Are you looking forward to being a new parent in the near future? Thinking about what that may look like for you? Will you have a boy, girl, both, or even multiple?! When we see families with twins and triplets – we often see others and ourselves admiring them. They do draw attention from time to time, in the very best possible way. Twins and triplets are usually in their cute coordinating outfits – especially when they are children and it is adorable. But what are the chances of you having twins or triplets?
Naturally, twins occur in about 1 in 250 pregnancies, triplets in about 1 in 10,000 pregnancies, and quadruplets in about 1 in 700,000 pregnancies. Generally, a twin pregnancy is more likely as you get older because of the hormonal changes that can cause more than one egg to be released at a time. The use of assisted reproductive technologies, such as IVF, increases the odds of twins or other multiples.
Differences Between Fraternal Twins & Identical Twins
- Fraternal twins – are the most common kind of twins. They occur when two separate eggs are fertilized by two different sperm. Each twin has his or her own placenta and amniotic sac. In this case, they can be two girls, two boys, or a boy and a girl.
- Identical twins – occur when a single fertilized egg splits and develops into two fetuses. Identical twins may share a placenta and an amniotic sac or the twins might share a placenta and each have their own amniotic sacs. Genetically, the two babies are identical. They’ll be of the same sex and share the same physical traits and characteristics. In most cases, identical twins will completely separate into two individuals. If they do not separate into two individuals, they are known as conjoined twins.
- Triplets – triplets and other higher-order multiples can be identical, fraternal, or a combination of both.
What Do Multiples Mean For The Mother?
Once you have discovered multiples during an ultrasound, you may ask yourself – “What do I need to do in order to keep myself and the babies healthy during pregnancy?” Taking care of yourself is the best place to start and that may look like this:
- Frequency in checkups. Your healthcare provider will track your babies’ growth and development. They will monitor your health as well and watch for any indicators of preterm labor. You may also need frequent ultrasounds and/or other tests – especially as your pregnancy progresses.
- Increased weight gain. Gaining weight helps to support your babies’ health. For twins, the recommendation is typically 37 to 54 pounds (may vary depending on your pre-pregnancy weight). A healthy weight gain can be accomplished by eating an extra 600 calories a day. It is best to ask your healthcare provider what is right for you and your pregnancy.
- Earlier delivery. If labor doesn’t start on its own, your healthcare provider might recommend labor induction or a C-section during your third trimester to decrease the risk of complications in the third trimester.
Considering expanding your family? At OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we provide a variety of services. We are here to help you feel comfortable and answer all of your reproductive health-related questions. Call us today to schedule an appointment.