Before you start reading this I want to make one thing VERY clear, these are twin complications many can be at risk for. It does not mean that you WILL develop these and I am in no way shape or form a medical professional to diagnose them. I am simply trying to share the information I learned with all of you. Take a break while reading, when I read about these I some times had to remember to relax. Again, take this lightly & if you are concerned about anything I mention I encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider.
Iron Deficiency Anemia
I was diagnosed with this early on in my pregnancy. The majority of women pregnant with multiples eventually develop iron-deficiency anemia and your chance actually increases with each additional baby you’re carrying. If untreated anemia can increase the risk of preterm birth and your likelihood of needing a blood transfusion during delivery.
Symptoms: fatigue, light-headedness, headaches, shortness of breath
What can you do: Increase iron-rich foods in your diet. I made sure to include a lot of leafy greens, red meat, legumes and asked my doctor for a list of foods high in iron. In addition I made sure to take my prenatal vitamins daily and include vitamin C in my diet. Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron.
I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GD) with Lia. This time around I was almost certain I would develop it with my twin pregnancy and was surprised to have passed my glucose test. As a mom of multiples we are at higher risk to develop GD than the singleton mom due to the increase levels of hormones from the placenta. Some of the risks os uncontrolled GD are stillbirth, hypoglycemia, high birth weights, and other metabolic problems.
Symptoms: This is normally found during your glucose test around 24-28 weeks gestation. Some symptoms include excessive thirst, more than normal frequent urination, constant fatigue, recurrent vaginal years infections.
What can you do: Be at watch for symptoms, drink lots of water, exercise, balance your carbohydrate intake with veggies, fats, and protein. If you are diagnosed with GD you will most likely begin to see a nutritionist to adjust your diet. If a diet change does not work your doctor will seek out other treatment options.
Preeclampsia in simple terms is a condition of high blood pressure and protein in the urine of a pregnant woman.
Symptoms: high blood pressure, protein in urine, sudden weight gain, swelling of hands and face.
Intrauterine Growth Restriction & Selective Intrauterine Growth Restriction
Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) is a condition in which a baby is not growing at the normal rate inside the womb. Approximately 30% of twins are IUGR by late pregnancy. In addition to IUGR there is also the selective version (sIUGR) in which there is a difference of growth rate between the two(+) babies called a discordance. Some discordance amongst multiples is expected, but any extreme discordance is considered a danger to the smaller baby. This could be that one baby is taking more nutrients from the other and put either one of your babies at risk for low birth weight, hypoglycemia, decreased oxygen levels, etc.
Symptoms: There are no symptoms for you to be aware of. Your doctor will be scheduling frequent ultrasounds to measure the growth of the babies and catch any changes in rate.
What can you do: To help with IUGR mama you gotta eat and keep up with the nutritional necessities of a multiples pregnancy. That means eat well, eat often, and eat enough.
This is a rare form of congestive heart failure that presents itself in late pregnancy or the first year postpartum. You are at higher risk with multiple pregnancy, history of preeclampsia, family history of it.
Symptoms: difficulty breathing, fatigue, palpitations, chest & abdominal cough with or without blood
What can you do: Report symptoms to your doctor ASAP.