The earliest you can know for sure that you’re having twins, triplets, or a multiple pregnancy is when you get your ultrasound between 10-13 weeks into your pregnancy. If you’re carrying more than one baby, you can count on expert obstetrics care from Darrell Robins, MD, a board-certified obstetrician practicing in Plano, Texas. Dr. Robins has more than 30 years of experience helping women pregnant with multiples have healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries. Call or schedule an appointment online to meet with Dr. Robins.
Multiple pregnancies occur in one of three ways. If you release more than one egg during your menstrual cycle and both or all the eggs are fertilized, more than one embryo may attach to your uterine lining. It’s also possible for a fertilized egg to split into identical embryos.
In vitro fertilization techniques can also lead to multiple pregnancies because either your ovaries are stimulated to release multiple eggs to increase the chances of intrauterine insemination being successful, or multiple embryos fertilized outside of the uterus are implanted to increase your chances of a successful pregnancy.
Also, it’s more common for women over the age of 35 to release multiple eggs, and with more women waiting to have children, chances of multiple pregnancies increase.
Identical twins develop when your fertilized egg splits into two identical embryos. Fraternal twins develop when multiple eggs are fertilized and successfully implant into the uterine wall. Identical twins are more likely to share amniotic sacs and placentas, while fraternal twins develop in separate amniotic sacs with independent placentas.
Multiple pregnancies are considered high risk, so you’ll have more frequent checkups. For example, during the first 20 weeks, you’ll see Dr. Robins every two to three weeks instead of once a month. Then you’ll have checkups every week or two until your babies are born. These frequent checkups allow Dr. Robins to monitor your health and the health and development of your babies closely so that if any complication develops, he can provide treatment immediately.
While your body changes and grows to accommodate the babies developing inside you, there’s a finite amount of space available, which can lead to premature births for twins or other multiples. Babies born early have an increased risk of respiratory conditions and developmental issues.
When you’re carrying multiple babies, you’re also at a higher risk of developing prenatal conditions like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia.
However, with expert care from an experienced obstetrician like Dr. Robins, you can have a very healthy and safe pregnancy. You’ll just need extra care and additional screenings to monitor your health and the health of your babies.
If you’re pregnant with twins, triplets, or more babies, call or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Robins today.