The vast majority of multiple pregnancies result in happy, healthy babies. But the more babies a woman is carrying, the higher the risk of complications.

Birth injury risks

Over the years, multiple births have been increasing. Typically, the rate of having twins is 1 out of 80 pregnancies and that of triplets is 1 out of 7,000. However, with ovulation enhancing drugs and in-vitro fertilization, the rate of multiple births can increase as much as 40%, depending on the type of drug or fertilization technique used. A woman is considered to have a high-risk pregnancy if she is having multiples. So, the doctor must be prepared to handle all possible complications.

Some of the common terms used in multiple births include:

  • Fraternal twins: When two different eggs are separately fertilized, they create non-identical or dizygotic twins
  • Identical twins:  When one fertilized egg divides into two, and creates identical or monozygotic twins
  • Diamnionic:  One amniotic sac for each baby
  • Monochorionic:  One placenta for multiple babies

Complications Associated with Multiple Gestation

Doctors, nurses and the other health care staff are responsible for the a pregnant women and her unborn babies. It is important to note that multiple pregnancies are at a higher risk of complications, and a doctor should be prepared to address these complications to avoid any injury to the mother or unborn child.

Some of the common complications associated with multiple pregnancies include:

  • Preterm labor:  Twins are generally delivered between 36 and 37 weeks, and triplets may be delivered between 33 and 34 weeks
  • Developmental delays or cerebral palsy: It is extremely important that the condition of all babies is monitored closely before delivery to make sure that each one of them is getting enough oxygen. Failure to monitor the condition of the babies or failure to order a timely cesarean section can lead to developmental delays or even cerebral palsy.
  • Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS): Twins with a shared placenta and separate amniotic sacs are at a high risk of developing Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a condition in which the blood moves from one twin to another. In order to treat this condition, the doctors may have to perform repeated amniocentesis, and possibly use laser surgery to stop the blood flow.
  • Umbilical cord prolapse
  • Placenta previa
  • Cervical incompetence
  • Postpartum hemorrhage (
  • Preeclampsia
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Congenital abnormalities

One of the main concerns involving multiple births is the method of delivery. The doctors may have to consider factors such as how each of the twins is presenting, whether the position is transverse, breech, or head down. In case all babies are vertex, a doctor may attempt a normal delivery but must be prepared for a C-section if the need arises. When the first one is vertex and other is breech, a doctor may still attempt normal delivery. However, if the first one or both are breech, a C-section may be necessary. Triplets are almost always delivered by C-section.

Seeking Legal Help

Our firm was established to focus on the unique needs of our clients. We work with top medical, life-planning, and forensics experts to determine the causes and extent of injuries, prognoses of victims, and areas of medical negligence. Our passion for helping birth injury victims allows our attorneys to deliver unrivaled legal services for your family.

If your child has suffered a birth injury, because of the failure of the doctors to manage multiple gestation and births properly, you may have a claim. Please call Willens Law Offices today at (312) 957-4166 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free and private consultation.

Posted by Matthew Willens

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