Multiple Pregnancy: Twins or More - Treatment Overview
Always be sure to take
extra good care of yourself when you are pregnant. When carrying twins or more (multiple pregnancy), be sure to eat a
balanced and nutritious diet of quality calories. And
make sure that you get enough calcium, iron, and folic acid.
can expect to gain weight more quickly than you would with one fetus. With each
additional fetus a woman carries, her range of weight gain will
increase. Your range of healthy weight gain will also be different if you started your
pregnancy underweight or overweight.
Prenatal care during a multiple pregnancy
If you are pregnant with
twins or more, good prenatal care will help you and your health professional
prevent and watch for problems. You will have more frequent checkups than you
would for a pregnancy with one fetus. These checkups are important both for monitoring your own health and your fetuses' health and for giving you and your health professional time to build a working relationship.
Because you are more likely to deliver early, be sure to
plan ahead. Ask your health professional about making arrangements to deliver
at a hospital that has facilities for emergency
cesarean delivery and a neonatal intensive
care unit (NICU).
Watch for problems
Possible pregnancy problems that can be more likely when you are carrying twins or more include:
- Preeclampsia and high blood pressure. Treatment
depends on how severe your condition becomes. It may include medicine, bed
rest, fetal monitoring, and early delivery. For more information, see the topic
Preeclampsia and High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy.
- Problems with the placenta, such as
placenta abruptio or
placenta previa. For more information, see the topics
Placenta Abruptio and
- Anemia, which
is treated with iron-rich foods and iron supplements. If this doesn't help, you
can be tested for other problems that can cause anemia.
- Too much
amniotic fluid in the uterus (polyhydramnios). Treatment can include
medicine and removal of amniotic fluid.
- Urinary tract infection (UTI), which is treated with antibiotics.
- Heavy blood loss
after delivery (postpartum
hemorrhage), which can require a blood
- The need to deliver by
cesarean section (C-section). You will likely need a C-section if your babies (fetuses) are not turned head-down
in time for birth (breech or transverse fetus ).
Any pregnancy can have these complications, but there is
more concern about them happening during a multiple pregnancy.
Preterm labor is more common in a multiple pregnancy
than in a pregnancy with one fetus. If you go into preterm labor and
premature delivery is likely, your health professional
may recommend taking one or more precautions, such as:
- Limiting your activity level.
- Staying in the hospital. This is often so that you can receive
steroid medicine to help your babies' lungs develop faster. In some cases,
tocolytic medicine is used in an attempt to delay
preterm birth. You are closely watched if you are treated with a tocolytic
For more information, see the
Possible problems for the babies (fetuses) during multiple pregnancy can include vanishing twin syndrome,
twin-to-twin transfusion, twins that share one amniotic sac (monoamniotic
twins), and locking twins.