What are four babies called? That’s right: quadruplets. It’s pretty rare, but it happens.
Here, we’ll talk you through all the wonders of the awesome foursome. How common are they? Can you conceive quadruplets naturally? And how the heck do you manage?
Whether or not you’re one of the lucky mamas of four, we’ve got all the info you need.
In this article: 📝
- What are the chances of having quadruplets?
- Can you conceive quadruplets naturally?
- Pregnant with quadruplets? Here’s what to expect
What are the chances of having quadruplets?
First up, the chance of having quadruplets is not very high (in humans, at least). Let’s look at the stats to get some perspective:
Twins arrive on the scene 33.5 times in every 1000 births. That means just over three percent of births are twins. A decent chance of it happening, but not huge.
The chances of identical twins are about 0.45%. They happen about four times in every 1,000 births.
Triplets are even less likely. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in every 3.9 million births, there are about 4,300 triplet sets. Think of this like one in 1,000.
Identical triplets are thought to happen in about 1 in a million births. When you’re playing with these numbers, though, it gets a bit difficult to be totally precise.
So, the odds of quadruplets? Real small. There are thought to be just over 3,000 quadruplet sets in the world right now. Can quadruplets be identical? Yes, they can!
But, according to some reports, there have only been 72 recorded cases of spontaneous identical quadruplets ever.
And what comes after quadruplets? They’re called quintuplets – and seem to occur once in roughly 55 million births. (And for those of you into multiple birth trivia, what are 12 babies born at once called? Duodecaplets!)
Can you conceive quadruplets naturally?
Yes, you can conceive quadruplets naturally. In fact, it just happened last year in the US. But, as you may have read, multiple births – that’s twins, triplets, quadruplets, and beyond – are becoming more common as more and more people turn to artificial methods of fertilization.
But, yep, you can do it naturally. You’ve just got to be that one in about 15 million births! When you think that there are just under 4 million births a year in the US, it’s not very likely.
How to have quadruplets
There is no guaranteed way to have quadruplet babies. IVF gives the most likely route – but there’s no assurance of that resulting in quadruplets, either.
Quadruplets are formed in two possible ways:
A single fertilized egg splits into four different embryos. These are known as monozygotic quadruplets – and they are genetically identical quadruplets.
Four eggs are released and are each fertilized by a different sperm. These are better known as fraternal quadruplets – and are not identical.
Plot twist. You can get a mix of both. When you have four siblings on the scene, it is possible to have a mix of fraternal and monozygotic siblings. That means some might be identical and others not.
Pregnant with quadruplets? Here’s what to expect
Being pregnant can be exhausting. Being pregnant with quadruplets? Wow. You’ll have a lot on your plate, but there are a few ways to make it a bit less overwhelming.
Here are some tips when having quadruplets – both before and after they’re born:
You’ll probably be much more tired than usual. Self-care is important for every pregnancy, but when you have four little ones in there, you’ll really need to rest up.
It’s worth keeping tabs on the risks. Complications like miscarriage, placental abruption, and hypertension are all more likely with multiple births. Your doctor will monitor you very closely if four are on the way, so you’ll be in good hands.
Be aware that you’re likely to have a cesarean section. Healthcare professionals are likely to encourage you to have a c-section when you’re delivering quads.
Find ways to manage the attention. If you’re a mama already, you’ll know that random members of the public love babies. That’s nice, most of the time. Multiply the babies by four, though, and you’re the talk of the town. It’s not always welcome, so it’s worth thinking ahead about how to navigate some awkward conversations.
Ask for help when you need it. Many hands make light work, as the old saying goes. And when there are four little ones to look after, your support network will come into its own. You can always count on the Peanut community, too.