Expecting a child is an exciting time but it can also be a physically and emotionally trying one as well. This holds true even more if you are expecting more than one child. In fact, common questions on the minds of expectant mothers often include everything from how to pay for healthcare expenses and how much weight to gain to recommended lifestyle changes to make and details about actual birth and delivery. If you are expecting triplets or more, some questions are more important than others. Below is a list of things to discuss with your doctor as your pregnancy progresses, so read on to learn about what you need to know.
Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between gaining the right amount of weight and the healthy growth of your babies. These studies go so far as to say that weight gain before Week 20 can help in the proper functioning and development of the placenta. Women who are of normal weight before their pregnancy should gain between 35 and 50 pounds. Women who are somewhat overweight are advised to gain somewhere between 30 and 50 pounds.
Do I need to consult with a perinatologist if I am pregnant with more than one baby?
A perinatologist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of high-risk pregnancies, including triplet or higher order multiple pregnancies. In case you are wondering, pregnancies with twins and above are classified as high-risk, regardless of other background or health factors you may or may not have. If you are at an advanced age or are in a particularly high risk group as a result of having diabetes, high blood pressure, or other factors, or if you have had pregnancy-related complications in the past, then it is probably better to see a perinatologist. If not, and if your doctor assures you that things are progressing normally with your pregnancy, then you can continue to only see your primary doctor.
Can I have sex during a triplet pregnancy?
Some doctors worry that sex during a triplet pregnancy can set off preterm labor. However, research strongly suggests that having sex during a triplet pregnancy is actually quite safe, as long as you have no other health-related red flags or warning to watch out for as advised by your doctor.
Is bed rest really necessary when carrying triplets or more?
Again, many doctors prescribe bed rest for women carrying twins or more to help offset the chances of preterm labor. However, most research does not back up this somewhat antiquated practice. In fact, for some women, bed rest can actually increase their chances for preterm labor. Having said this, getting an adequate amount of rest while you are pregnant with triplets is very important, so try to take more frequent breaks and reduce your overall activity. The fewer calories you burn, the more your babies will have.
Do I need to be induced if I go past Week 35 in a triplet pregnancy?
If everything is going well, you can expect things to go normally until past week 32. Doctors don’t usually recommend that you carry your babies for too much longer than that because of the risk of complications that can arise for expectant mothers carrying triplets as a result of the reduced space in the womb, as well the speed with which the placenta breaks down
Is there any kind of specific exercise that I need to do when carrying multiple babies?
Exercise always helps, but it depends on your personal activity level and the needs of your pregnancy. Someone who frequently works out in the gym will have different needs from someone who is less active. In general, some light exercises are helpful, and your doctor may recommend that you do a few light activities a few times a day. The bottom line, however, is that you should try to be active throughout your pregnancy, but do only low-impact exercises such as prenatal yoga or walking.
What foods or vitamins do I need to take during a multiple pregnancy?
You should try to avoid raw fish and raw eggs, and you might need extra meat in case you suffer from anemia. Also, regularly taking the vitamins your doctor prescribes for you is absolutely necessary; taking adequate amounts of the right vitamins can really lower your chances of facing complications as your pregnancy progresses. The most basic of vitamin regimens include regular doses of vitamin D, iron, calcium, and folic acid (all of these are necessary for the healthy development of your babies).
Are there any specific symptoms I should watch out for during a triplet pregnancy?
Pregnancy symptoms vary from person to person. If your doctor knows you and your family well, or if they at least take your detailed history prior to becoming your consultant (which they will have done), then they will be able to tell you which symptoms are expected for you and which ones might be cause for concern. At the very least, you can expect somewhat more severe morning sickness and breast tenderness, not to mention much quicker weight increases as compared to single pregnancies with triplets.