Exceptional Pregnancies For the Parents Expecting Triplets or More
WebMD Live Events Transcript
Event Date: 07/31/2000.
Now more than ever, multiple births - triplets, quadruplets, and quintuplets - are on the rise. Author Janet L. Bleyl will answers questions and concerns of parents and parents on the physical and psychological effects associated with multiple births.
The opinions expressed herein are those of the guest's alone. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.
Moderator: Hello and welcome to the Parenting Today Program. Today's guest is Janet L. Bleyl, author of Exceptional Pregnancies.
Hello and welcome to the program, Ms. Bleyl. It's a pleasure having you on WebMD Live. Before we begin taking questions about your book, can you tell everyone a little bit about your background and area of expertise?
Bleyl: I'm founder and president of the Triplet Connection. We are a national support and informational networking organization for people who are having multiple births throughout the country. We started 17 years ago. We've worked with over 20,000 families who've given birth to multiples. We house the largest database in the world. We have an extraordinary scientific advisory board, some of the topnotch physicians in the nation experience-wise. We have a quarterly publication. For expectant parents we have a packet of information that most find helpful and informative, sometimes even life saving. It helps people know what they are up against, and specific things they can do to enhance and promote their multiple pregnancies. We've recently published two new books, The Exceptional Pregnancies, a Survival Guide to Parents Expecting Triplets and More, as well as Exceptional Pregnancies, a Survival Guide to Parents Expecting Twins. Both are tremendous resources for anyone expecting multiples to help them have a higher chance for success. Our web site is at www.tripletconnection.org and email is Janet@tripletconnection.org.
Moderator: What has been your biggest challenge with your triplets?
Bleyl: My triplets are seventeen-and-a-half-year-old identical boys, and my biggest challenge is knowing that I have only a few moments left with them before they are gone. It's been a wonderful adventure. I wouldn't change a thing or give up a moment of my association with them.
Moderator: What do you tell mothers who are scared to death with what they are getting themselves into pregnancy-wise?
Bleyl: First of all, that we have worked with literally thousands of people who've done this, I've done it myself, I know it's doable, and accomplishable; with extremely well-informed parents, and good professional backing, that they have a great opportunity to have a great outcome to their multiple pregnancies; that being informed can change a frightening experience into one that is much more controllable and successful. A parent can go from being a passive patient to an informed partner, working with their physician.
Moderator: Is premature birth a big problem in multiple births? If so what can be done to prevent a premature birth?
Bleyl: Premature birth is the biggest problem in a multiple birth. The likelihood of preterm labor is the biggest problem one will encounter, likely, in a multiple birth. Doing everything that can be done to prevent premature labor is essential to success in a multiple birth pregnancy. A woman, in order to prevent preterm birth needs to be extremely well-nourished, well aware of uterine activity, which becomes a big problem in as much as preterm labor is most often very hard to discern. Therefore, the use of such devices as the home uterine activity monitor is extremely helpful. A woman needs to realize that during multiple gestation pregnancies, there is no such thing as Braxton-Hicks contractions. Every uterine contraction or tightening needs to be given full attention and respect. Anytime a mother is experiencing four or more uterine contractions per hour, she needs to be immediately checked to see if she's going into labor. The situation is that if a woman can realize or determine that she's experiencing contractions early, before a significant amount of cervical change has happened, preterm birth of babies can often be avoided entirely. Women who find themselves in preterm labor early, through early detection can often prolong pregnancy by weeks, to months, through aggressive treatment, lifestyle changes, et cetera.
latergater_webmd: What is the most challenging aspect of having multiples?
Bleyl: First of all, to get them here healthy. That's the number one concern. Because life with healthy multiples is obviously completely different than challenges faced by those who have long term problems due to premature birth. People who don't have multiples, don't understand the incredible amount of joy encountered by multiple birth parents. There's a great amount of giving in order to care for these precious children. However, there's an incredible amount of love and joy received in return. It's worth all of the effort.