More and more multiple births



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Multiple births are becoming increasingly common in Germany

The number of multiple births has increased significantly across Germany in the past twenty years. The figures from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) in Wiesbaden for multiple births show little of the much-discussed decline in births. Here, instead of declining births, a clearly increasing trend can be observed.

Every year more and more twins, triplets and quadruplets see the light of day in Germany, while the number of normal births has been declining for years. According to the Federal Statistical Office, there were approximately 11,500 multiple births in Germany in 2011. This means that every 29th baby is now a multiple child, while in 1991 this only applied to every 42nd newborn. So far, there is no detailed information about the causes of the increase in multiple births, but it is generally assumed that these are related to hormone treatments and artificial insemination. Reproductive medicine therefore has a significant influence on the number of multiple births.

Health risks for mother and child in multiple pregnancies
According to the Federal Statistical Office, the majority of multiple births are twin births (98 percent). According to the current figures, triplet births were already rare in 2011 with 230 cases, quadruple births with only six cases were a real rarity. The Federal Office's statisticians also found that the parents of multiple children were more often married to each other than to single-born children (75 percent versus 66 percent). For mothers and unborn children, a multiple pregnancy is always a risky pregnancy as there are serious complications. An early birth or premature birth of the children is still one of the usual risks. Increased water retention, especially in the legs, as well as pregnancy-related hypertension, varicose veins, anemia and impairments of the mother's abdominal organs are possible consequences of multiple pregnancy. Another risk that should not be underestimated is the increased mortality of mothers and unborn children in multiple pregnancies. Delays in growth due to the inadequate supply of nutrients in the body of the mother are also to be expected in twins and especially in triplets and quadruplets. (fp)

Image: unopaella / pixelio.de

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