Cover image for Everything you need to know to have a healthy twin pregnancy
Everything you need to know to have a healthy twin pregnancy
Leiter, Gila.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dell, [2000]

Physical Description:
xx, 330 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RG567 .L45 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Twins...triplets...quads...finally! The book that answers all your questions about multiple birth--written by a doctor who is a mother of twins herself

Over ten years ago when Dr. Gila Leiter, herself an OB/GYN,was pregnant with twins, the book she desperately needed wasn'tavailable. Now it is: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Healthy Twin Pregnancy . Taking you step-by-step through the processes of pregnancy and birth, Dr. Leiter shares her professional and personal expertise, providing answers to all your questions, plus practical know-how, psychological support, and extensive resources for this most joyous--and overwhelming--experience, whether you're having two babies...or four! Learn:

The latest in fertility treatments and reproductive technology,and the probable outcome
What to expect, trimester by trimester
Concrete suggestions for working through your hopes, fears, and fantasies
Who should seek genetic counseling
How to avoid preterm labor and premature delivery--and what to do if it's unavoidable
Recommended vitamins and minerals--plus do's and don'ts
All about medications: what you can take, can't take, must take
What you should know if you're going to have a C-section
Specific ideas for nurturing yourself and reducing stress
The birthing process and what to expect in the delivery room
Twelve questions to ask the doctor you're considering choosing for your pediatrician
What it's like to bring babies home--and what you'll needto manage your new family
And much more

Author Notes

Gila Leiter, M.D., is a partner in private practice in New York City, where she & her colleagues preside over hundreds of deliveries a year, including many multiple gestations. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Mt. Sinai Medical School & a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

(Bowker Author Biography)



