein is the building block of every cell in your body and your baby's body. It will help you build a good placenta and a strong amniotic sac. A healthy diet will also help fight against infection. You will probably see your doctor more frequently towards the end of pregnancy. You may have more testing than most women during pregnancy, but not always. Some of these might include: non-stress testing, more ultrasounds, etc.

Here are some more tips to improve your chances of carrying the babies to term and delivering them in good health:

Proper nutrition. Excellent nutrition addresses one of the most common problems of multiple pregnancies: low birth weight. Be sure to consume about 300 additional calories, one additional protein serving, one additional calcium serving and one additional whole grains serving.

Extra care. Expert medical monitoring can help reduce many of the risks associated with multiple pregnancies. By adhering to your appointment schedule  that will be more frequent -you will ensure that you are getting the best care possible.

Increased weight gain. Due to the extra baby, and the extra baby by-products, your doctor will most likely advise a carefully monitored weight gain of at least 15 to 20 kgs.

Proper rest. Since your body will be working twice as hard, it will need twice as much rest. Ensure that you take the proper breaks from your daily activities and rest. Getting at least eight hours a night of rest will also ensure that your body is properly rested. Your doctor may prescribe taking an early leave from work, getting help with the housework, and even bed rest at home.

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