MUSC Women's Care

musc women's care

Multiple Pregnancy Program

Multiple pregnancy account for only 3% of all live births, however, they are responsible for a disproportionate share of all newborn morbidity and mortality in the United States.  Multiples give rise to:

  • 13% of all preterm births (<37 weeks);
  • 15% of all early preterm births <32 weeks;
  • 21% of all low birth weight (<2500 grams);
  • and 25% of all very low birth weight (<1500 grams) deliveries.

As consequence of these high rates of both prematurity and low birth weight, twins are at an approximately fivefold greater risk of dying before their first birthday compared to singletons, while triplets are at almost a 14-fold greater risk.  Multiple births account for 16% of all newborn deaths in the United States.

Not unexpectedly, multiples are also associated with significantly higher health care costs.  Prolonged neonatal intensive care unit admissions are required by one-fourth of twins, three-fourths of triplets, and virtually all quadruplets.  Women pregnant with multiples are at a six times higher risk of being hospitalized with antepartum complications, most frequently preterm labor, preterm PROM, and preeclampsia.

About the Prenatal Wellness Multiple Center Pregnancy Program:

In order to minimize these risks and make each twin and triplet pregnancy a safe and rewarding experience, the Prenatal Wellness Center initiated a multidisciplinary specialty clinic for multiples in 1989.  Over the ensuing years, we have learned that there is no one approach, single intervention, or magic bullet that makes every multiple gestation successful.  Instead, we have learned that successful prenatal care of multiple gestations requires careful and frequent prenatal surveillance, attention to detail, application of multiple interventions, and experience in dealing with the varied complications that can occur in these pregnancies. 

Primary patient care in the Prenatal Wellness Multiple Center Pregnancy Program is provided by a certified nurse midwife, obstetrical residents, and Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists with special interest in multiple gestations.  A multidisciplinary staff allows the Multiple Pregnancy Program to provide comprehensive and compassionate care.  Ultrasound evaluation is performed by Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers while nutritional status is monitored by a registered dietician/nutritionist.  A board certified specialist in Maternal Fetal Medicine provides obstetrical consultation and oversees all Multiple Pregnancy Program activities.

Why would a patient want to choose the Prenatal Wellness Center Multiple Pregnancy Program for their care?

There are several aspects of the prenatal care of women with multiples that are critical to the success of their pregnancies.  Each of these components are emphasized and expertly performed by the staff of the Prenatal Wellness Center Multiple Pregnancy Program.  The Prenatal Wellness Center Multiple Pregnancy Program is a nationally recognized center of excellence with published positive outcomes and a Director, Dr. Roger Newman, who is an acknowledged expert on muliple pregnancy management.

  • Ultrasonographic surveillance
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Prevention of prematurity
  • Evaluation of fetal growth
  • Fetal surveillance
  • Timing of delivery

The care provided at the Prenatal Wellness Center Multiple Pregnancy Program is provided by expert and experienced Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists trained to provide this special antepartum care needed by women carrying multiples.  The co-director of the Multiple Pregnancy Program is Amelia Rowland, RN, CNM.  Other Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists providing care to multiples are Drs. Jill Mauldin, Scott Sullivan and Charles Rittenberg.

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