In Part-1, multiple we got to know a bit about multiple pregnancies. In Part-2 of this article, we will see more about the types and complications associated with multiple pregnancies.
So, what are the types of multiple pregnancies that can occur?
The types of multiple pregnancies are:
- Fraternal twins: Two separate eggs get fertilized and are implanted in the uterus, hence they are also referred to as ‘dizygotic’ twins (2 zygotes aka 2 fertilized eggs).The babies may look similar or different and may either be of the same gender (2 boys or 2 girls) or of different genders. This type of multiple pregnancies has the lowest risk amongst all as each baby has its own placenta and amniotic sac.
- Identical twins: When a single fertilized egg (embryo) gets split in half and is genetically identical (share the same DNA) the babies formed are identical twins. Hence they are referred to as ‘monozygotic’(1 zygote aka 1 fertilized egg). Such siblings share many characteristics and may or may not look physically similar. Identical twins may have their own placenta and amniotic sac or they may share the same placenta and amniotic sac.
- Triplets and ‘higher order multiples’ (HOMs): Three or more pregnancies, i.e., triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, sextuplets or more. This can be either all identical or all fraternal multiples or a combination of both.
What are the challenges faced during multiple pregnancies?
The carrying mother faces a lot of difficulties during carrying multiple babies. These includes :
- Risk of heart ailments and high blood pressure
- Risk of anemia
- Risk of difficult bowel movements and digestive issues
- Risk of miscarriage ( for 3 or more babies)
- Risk of premature delivery
- Risk of C-section
- Risk of gestational diabetes
Though multiple pregnancies of triplets or more is a rare occurrence, they still exist. Some women/families choose to abort due to the health concerns of the mother and child and reasons which seem right personally. We suggest you speak to your doctor and make the right decision. If you are carrying twins, all we advise you is to be healthy and take adequate care of yourself.