A multifetal pregnancy is when a woman is pregnancy with more than a single fetus. Multifetal pregnancies account for approximately 1% of all pregnancies; however they are much higher in women who have used in-vitro fertilization to conceive. The vast majority of multifetal pregnancies are twin pregnancies, but they also consist of triplets, quadruplets, and higher. Even women who are considered to be healthy are considered to be “high risk” when they are pregnant with multiples. A multifetal pregnancy increases a woman’s chance of premature birth as well as other complications; therefore, they are given more specific prenatal care.
Women who are pregnant with multiples will have more frequent prenatal appointments throughout their pregnancy. Multiples require the same prenatal tests that women carrying single babies do; these tests are just performed earlier and more often. For instance, after about 18 weeks gestation, women who are pregnancy with multiples will have regular ultrasounds in order to track the growth and progress of each baby. Multifetal pregnancies are also watched very closely for any signs of premature labor. The increased stress and weight on the cervix is an increased factor for putting women into early labor.
It is important for all women to see their OBGYN on a regular basis during any pregnancy. For women who are carrying multiple fetuses, a consistent schedule of prenatal visits can help to promote a healthy pregnancy and healthy babies. Your OBGYN will put all effort into your pregnancy. All pregnancies are different and need individualized care that your OBGYN can give to you and your growing babies.
Posted on behalf of Carlos Alarcon, M.D., Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A.