Mothers with multiple gestation pregnancies are more likely to have anemia, pre-eclampsia, preterm labour and caesarean delivery, while multiple pregnancy babies are more likely to be born prematurely and are therefore smaller and at greater risk for adverse health outcomes such as respiratory failure, gastrointestinal and immunological deficiencies and long-term challenges such as cerebral palsy.
The multiple birth rate in Simcoe Muskoka has increased, in parallel with Ontario’s rate. In 2011, the multiple birth rate was 3.3% of all births in Simcoe Muskoka, slightly less than Ontario’s rate of 3.8%.
The upward trends in multiple birth rates are likely the result of increased use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) to enhance fertility, as well as an increasingly older average maternal age at conception. Older women are more likely to have natural multiple gestation pregnancies, and are also at increased risk for infertility which increases the usage of assisted reproductive technology.