Maternal health experts have urged women pregnant with twins or more babies to ensure they seek special care from maternal health specialists to reduce the complications associated with multiple pregnancies.
According to the experts in female reproductive health, being pregnant with twins carries a higher risk of premature delivery, adding that giving birth to preterm babies also comes with a lot of other risks.
The experts noted that the survival of premature babies is slim, especially when they are born before 37 weeks, stressing that twin gestation is also associated with birth defects.
To minimise the risk of preterm delivery and its associated problems, the physicians urged women with twin gestation to be faithful to their antenatal visits and promptly report their concerns to their doctors.
An Associate Professor, at the College of Medicine, Lagos State University, Dr. Yusuf Oshodi, in an exclusive interview said delivering babies prematurely, comes with lots of risks because the babies are delivered when they are not mature enough to come out and therefore, find it difficult to cope with the outside world.
Dr. Oshodi, who is also a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, said one out of three babies born before 37 weeks would die.
The gynaecologist explained, “People carrying more than one baby have a higher chance of preterm delivery which will lead to premature babies.
“Beginning from 28 to 32 weeks, there could be a delivery, and between 34 and 36 weeks, there could be a delivery. Also, between 35 and 36 weeks, there could be delivery and 36 weeks and above. So, the closer the babies are to term, the higher their chance of survival.
“If the woman delivers around 29 weeks, of course, the chance of survival of those babies will be slim due to various problems, but mainly because they are not mature enough to come out.
“Their body system is not old enough to cope with the outside world. So, that is the main cause why premature babies die. Babies delivered before 37 weeks, their chance of survival is slim and one out of three of them will die.”
Dr. Oshodi noted that besides the challenges of managing babies delivered preterm, mothers pregnant with twins from the beginning of conception have double the challenges associated with pregnancy.
“The stress that the woman will be going through will be doubled, vomiting and dizziness will be doubled, even the risk of high blood pressure is higher in people who are carrying twins than those carrying one baby.
“In terms of diabetes in pregnancy, the chance is higher in people who carry twins compared to a person who is carrying one baby. Even the risk of congenital malformations (congenital anomalies) are also higher in twin pregnancy,” he said.
Following the listed challenges, the gynaecologist said the woman might also find it difficult to deliver on her own.