Introduction: Why This Book--A Personal Look       When I found myself pregnant with what I thought would be my second child, I was a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist at a busy private practice in New York City with a growing number of multiple births under our care. I've always enjoyed caring for pregnancies and deliveries of multiples, with their higher rate of prenatal problems and potentially difficult deliveries--there's always something unexpected to deal with. And I have always felt a special sympathy and awe for multiple moms. In any case, I always seemed to be the doctor on call when a set of twins was ready to deliver.   Imagine my surprise, then, when I found that I myself was pregnant with twins. Although as a doctor I was an expert in the field, as a woman I wanted the same comfort and reassurance that every expectant mother is looking for.   Of course, I had access to the latest in medical literature--but like any expectant mother, I wanted to read something more personal. As I did during my first pregnancy, I went looking for a "regular" pregnancy book. Only this time I wanted a pregnancy book about twins.   I found so little to answer my needs! I am a doctor, so at least I had access to other information. But, I thought, what about all the mothers out there who aren't doctors? My patients wanted more information than I could give them in an office visit, more than the standard few pages that most pregnancy books devote to the special needs of the twin pregnancy. I vowed that someday I would write a book for them, to share my professional and personal experience. This book is the result of that promise.   The Special Needs of "Multiple Moms"   Any pregnancy, delivery, and motherhood is challenging. But multiple moms know that their experience is demanding in a way that no "singleton" mother could possibly imagine. As writer Betsy Israel put it in her 1998 article in The New York Times Magazine, "[M]others of twins, triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets ... will suggest that I, a mere mother of 'singletons,' don't have a clue. We may all be moms but we do not belong to the same national chapter of motherhood."   What are some of the special needs of multiple moms? As the mother of twins, triplets, or quads, you'll be at far greater risk of preterm labor and premature delivery. You'll face a far higher incidence of prenatal complications, and you'll be more likely to have to take early leave from work or even to be treated with bed rest. You may face physical complications from the added strain of carrying additional weight for a longer period of time, and you might feel some extra psychological stress over wondering how you'll feed and care for two or more babies at the same time.   You also have special needs with regard to diet, nutrition, and exercise. You should have more testing and monitoring during pregnancy and delivery. You may face a more complicated delivery, with a greater chance of cesarean section. And you might face special challenges in involving your partner, other children, extended family, and friends in a physically and emotionally demanding experience. But what a great reward at the end of the road!   Coming to Terms with Multiples   If you've just found out that you're going to have twins, triplets, or quads--or if you're considering any form of fertility treatment or Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)--you're likely to be wondering how you can handle the medical, physical, and psychological challenges. This book is geared to help you through. You might be a career woman in her 40s wondering about how you can balance the demands of your job with the very special needs of a multiple pregnancy. Or you might be the mother of two or three children concerned about caring for their needs as you gain 40 or 50 pounds and are instructed to avoid heavy lifting. Maybe you're in your early 20s, wondering how you and your partner will ever pay for two sets of baby clothes, two cribs, two sets of doctor bills. Perhaps you had ART after years of infertility, longing for one child--but were never prepared for the possibility that you might have two, three, or four at the same time.   Perhaps this is your first pregnancy, and you're wondering what to expect. Maybe this is your first multiple pregnancy, and you're asking yourself how this time will be different. Possibly you have a sister, aunt, mother, or girlfriend who's had twins, triplets, or quads, but maybe--even with the recent explosion in multiple births--you're the only multiple mom you know.   This book is your resource. In it, you'll hear not only my voice but also the voices of my patients, as we share with you both my medical knowledge and our personal experience of this very special kind of pregnancy and birth. (The stories here are composites, representing the concerns and experiences that I've observed in my years of private practice.)   We'll start at the beginning--how fertility treatments increase your chances of conceiving multiples (Chapter 1), what you can do to ensure a safe pregnancy before getting pregnant (Chapter 2), and the basic biology of multiple conception (Chapter 3). We'll go on to help you explore the many feelings that often accompany a multiple pregnancy, offering you some concrete suggestions for working through the hopes, fears, and fantasies that might come up and some specific ideas for nurturing yourself (Chapter 4). We'll help you choose the doctor who is right for you, as we review the various options of an ob/gyn, a perinatologist, a twin clinic, and a midwife (Chapter 5).   Then I'll proceed to the many medical decisions you'll be making: the hard choices that often come with a twin diagnosis and a thorough review of the tests you might have (Chapter 6), along with a comprehensive look at your diet (Chapter 7), use of medications (Chapter 8), and relationship to work, bed rest, and exercise (Chapter 9). We'll go through your pregnancy trimester by trimester (Chapters 10, 11, and 12), as I review what is happening to your body, what you and your doctor will be discussing, and how your babies are developing. My patients and I will be sharing our own experiences and suggestions throughout.   I'll also talk you through some of the common and uncommon complications of a multiple pregnancy, including a look at how diabetes might affect you and your babies (Chapter 13). We'll take a long look at the possibility of preterm labor and premature delivery (Chapters 14 and 15), which pose the greatest risk to the life and health of multiple babies and which you and your doctor will be making every effort to avoid.   Finally, I'll talk you through the birthing process, explaining the kinds of decisions you and your doctor might have to make (Chapter 16) and giving you a blow-by-blow description of what you might expect in the delivery room, including the possibility of a breech birth or C-section (Chapter 17). You'll hear about those first few days in the hospital (Chapter 18) and find out what it's like to bring your multiples home (Chapter 19). At the end of this book, there's a list of resources--Web sites, books, and organizations--that might help you through your pregnancy and early years as the parents of twins.   As I review this chapter, I'm sitting on the labor floor at Mt. Sinai Hospital, taking a welcome break after finishing my morning rounds. I've got two sets of twins on the postpartum floor: one that was delivered very early, at 27 weeks, due to the mother's complication of placenta previa (a condition in which the placenta covers part of the cervix); another that stayed in the womb for a full 37-week term. Thanks to the miracles of modern science, all four babies are doing well, and both mothers are recovering nicely. I continue to marvel at how bravely and gracefully my patients manage the many challenges and surprises of a multiple pregnancy--and at the joy and excitement that a multiple birth can bring.   Excerpted from Everything You Need to Know to Have a Healthy Twin Pregnancy by Gila Leiter, Rachel Kranz All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.