Pregnancy with multiples is not only a real miracle, but also a high risk of complications during childbirth. Bearing several children by one mother is a rare occurrence, which is not more than 1% of the number of all pregnancies. If you are among the lucky ones, it is worth knowing in advance about how it feels being pregnant with triplets, in order to properly prepare for everything.
Probability of Getting Pregnant with Triplets
According to statistics, the number of diagnosed multiple pregnancies is growing every year. This is due to the active introduction of assisted reproductive technologies – an increasing number of couples are turning to IVF because of problems with conception. In addition, obstetricians distinguish a number of factors that affect the conception of several babies:
- Heredity. Predisposition to pregnancy with triplets is most often transmitted through the maternal line – sometimes through a generation. So, if a mother or a grandmother had a multiple pregnancy, the chance to give birth to twins or triplets increases.
- Age of the mother. It is proved that women of 35 years and older have more chances of getting pregnant with triplets.
- The effect of oral contraceptives. The intake of hormonal drugs prevents ovulation. After their cancellation, the opposite effect is noted – ovarian hyper stimulation and maturation of several eggs occurs, which leads to multiple pregnancies.
- Infertility treatment. Taking medications that stimulate ovulation can affect the production of additional follicles.
- Ethnic features. The probability of getting pregnant with triplets in women of African ethnicity is higher than that of women of European or Asian origin.
Signs of Pregnancy with Triplets
Sometimes signs of pregnancy are noticeable even at the earliest possible dates, and some of them become very intense.
- There comes intolerance to certain smells, which previously did not cause unpleasant sensations.
- There is a pain in the chest, an increase in the size of the mammary glands.
- Pregnancy with triplets is almost always accompanied by a strong manifestation of toxicosis. What’s more, it begins much earlier than in a single-pregnancy and is more intensive (up to 17-18 weeks). Symptoms may include increased salivation, chronic drowsiness and increased fatigue.
- The weight of the future mother increases more rapidly than usual.
- The walls of the uterus stretch, triplets feel lack of room in the womb, so a woman can feel the babies’ movements much earlier.
- During the examination, the gynecologist can define several babies.
There are signs according to which an experienced obstetrician-gynecologist may suspect a triple pregnancy at an early stage:
- increased concentration of the pregnancy hormone – chorionic gonadotropin (hCG);
- excessive weight gain by a future mother;
- the gestational age doesn’t correspond to the uterine size;
- large abdominal girth.
A woman can independently determine the fact that she is pregnant with triplets according to the babies’ movements. This becomes possible after 20-22 weeks.
Women who have been diagnosed with multiple pregnancies automatically fall into a high-risk group and are under serious control of specialists. Observation should be conducted as often as possible, usually every 7-14 days, depending on the stage of pregnancy.
Much attention is paid to the proper nutrition and use of vitamin complexes. Taking folic acid and multivitamins is an indispensable condition for the safe bearing of babies. Future moms are contraindicated to lift weights and engage in too active physical labor. Women who are pregnant with triplets should have more rest.
The Course of Pregnancy with Triplets
Pregnancy with triplets is carefully observed by doctors. If there are no problems and complications, the future mother visits a specialist once every two weeks, in the third trimester – every week. If necessary, more frequent visits are scheduled.
In multiple pregnancies, the load on the maternal organism increases several times. Unfortunately, for this reason, the risk of complications in pregnancy increases as well. Therefore, a woman expecting a few babies should immediately apply to specialists with any deterioration in the state of health.
Usually, two weeks before the expected delivery, the woman is hospitalized for observation. The probability of birth before the term is much higher if you are pregnant with triplets. Thus, everyone needs to be ready for this – both specialists and the future mother.
Disregard for the advice of your gynecologist may lead to serious complications, among them are the following:
- One of the embryos may cease to develop.
- The threat of premature birth.
- A sharp decrease in hemoglobin in the blood;
- Anomaly of development of one, two or all babies.
- Hypoxia of one of the triplets.
- Occurrence of bleeding.
Triple happiness can happen suddenly, but the correct approach to conducting pregnancy will reduce the risk of complications. Follow all the instructions of your doctor and enjoy the pleasant months. Doctors advise women pregnant with triplets to spend the last month of pregnancy in the maternity hospital. Keep in mind that the risk of premature birth increases with multiple pregnancies.
Pregnancy with Triples: Trimester by Trimester
The First trimester
4-8 weeks. As a rule, pregnancy with triplets does not differ from the usual one during the first trimester. A woman can feel the first signs of pregnancy – toxicosis, drowsiness, increased sensitivity to smells. It is at this time that future mother learns about her new state.
8-12 weeks. The triplets continue to grow, and the mummy’s stomach begins to noticeably round off. At the end of the first trimester, the placenta is already formed, and the fetuses are firmly attached to the wall of the uterus. Ultrasound, conducted at 11-13 weeks, will help determine the duration of pregnancy in weeks.
The Second Trimester
12-16th week. As a rule, during this period the pregnancy with triplets is already diagnosed. Children make active movements, although a woman can feel nothing. Nausea and malaise don’t bother the woman anymore. Thus, the future mother feels much better.
16-26th week. The abdomen continues to increase, visually different from the size of the abdomen in single-pregnancy. If an ultrasound examination reveals a shortened cervix, a specialist may recommend the installation of a pessary. This is a special device of small size, which is inserted into the vagina to reduce the burden on the cervix, contributing to the preservation of pregnancy.
Pregnancy with triplets which is developing correctly, at this time begins to be accompanied by active movements of the babies.
The Third Trimester
26-30th week. A woman can be annoyed by shortness of breath and heartburn – the babies press on the diaphragm, preventing breathing and digesting food. From this time, babies are considered viable, so there is no need to be afraid of premature birth.
30-36th week. Pregnancy with triples lasts less than usual, so children are often born during this period. As a rule, to prevent complications, a planned cesarean section is performed. If there is a need, the surgery is performed urgently.
If you’ve found out that you are pregnant with triplets, do not panic. The balanced state of the mother is the key to a successful pregnancy.
It’s clear that a multiple pregnancy is a serious test for the body of a woman. The cardiovascular system, lungs, liver, kidneys and other organs function with great strain. Maternal morbidity and maternal mortality in multiple pregnancy increase in 3-7 times compared with a single pregnancy.
Women who have combined somatic diseases note their aggravation in almost 100% of cases. The frequency of gestosis in women with multiple pregnancies reaches 45%. With multiple pregnancies, gestosis usually occurs earlier and is more severe than in single-pregnancy, which is explained by an increase in the placental mass. In addition, in a significant number of women pregnant with triplets, anemia is an “ordinary” complication. It is associated with an increase in intravascular volume. Early edema appears for the same reasons. Increased blood pressure is also possible, which is often mistaken with the signs of gestosis.
The course of multiple pregnancies is often complicated by a delay in the growth of one of the fetuses. The frequency is 10 times higher than that of a single-pregnancy. One of the most common complications of multiple pregnancies is premature birth, which may be a consequence of overstretch of the uterus. In this case, the more fetuses, the more often doctors note premature birth.
The method of delivery depends on the fetal presentation. The optimal method of delivery for head presentation is delivery through the natural birth canal. With the transverse position of the first fetus doctors suggest Cesarean Section.
Summarizing, it can be said that women pregnant with triplets are unique and lucky. But at the same time, they are at higher risk. Thus, a multiple pregnancy requires more careful monitoring of the health of the mother and the babies.