Preventing Premature Birth With Multiples

Your delivery date is moved up with multiples, but you don't want those babies coming too soon. Learn how you can reduce the chances of premature birth.
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Your pregnancy timeline is a little different from that of moms expecting singletons; you’ll likely be giving birth before 40 weeks. But you don’t want them to come too early since low birth weight is a concern.

Twins should ideally be born at 38 weeks, triplets between 36 and 37 weeks, and quads at 36 weeks. While you can’t prevent preterm labor, you can lower the risk. Here’s how:

• Start prenatal care ASAP and keep all of your OB appointments

• Maintain a healthy pregnancy weight and eat enough calories derived from the nutrients recommended to you

• Drink lots of water

• Don’t smoke or use drugs

• Call your doctor anytime you feel sick

• Don’t stress

Be vigilant for signs of preterm labor. To protect yourself and your babies, get familiar with preterm labor symptoms, like regular or severe contractions. Keep on the lookout for contractions that occur four or more times in an hour, lower back pain, pelvic pressurevaginal discharge tinged with blood, menstrual-like cramps, or diarrhea. Talk to your doctor about how to recognize preterm labor, and if you experience any of those symptoms, call the doctor immediately—you may be able to convince those babies to stay put with your OB’s help. Never, ever feel shy about calling your doctor if you’re worried.

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