Children's Health and Wellness

What Do You Know About Multiple Births?

So you're having more than one! You're not alone. The number of multiple births has increased dramatically in recent years.

1. Which is an explanation for the increasing number of multiple births in this country?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is About a third of the increase in multiple births can be explained by an increasing number of women older than age 30 having children. The remaining two-thirds of the increase can be tied to an increase in the use of fertility drugs and reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Doctors now closely monitor women who are undergoing fertility treatment so that fewer babies will be produced. Women who have a family history of twins are more likely to have twins of their own. Women who are obese are also at higher risk for having twins. African-American women are also more likely to have twins. A. Increased use of fertility drugs B. More women older than age 30 giving birth C. More men older than age 30 becoming fathers D. A and B 2. When are most women diagnosed with twins or other multiples?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is These days, twins and other multiples are rarely a surprise at birth. Most multiple births are discovered with an ultrasound given near the end of the first trimester. A blood test done around the 16th week of pregnancy to help identify infants at increased risk for certain birth defects also can tell your health care provider that you may be carrying two or more babies. Your health care provider also may hear more than one fetal heart beating during an exam. Other symptoms of multiple births include more rapid weight gain than expected in the first trimester; a larger uterus than expected; and severe morning sickness.A. In the first trimester B. In the second trimester C. In the third trimester D. In the delivery room 3. Twins and other multiples usually are born preterm, before 37 weeks. What is the average length of pregnancy for a twin birth?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The average gestation for triplets is 32 weeks, and 30 weeks for quadruplets. More than 90 percent of triplets are born preterm, and nearly all quadruplets are born preterm.A. 38 weeks B. 37 weeks C. 36 weeks D. 35 weeks 4. Which of these may be a health problem for premature infants?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Premature infants also may have respiratory problems because their lungs have not fully developed. The closer an infant is to its due date, the less likely the child is to have health problems. Some of the health problems may be long term: intellectual disability, and vision and hearing loss.A. Extreme jaundice B. Anemia C. Gastroesophageal reflux D. All of the above 5. What percentage of twins is identical?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Identical twins begin as one fertilized egg that divides in half. The other two-thirds of twins are fraternal; they are formed from two separate eggs fertilized by two different sperm. Fraternal twins are no different from other siblings in the family. Identical twins look alike, are always the same sex, and have the same hair and eye color. Fraternal twins often look different, even when they are the same sex; they have a greater variation in size than identical twins, both at birth and as they grow and develop.A. 13 percent B. 24 percent C. 37 percent D. 49 percent 6. Which of these health problems does a woman carrying multiples face?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Preeclampsia is high blood pressure that develops during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. These health problems can be treated. That's why prenatal care is critical for any woman who is pregnant.A. Heart disease B. Preeclampsia C. Asthma D. Gestational diabetes E. B and D 7. How much weight should a woman of normal weight who is expecting twins gain during the term of her pregnancy?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is When carrying multiples(twins, triplets, and beyond), pregnant overweight women usually gain 31 to 50 pounds and obese pregnant women usually gain 25 to 42 pounds. Your doctor can make recommendations for you based on your weight and health. A pregnant woman carrying multiples usually needs to consume about 2,700 calories daily.A. 20 to 25 pounds B. 25 to 30 pounds C. 30 to 35 pounds D. 37 to 54 pounds 8. Which of these nutrients in a healthy diet is especially important for a woman with multiples?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Discuss with your doctor any special nutritional needs you may have. In general, a woman carrying multiples should take a prenatal vitamin that contains at least 30 mg of iron to prevent anemia and reduce the risk for pre-term delivery. A woman carrying multiples also needs adequate protein, as well as plenty of fluids.A. Iron B. Protein C. Vitamin C D. A and B E. None of the above 9. After the 24th week of pregnancy, women carrying multiples will be monitored for signs of preterm labor. If signs of labor occur, what is the likely treatment?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Bed rest usually takes place in a hospital, and medications to halt preterm labor may be given, as well. If labor does not halt and the infants are likely to be born before 34 weeks, the mother may be given corticosteroids. Corticosteroids encourage earlier development of the babies' lungs. Respiratory problems are common among multiples (and single children) who are born preterm.A. Cesarean delivery B. Bed rest C. Medications to stop labor D. B and C E. None of the above 10. What percentage of twin births is delivered vaginally?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is A vaginal birth is likely if both babies are positioned with their heads down. Births of three or more infants usually require a cesarean delivery, because it is safer. A multiple pregnancy with three or more means a crowded uterus, in which the placenta or umbilical cords may be compressed during labor. A cesarean also may be necessary if any of the babies is in a breech position (feet or buttocks down) or transverse lie (sideways).A. 10 percent B. 25 percent C. 35 percent D. 40 percent Your score was:
Print Source: Created for Wellness Library/August 2004
Online Source: Later Childbearing, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologistshttp://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq060.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130430T1947376825
Online Source: Having Twins, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologistshttp://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq092.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130430T1939388056
Online Source: Early Preterm Birth, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologistshttp://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq173.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130430T1941149872
Online Source: Multiple Pregnancy and Birth, American Society for Reproductive Medicinehttp://www.asrm.org/uploadedFiles/ASRM_Content/Resources/Patient_Resources/Fact_Sheets_and_Info_Booklets/multiples.pdf
Online Source: Having Twins? How to Stay Healthy, American Academy of Pediatricshttp://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/prenatal/Pages/Having-Twins-How-to-Stay-Healthy.aspx
Online Source: Preparing for Twins, American Academy of Pediatricshttp://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/family-dynamics/Pages/Preparing-for-Twins.aspx
Online Source: Weight Gain During Pregnancy, Institute of Medicinehttp://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2009/Weight-Gain-During-Pregnancy-Reexamining-the-Guidelines/Report%20Brief%20-%20Weight%20Gain%20During%20Pregnancy.pdf
Online Source: March of Dimeshttp://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/trying_multiples.html
Online Source: Multifetal Pregnancy, Merck Manual for Health Care Professionalshttp://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology_and_obstetrics/abnormalities_and_complications_of_labor_and_delivery/multifetal_pregnancy.html?qt=twins&alt=sh
Author: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Editor: Sinovic, Dianna
Online Medical Reviewer: Dozier, Tennille, RN, BSN, RDMS
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 5/29/2013