When a multiple pregnancy is discovered, the mother to be will most often be termed a high risk pregnancy. This is due to the fact that the body is created to hold only one baby per pregnancy. When the weight of the baby reaches a certain level, childbirth begins. In multiples pregnancies, childbirth can begin too early due to the increased weight and stress on the body, thus the high risk term.
High risk pregnancies will often require additional testing and routine checkups. Depending on whether the pregnancy is a twin or triplet pregnancy, bed rest may be ordered as early as the first trimester. The increased weight of the multiple fetuses can cause the mother to go into early labor before the 37th week of pregnancy which is considered the first week of full term status.
When mothers of multiples go into labor too early, prescription medications may be used to control contractions of the uterus. If oral medications are not effective, hospitalization and an intravenous solution may be needed to stop contractions for as long as possible.
The longer the fetuses spend in-utero, the more developed the babies will be upon birth. Many obstetricians aim for at least 34 weeks in multiple pregnancies. Babies born before the 37th week will be considered preterm or premature and may require specialized care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before being released to go home from the hospital.