Thursday, August 30, 2012

Twins, triplets and quads - are you pregnant with twins? and precautions

Twins, triplets and quads: Identical twins occur when one fertilized egg splits into two; each baby will have the same genes – and therefore they will be the same gender and look very alike.
Non-identical twins are more common. They are the result of two eggs being fertilized by two sperm at the same time. The babies may be of the same gender or different genders, and will probably look no more alike than any other brothers and sisters. A third of all twins will be identical and two-thirds non-identical.
Twins happen in about 1 in every 65 pregnancies. A couple is more likely to have twins if there are twins in the woman’s family.
Triplets occur naturally in 1 in 10,000 pregnancies and quads are even rarer. Nowadays, the use of drugs in the treatment of infertility has made multiple births more common.
Are you pregnant with twins?
You might suspect that you are carrying more than one baby if:
You are very sick in early pregnancy
You seem bigger than you should be for your ‘dates’
Twins run in your family, or
You have had fertility treatment.
It is usually possible to find out through your dating ultrasound scan, which happens between eight and 14 weeks.
You should be told at this point whether the babies share a placenta (are identical) or if they have two separate placentas, in which case they can be either identical or no identical. If this cannot be determined, you should be offered a further scan. A third of identical twins have two separate placentas. This happens when the fertilized egg splits in the first 3–4 days after conception and before it implants in the uterus.
Precautions during twins’ pregnancy
All multiple pregnancies have a higher risk of complications – particularly premature birth.
If your babies share a placenta (identical twins) it is recommended that you are scanned every two weeks from 16 weeks onwards, and every four weeks if your babies have separate placentas. You may be advised to have a caesarean section. You should discuss this with your doctor, but it is your choice. It is possible to breastfeed twins and triplets and there is more information about how you can do this. You may find that a combination of breast and formula feeding is best for you – particularly if you have triplets or more.

No comments:

Post a Comment