10 Studies About Triplets and Multiples Other Than Twins

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The birth of twins is fairly common in the human race, but births of triplets and higher-order multiples have historically been very rare. With the introduction of fertility drugs and practices, this incidence has greatly increased although still fairly rare. Humans are not as well equipped to handle the stress involved with these multiple births and so they pose some very special challenges. Extensive research has been done to help physicians and parents cope and here are 10 studies about triplets and multiples other than twins.

  1. Multiples Born to Older Moms The National Institute of Health or NIH has released this study to examine the effects of multiples born to older women. They conclude that these infants fare about the same as those born to younger moms. In fact, triplets born to older women actually fare better than triplets born to those who are younger.
  2. NIH Study on Triplets and Birth Weight – This study conducted by NIH has found that triplets born with very low birth weight are at greater risk than twins or singles of the same weight. The research shows higher death and disability rates for low birth weight triplets by the age of two.
  3. Test-tube Multiple Births Declining – Reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, this study shows that the incidence of multiple births in test-tube babies has declined in recent years. The advances in fertility procedures has allowed for fewer embryos to be implanted with a higher success rate.
  4. Does Triplet Birth Pose Special Health Risks?Pediatrics published this study that examines whether triplet births pose special health and development risks for infants. They concluded that this is indeed the case after assessing cognitive development in relation to intrauterine growth and mother infant interaction for the first 2 years.
  5. What Factors Influence Twins, Triplets and Higher-Order Birth Rates? – This research by Kathleen Early tries to explain the increase in higher-order multiple birth rates in the United States. What factors have influenced this skyrocketing trend?
  6. Breast-feeding and Bottle-feeding Study – Mothers who want to breast feed their infants have a greater challenge with triplets and higher-order multiples than those of twins or singles. This study by NCBI shows that moms of multiples or much more likely to bottle feed their infants.
  7. Neurodevelopmental Outcomes of Triplets or Higher-Order Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants – Another study published in Pediatrics examines the special problems associated with extremely low birth weight in higher-order multiple births. These infants may have an even higher rate of death or neurodevelopmental impairment than singles or twins.
  8. Triplets and Higher-Order Multiple Births – The NCBI conducted this research on time trends and infant mortality. They conclude that ovulation-inducing drugs for the treatment of infertility have influenced the increase in multiple births. This plus the decline in mortality risk have created a much greater need for medical and social services for these families.
  9. Higher-Order Multiple Births in Abakaliki – This study was done in Southeast Nigeria regarding the high rate of higher-order multiple births for the Igbo women of Ebonyi State. Because most of these are vaginal births there is an increase of intrapartum stillbirth and birth asphyxia among triplets.
  10. Triplet Morbidity and MortalityThe Journal of Perinatology published this study about triplets in a large case series. They found that there are low morbidity rates and excellent survival rates with contemporary neonatal care.

Higher-order multiple birth families face unique challenges not only related to medical problems and care. Raising these kids to be happy, healthy adults is a tough but rewarding job. Most parents of multiples need special help in order to cope. Hopefully these studies provide some insight to parents who are expecting triplets or more. They need all the help they can get.

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