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Multiple Pregnancy Causes, Risks, Complexities and Precautions

Multiple-pregnancy refers to the condition, when a woman has more than one fetus in her womb. There are different names given for multiple pregnancies depending on the number of fetus such as twins for two fetuses, triplets for three fetuses, quadruplets for four etc. Multiple-pregnancy occurs when more than one egg gets fertilized and it is implanted in the uterus.

Complexities in Multiple Pregnancy

Multiple-pregnancy rate is very low but in some cases, it can be very risky for the mother and the unborn babies. Women, who are expecting more than one baby, may have to prepare themselves for risky situations.


1. Preterm birth: Mothers expecting multiple babies may have to deliver preterm babies, and sometimes, the babies are only twenty-eight weeks old. In such situations, the organs of the babies are not fully developed and the body may be under-developed to function independently. Babies may need intensive care.

2. High blood pressure: Women delivering multiple babies may suffer from high blood pressure. Sometimes, the situation such as hypertension may cause early detachment of the placenta.

3. Multiples babies and birth defects: Babies are at a high risk of having birth defects, which includes gastrointestinal defects and heart problems.

4. Twin-to-twin syndrome: The twins may share a placenta and the blood flows from one to other, which causes the syndrome.

5. Miscarriage: Risk of loss of one or more fetus is more.

6. Anemia: Mother may suffer from low red blood cell count.

7. Abnormalities in amniotic fluid: The twins that share a placenta may cause abnormalities in the amniotic fluid.

Causes of Multiple Pregnancy

1. Medicines and treatments: Women who take ovulation stimulating medicines or woman, who go for vitro fertilization, may have multiple ovulations.

2. Age: Women, who are above the age of 30 years, have a high chance of delivering multiple babies.

3. Hereditary: Twins and multiple pregnancies are common in some families.

4. History: Women, who had multiple-pregnancy in the past, are at a high risk of having another multiple-pregnancy.

5. Ethnic groups: Women of African-America group are more at a risk of delivering twins as compared to Asian woman or Native American women.

Precautions in Multiple Pregnancy

1. Nutrition: Mother having multiple fetuses need more minerals and vitamins to stay healthy and to provide nutrients to the fetuses to grow. Women may need more iron, protein and calories.

2. More number of prenatal visits: Women may have to go for regular screening and prenatal tests.

3. Many ultrasounds: The doctor may take ultrasounds and conduct tests to predetermine the complications, which may arise.

4. More rest: Woman having multiple fetuses may need more rest and in some cases, she may need hospitalization to avoid complexities. The middle phase of the pregnancy is difficult for such women.

5. Medicines and care: Medications may be needed in case the woman has a pre term labor and medication may be required to help the fetus to have mature lungs. Women may need medical help to carry the fetus in case the cervix is weak to hold multiple fetuses.

 Read Related Articles

Multiple Pregnancy Complications
Symptoms of Multiple Pregnancy
Twin Pregnancy Risks and Tips
Complication during Pregnancy

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