If you are pregnant with more than one baby, you are far from alone. Multiple births are up in the United States. More women are having babies after age 30 and more are taking fertility drugs. Both boost the chance of carrying more than one baby. A family history of twins also makes multiples more likely.
Years ago, most twins came as a surprise. Now, most women know about a multiple pregnancy early. Women with multiple pregnancies should see their health care providers more often than women who are expecting one baby. Multiple pregnancy babies have a much higher risk of being born prematurely and having a low birth weight. There is also more of a risk of disabilities. Some women have to go on bed rest to delay labor. Finally, they may deliver by C-section, especially if there are three babies or more.
Parenting multiples can be a challenge. Volunteer help and support groups for parents of multiples can help.
Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health
- Caring for Multiples (March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Challenges of Parenting Multiples (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) - PDF
- Having Twins? How to Stay Healthy (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish
- Multiple Pregnancy (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)
- Parenting Multiples (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Preparing for Multiple Births (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Twins, Triplets, and Other Multiples (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) Also in Spanish
- Breast-Feeding Twins: Making Feedings Manageable (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Conjoined Twins (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Difference Between Identical and Fraternal Twins (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish
- Fertility Drugs and the Risk of Multiple Births (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Preparing for Twins (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Multiple Pregnancy and Multiple Births: Understanding the Risks for Mothers and Babies (American Society for Reproductive Medicine)
Statistics and Research
- FastStats: Multiple Births (National Center for Health Statistics)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Also in Spanish
- Find a Pediatrician or Pediatric Specialist (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in Spanish
- KidsHealth (Nemours Foundation)