In the past two decades, the United States has seen an increase in multiple births. The main factor was the development of fertility drugs. From the years 1980 to 2005, data shows there was an increase in triplet births. They went from 1,337 triplets being born in 1980, to 6,208 in 2005. Due to researchers developing better fertility drugs in the United States, births of triplets or more have dropped.
According to the CDC’s website, the number of triplet births in 2019 was 3,400. That is nearly half of the births in 2005. Researchers are continuing to study new ways to better their fertility processes to further reduce the numbers of multiple births.
If a woman believes she may be pregnant, it is best to see a gynecologist as soon as possible. Especially if they are 30 years of age or older and taking fertility drugs. Both of those factors increase a woman’s chances of having more than one. If there is a history of multiples in the family, this increases the likelihood of having them as well.
Women who are pregnant with multiples have a higher chance of going into labor early. Their babies are usually underweight, due to premature births. They also have a higher risk of having birth defects. A lot of women pregnant with triplets (or multiples of any kind) have to go on to bed rest to delay early labor.
Doctors will generally schedule a c-section for women birthing three or more babies.
By Sheena Robertson
MedlinePlus: Twins, Triplets, Multiple Births
Women’s Health: Twins, triplets, and other multiples
CDC: National Center for Health Statistics Multiple Births