Congratulations! Finding out that you are pregnant with triplets can be both a surprise and a delight. From stronger pregnancy symptoms to eating advice and guidance on risks, there are a few things you should know about this kind of pregnancy experience.
There are few women in the world fully prepared for being pregnant with triplets. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were just under 60 sets of triplets born in 2017.
Australian Bureau of Statistics
The proportion of confinements resulting in a multiple birth has remained fairly consistent for the past decade, ranging from 1.5 to 1.6% of total confinements. In 2017, there were 4,528 confinements resulting in a multiple birth and 60 of these were triplets or higher order births. There were 50 less multiple births in 2017 than in 2016.
Even if you knew having three babies was likely and even hoped for, you will probably still be surprised by exactly what a triplet pregnancy has in store for you.
Women everywhere, every day, are absolute mum-bosses at having triplets – we know that you have got this!! You might just need a little heads up on what to expect and time to get ready for one or two (or three!) of the extra treats that could be coming your way.
Pregnant with Triplets: What to expect
Thankfully most multiple birth pregnancies today result in healthy babies, however all multiple birth pregnancies are considered to be high risk pregnancies. And the more babies that you are carrying, the greater the risk of complications.
Your medical team
You will likely see your medical team every two weeks during your term (up to 24 weeks, when it increases to weekly), so choose people that you trust and won’t get sick of the sight of too quickly. Also, choose people who you think might cope with your own special brand of stressed-out expectant mama.
You don’t need to eat for four people, but you will need the nutrients required for a mum and three babies. You would benefit from vitamin supplements as recommended by your doctor and may need to discuss with a dietician your diet, depending on how active you are (and what your tummy can tolerate).
All symptoms of pregnancy can be escalated for women who are pregnant with triplets, including morning sickness, heartburn, exhaustion, and water retention. You may also feel higher levels of anxiety and agitation, and almost certainly higher levels of physical discomfort.
For most women, you can and should still continue to get around as much as you can, even exercising as long as your doctor agrees.
Some doctors recommend more bed rest for women pregnant with multiples, but this isn’t the best advice for every mum, so be sure to talk to your own doctor about this.
You will need as many good nights’ sleep as you possibly can, however, so create a sleeping environment that works for your growing form. You might need a body pillow or maternity pillow, and some women even find it helpful sleeping in a recliner (easier to get up out of too!). You may also need a fan – three babies in the oven can get pretty hot!
Your growing body
You will obviously show quicker than with a single pregnancy, and may need to be prepared with your maternity clothes a bit earlier than the average mum. It’s ok though, maternity clothes are far more attractive and stylish than they used to be.
Pregnant with Triplets
In the case of giving birth to triplets, there is a good chance that they will be born early. However, don’t focus solely on this. Your medical team will guide you as to the safest time for you to deliver your babies.
The Danger Zone
Between 24 and 26 weeks gestation you will face a little bit of a nervous time. Triplets may really want to meet their parents and come out early.
While babies born at 24 weeks can grow up to be strong and healthy, every day you keep them in past the 26-week mark offers better health outcomes for your little ones.
As one real-life mum-to-be described it, at this time, the wait between ultrasounds can seem like a lifetime.
The best you can do right now is take it easy, rest up and try not to stress too much. Try to distract yourself with trashy tv, reading or any relatively sedentary hobbies (ever thought about taking up watercolour painting?)
Some extra tips to help you get prepared…
Surround yourself with the medical team that makes you feel the most comfortable, and make sure you feel listened to. Talk to your experts every step of the way and share with them your symptoms and niggles; they will have ways to ease your discomfort. If you are worried or anxious about anything – talk to them!
Arm yourself with as much information as you can about your risks and options.
Talk bigger decisions through with your partner and make the choices that feel best for you as a family.
Look into relaxation techniques and gentle forms of exercise that might be your lifeline and sanctuary throughout the next (nearly) nine months. Some past-times that we highly recommend include:
- Regular walking and gossiping with a friend
- Pregnancy massage or a skilled foot rub from someone who loves you
- Listening to audiobooks, podcasts or soft music
- Pregnancy yoga classes
- Daytime naps whenever you need it
- Walking around barefoot in deep grass in the sunshine
- Making nursery décor inspiration boards on Pinterest (x3)
Be exceptionally kind to yourself both physically and mentally through this time. Carrying triplets is just the beginning of the journey. Raising multiples is a very positive and rewarding experience, but there are definitely busy times ahead.
Congratulations again. Triplets are a true blessing.
Passionate about all things multiple, Naomi is the founder of Twinfo.
Naomi is a Parenting Blogger and a Brand Ambassador, but most important of all she is a twin mother who understands.