Triplets

A pregnancy scan showing triplets growing inside your womb can give you a mixed feeling of shock and surprise. You may have concerns if your pregnancy with triplets will sail through without complications and if the babies will grow and be born healthy. Here are such common concerns answered.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2020 11:29 GMT

Triplets
Triplets
What are the complications associated with triplets pregnancy? Premature birth

A normal single pregnancy proceeds to full term, that is, 40 weeks. However, with multiple pregnancies pregnancy usually does not last until 40 weeks. More the number of multiples, higher are the chances for preterm labor and birth. With triplets, more than 90% pregnancies last for 33 weeks on an average.

Risks of miscarriage

There is a 40% risk for miscarriage of one or more of the triplets before 20 weeks of pregnancy. While triplets who survive till 20 weeks of pregnancy are more likely out of miscarriage risks, they carry a very small percent of stillbirth risk anytime before or during birth.

Low birth weight

Triplets most commonly have low birth weight of around 4 pounds each on an average. To reduce the survival risks of low birth weight babies, they will be put under intensive neonatal medical care until their organs are matured enough to survive independently in the outside world.

Gestational diabetes

The risk for gestational diabetes increases with the increase in the number of babies. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you will be closely monitored throughout your pregnancy for your sugar levels and need to be on strict diet and exercise regime and medication in some cases if necessary.

Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a high blood pressure disorder during pregnancy which can pose serious complications for the mother and baby. Carrying twins, triplets or more babies increases the chances of preeclampsia risk during pregnancy.

What are the risks of premature birth?

As most triplets are born around 35 weeks, their lungs, brain and other vital organs are not completely developed during birth. They will need intensive medical care during the first few days or weeks after birth. Their immune system is not as mature as a full term baby’s, so they need to be protected from any risk of infections.

Is C-section the only option for birthing triplets?

Though a C-section is not mandatory for birthing triplets, but it is highly recommended as the safest option. The risks of natural delivery with triplets are:

·         If two or more babies share a placenta during pregnancy, there is a high risk for the baby yet-to-be delivered during a vaginal birth.

·         With triplets, the chances of all the babies to be aligned in the head down and birthing position until all are delivered may not always be possible.

·         There is an increased risk for umbilical cord entanglement with triplets in a normal delivery.

For these reasons, almost all triplets are delivered through a planned caesarean delivery.

What additional care should I take for my triplet pregnancy, labor and birth?

·         It is important to take keen care of the nutritional requirements your triplets will need during pregnancy. You will need to take additional amounts of calories than a pregnant mother carrying a single baby. Speak with your doctor about the right amount of calorie intake so that you are neither under supplying required nutrition to your babies and yourself nor accumulating excess calories in your body.

·         Carrying multiples is associated with risks. Being alert and aware of the possible complications and regular monitoring with your doctor should be given high priority during pregnancy.

·         As premature labor is common with triplet pregnancies, you must be prepared for labor anytime after 30 weeks, though by rare chances, one may go into labor earlier than 30 weeks. Report to your doctor immediately if you spot any signs of labor such as water breaking, labor contractions or mucus plug release.

 

·         Soon after birth, your babies may need additional survival support in a neonatal intensive care unit in the hospital. Discuss with your team in the hospital before hand about what to expect during the first few days after delivery. 

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