Introduction

In 2004 there were more than 139,000 multiple or multifetal births in the United States [1, 2]. The birth rate for twin gestation, which accounts for more than 95% of these multifetal pregnancies, continues to rise, with the latest birth rate in 2004 at a record of 32.2 twins per 1,000 live births. The birth rate of triplets and higher-order multifetal births has been relatively stable since its peak in 1998. Almost all pregnancy complications are more frequent in multifetal pregnancies [3, 4]. The most recent American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2004) published their practice guidelines, that describes many of these complications [4]. However, there is no mention in this document of any nutritional assessment or treatment for this high-risk group.

Nutrition information for clinicians who provide antenatal care for women with twins or triplets often has been based on scientific data obtained from singleton pregnancies and then extrapolated and applied to multifetal pregnancy. A search of Ovid Medline for all English-language articles related to multiple pregnancy in humans and nutrition or diet shows 331 articles published on this subject in the past 30 years. Almost 50% of these articles (151) have been published since 1996, indicating that interest in and knowledge of this specific area of high-risk pregnancy is increasing. The purposes of this chapter are to: (1) evaluate some of the most relevant and important new clinical information regarding nutrition and multiple pregnancy, (2) describe well-documented differences in nutrition needs between singleton and multiple pregnancies, (3) provide practical antenatal nutritional guidelines for the clinician and nutritionist managing multiple pregnancies, and (4) stimulate further research and knowledge for this interesting and challenging aspect of obstetrics.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

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