Carrying Twins to Term Carrying Multiples to Term Tips for Avoiding Preterm Labor

Carrying a pregnancy to full term is ideal for your growing baby. When you are carrying twins or multiples, carrying a pregnancy to full term can be even more challenging. It is likely that you will deliver early with a pregnancy of multiples but it is important to carry the babies as long a possible. Many prematurely born babies have happy and healthy stories to be told but there are risks to your babies when they are born prematurely including lung, brain, heart and eye problems. The long-term risks to babies born early decrease after the 28 week mark of pregnancy and decrease further after the 32 week of pregnancy.

Statistics on Premature Births for Twins and Multiples:

Almost 60% of twins are born prematurely or before 37 weeks and almost 90% of triplets of born prematurely or before 37 weeks.

Twin pregnancies average 35 weeks.

Triplet pregnancies average 33 weeks.

Quad pregnancies average 29 weeks.

Tips for Carrying Twins or Multiples:

1. As in all pregnancies, it is important to eat a balanced and nutritious diet with enough calcium, iron and folic acid. Expectant mothers of multiples can expect to eat more and gain more weight during their pregnancies. Expect to have more frequent check ups to monitor your weight gain and your overall pregnancy with multiples.

2. Because you are likely to deliver early when you are carrying multiples, you’ll need to complete your birth plan early and be sure that your delivery hospital has arrangements for emergency cesarean deliveries as well as neonatal intensive care units for your babies.

3. To avoid preterm labor as long as possible your doctor may encourage you to limit your activity level. There is actually no proof that bed rest or labor monitoring prevents preterm labor but it is often still prescribed. While it may not prevent preterm labor, there is some evidence that bed rest may increase the birth weight, which is also important.

4. Some mothers expecting multiples may also be put on bed rest in the hospital and may be given special medications. For some patients, tocolytic medicines may be prescribed in an attempt to delay preterm labor. Some expectant mothers of multiples may also be given a steroid medicine to help the babies’ lung develop faster.

5. Stay well hydrated. It sounds so simple but yet it is so important. Mothers carrying multiples are at greater risks for some health challenges that commonly develop during pregnancy. Becoming dehydrated can increase the symptoms and risks of many health threats.

Sources include:

http://www.webmd.com/baby/tc/multiple-pregnancy-twins-or-more-treatment-overview

http://www.babycenter.com/0_pregnant-with-multiples-potential-complications_3584.bc