Seeing double, triple: Over one-third of local NICU babies are twins, triplets

Local News

The neonatal intensive care unit at OSF Healthcare Children’s Hospital of Illinois is having a baby boom of multiples. Currently the NICU is full. There are currently 2 sets of triplets, and 9 sets of twins. The medical director of the NICU, who has been there since 2008, said he can’t remember an influx like this. 

“I think, just ironically, we have the perfect storm and all of these babies have come together at the same time,” said Dr. Jawad Javed, Medical Director of the NICU. “The rate of having twins is 1/80 and the rate of having triplets is 1 in almost 8- or 9,000.” 

Babies bring such a miracle of life to expecting parents in Central Illinois, but parents and NICU staff never expected over one third of their babies being sets of multiples. 

“We want to make sure the babies are doing well, that they’re healthy, that they get discharged from our neonatal ICU and go on to live productive lives,” said Dr. Javed.

The sets of multiples were not all due to invitro fertilization though, some were natural. For first time mom, Jana Gunther, she and her husband tried to convieve naturally for four years before trying IVF, eventually getting three for the price of one. 

“We got identical twins and this guy is fraternal,” said Jana Gunther. “So we got three! Shocked, absolutely shocked. It’s cool knowing there’s a lot of multiples and there’s a lot of other families that are kind of experiencing what we are experiencing.”

Having this many sets of twins and triplets, along with being NICU babies, speaks highly of the care staff at OSF Healthcare Children’s Hospital of Illinois. 

“Just, the experience has been the best it can be, I mean, you’re in the hospital so but it’s like the staff here have been great,” said Gunther. “They’ve got therapists and counselors, and people that are just at your beck and call and just making sure these kids are getting the best care that they can be.”

“We try to provide the utmost of care and love for each of our babies,” said Dr. Javed. “The challenges are having a lot of the same names, just to make sure that the medications are correct and the milk that’s going to each baby is correct and therapies are correct. The staff has done a tremendous job.”

That isn’t all either, there’s yet another set of twins due to be born any day now.

For more information on the OSF Healthcare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, CLICK HERE

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