A NY Daily News article this month highlighted the story of Michal Lura Friedman, a mother who passed away just four hours after giving birth to twins.
Friedman, a 44-year-old singer-songwriter, is now survived by her husband, Jay Snyder, and newborn twins, Reverie and Jackson. Friedman was undergoing a C-Section since one of the twins was a breech baby, and died from complications after her surgery.
This story is an important depiction of the risks associated with multiple births that continue to exist even as medical technology advances. Indeed, even as clinical improvements are made, the pressure multiple pregnancies put on the mother and children remain intact. These risks, who can affect anyone, are especially dangerous when the mother is giving birth to high order multiples. These risks include:
- premature birth and/or low birth weights
- gestational diabetes
- twin-twin transfusion syndrome
- long lasting birth defects
Today, the birth of multiples is largely associated with fertility treatments, which, due to hyperstimulation/conventional IVF and multiple embryo transfer protocols, increase the chance of a woman becoming pregnant with more than one baby (see the Octomom story). At New Hope Fertility Center, we continuously stress the importance of Single Embryo Transfers when we treat patients. Transferring one embryo instead of multiple embryos during IVF treatment significantly decreases the risk of the patient getting pregnant with multiples, and therefore increases the chance of achieving a healthy pregnancy, with less stress on mother and child.
The trend towards single embryo transfers within the fertility care field continues to be adopted by many other clinics, with leading fertility authorities also calling to make SET an industry standard. We’re hopeful that SET will soon be the norm among fertility specialists as this field of medicine continues to advance.