Each pregnancy is unique for every woman; from the symptoms to the duration, and even the number of growing babies. Although it is less common, it is possible to have more than one baby growing in your uterus at the same time. In this article, we’d walk you through the commoner alternative; a singleton pregnancy.
Read on to learn more.
Table of contents
- What’s A Singleton Pregnancy?
- Are Singleton Pregnancies More Common?
- Antenatal Care for Singleton Pregnancies
- Postpartum Care for Singleton Pregnancies
- Differences between Singleton and Multiple Pregnancies
What’s A Singleton Pregnancy?
In plain terms, a singleton pregnancy means being pregnant with only one baby at a time. It is the direct opposite of a multiple pregnancy, which occurs when a woman is expecting more than one baby in the same pregnancy.
Are Singleton Pregnancies More Common?
Medical studies show that singleton pregnancies are more common than multiple pregnancies. In fact, the American Pregnancy Association postulates that there are only about 32.6 multiples per 1,000 births per year in the United States.
This means that you’re 96.74% more likely to have a singleton pregnancy.
However, it is important to remember that any of the following factors can increase the possibility of having a multiple pregnancy:
- Fertility Treatments
Antenatal Care for Singleton Pregnancies
Proper antenatal care is an important part of pregnancy, even for singleton pregnancies.
This is a form of essential healthcare with the ultimate aim of ensuring a healthy pregnancy, labor, and delivery for both mother and child.
Regular antenatal clinics would help your doctor monitor your pregnancy, identify potential complications, and guide you to a healthy delivery.
During your singleton pregnancy, your antenatal care may include:
- Routine Blood Tests: to check for anemia, HIV, blood type, genotype, hormonal fluctuations and other blood-related factors during pregnancy.
- Blood Pressure Checks: This is very important to reduce the possibility of high blood pressure or preeclampsia during pregnancy.
- Ultrasound Scans: to monitor your baby’s growth and heart rate
- Weight Measurement
- Dietary Advice
Your doctor may even recommend special breastfeeding or baby care classes that would teach you how to breastfeed and care for your little one effectively.
Postpartum Care for Singleton Pregnancies
Although most of the hype is usually about antenatal care and staying healthy in all the stages of pregnancy, postpartum care is also very important.
In most cases the postpartum period lasts for about 6 to 8 weeks, starting from the day your little one is born.
During this period, most women undergo a lot of physical and emotional changes as they learn to care for the newborn.
Proper postpartum care after a singleton pregnancy includes:
1. Proper Rest
Rest is super important for all new moms. With the right amount of rest, your body gets all it needs to return to its pre-pregnancy state. Getting enough rest also helps to keep your skin firm and healthy after pregnancy.
After a singleton pregnancy, you can get enough rest by:
- Sleeping when your baby sleeps
- Reducing your caffeine intake
- Eating well
- Receiving help from friends and family
2. Healthy Diets
A healthy diet is very important for every new mom.
In addition to providing your little one with all he/she needs for a healthy life, a healthy diet would strengthen you and help your body heal faster.
As you recover from the rigors of pregnancy, you can follow a diet that is rich in:
- Healthy Fat
3. Proper Vaginal Care
Vaginal care is another essential part of postpartum care after a singleton pregnancy. If you’re experiencing any form of vaginal soreness, urination problems, vaginal discharge, or postpartum cramps, please visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Differences between Singleton and Multiple Pregnancies
1. A Smaller Bump
Although most moms-to-be may not notice this, one of the major differences between a singleton and twin pregnancy is the size of your baby bump.
Some experts agree that a singleton baby bump may be about 20% smaller than a multiple pregnancy belly. Thankfully, a lighter (or smaller) baby bump is less stressful for the uterus and mother.
2. Reduced Fatigue
Here’s the fact: more babies come with increased demands on your body and mind.
Although fatigue is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy, women with singleton pregnancies usually don’t have to deal with as much fatigue as moms with multiples.
This may be a function of hormonal fluctuations, increased urination, and sleep interruptions during pregnancy.
To reduce the severity of fatigue during pregnancy, you can:
- Drink less caffeine
- Eat healthy
- Move your bedtime earlier
3. Reduced HcG Levels
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is an important pregnancy hormone which forms the basis of pregnancy tests. In fact, home pregnancy test kits are specially designed to detect this hormone in your urine to confirm pregnancy.
If you’re trying to conceive or undergoing fertility treatment, your doctor may conduct some blood tests to establish your average hCG level. After this, he/she will continue to monitor your numbers for any drastic changes.
In 2018, a research study showed that women pregnant with singletons may have lower hCG baseline levels than those pregnant with multiples.
4. Single Heartbeat
With a fetal doppler, it is possible to hear your baby’s heartbeat as early as the 8th or 9th week of pregnancy.
In a multiple pregnancy, the doctor may detect a second heartbeat and schedule an ultrasound scan to get a clearer picture. However, this is not the case with a singleton pregnancy.
5. Reduced Weight Gain
Weight gain is a common concern for most moms-to-be.
Although this difference may not become obvious till the later stages of pregnancy, women with singleton pregnancies usually don’t add as much weight as those with multiple pregnancies.
In addition to the changes listed above, studies show that women with singleton pregnancies tend to get to term and have vaginal deliveries a lot more than those with multiple pregnancies.
Every pregnancy, whether singleton or multiple, is an exciting and unique process. Although it comes with some changes and risks, it is important to focus on your health and seek proper antenatal care during pregnancy.
It is also essential to note that the early signs of pregnancy may not confirm whether or not you have a singleton, however, proper prenatal tests can.
If you have any concerns or worries about your pregnancy, please contact your healthcare provider.
We are always here to help you.