Heard the exciting news but you’re secretly worried because you have no idea what to expect and how to manage things? There’s no need to stress over it because here’s all you need to know about having twins.
There is no greater joy than giving birth to twins, but with this joy, also comes a greater responsibility and greater chances of unpredictability. A report reveals that about 3% women give birth to twins and triplets and a wide-ranging study of statistical data reveals that the number of twin pregnancies continues to increase.
Get ready to be enlightened by all the information you need to know about twin pregnancies, from inception of pregnancy till childbirth.
1. You are likely to have twins in your middle age
There’s a speculation we have all heard that the older we get, the tougher it gets to become impregnated. But in reality, aging increases the chances of having twins.
Experts believe that during the 30s and 40s, the ovulatory cycles become irregular and if you are ovulating and irregular, there’s a higher possibility of you ovulating two follicles synchronously. So, a twin pregnancy is indeed possibly without requiring any assisted reproductive techniques.
2. The Mother of Twins needs Extra Folic Acid
Doctors commonly recommend women with twin pregnancies to obtain extra dosages of folic acid than women having singleton pregnancies because of the after effects caused by a twin pregnancy.
It is important to take at least one milligram of folic acid per day, which is greater than the requirement for women having singleton pregnancies. This extra dose will help reduce the chances of neural tube birth flaws such as spina bifida.
3. Spotting is more frequent in twin pregnancies
Experts have deduced that the mother of twins and triplets have a higher risk of miscarriages because spotting is found to be more frequent in these types of pregnancies. Spotting during the early months of pregnancy is quite serious because in majority of the cases, miscarriages typically happen during this time period of the pregnancy.
Also, minimal spotting without experiencing any cramps or blood clots is harmless and not something to be stressing about. It is a normal occurrence in twin pregnancies, but you should immediately seek medical assistance if the bleeding is prolonged, and accompanied by cramps and blood clots.
4. The occurrence of adverse nausea is common in twin pregnancies
The increasing level of the hormone chorionic gonadotropin is the culprit behind that awful sensation of vomiting and nausea you have to go through every morning during the early stages of pregnancy.
If you are expecting twins, you should be prepared for a much more dreadful kind of morning sickness, however, the positive side of it is that it does not carry out for a much longer period of time.
Doctors also believe that the symptoms of suffering headaches, back pains and difficulty in sleeping tend to be more common in women having twin than women having one child. There’s also a higher risk of having maternal anemia and post-partum hemorrhage (bleeding) after delivery for the mother giving birth to twins.
5. Regular Sessions for Close Observation
In the case of twin pregnancies, mothers are likely to be given slightly more attention as compared to the mothers of singleton pregnancies. They are monitored multiple times during a month, and they require more ultrasounds to be conducting in short intervals in order to observe the development of the babies. Since the risk factors are typically higher, doctors have to be more careful with these pregnancies.
6. Twin Pregnancies trigger more Weight Gain
When a women carries two babies in her womb, her body will naturally need more calories than a mother carrying a single child because there will be two placentas and much more amniotic fluid.
The women having a singleton pregnancy typically gain around 25 pounds while the women having twins tend to gain a lot more than 25 pounds. They are generally advised to gain more than 15 ponds and less than 40 pounds, so the ideal weight gain stands around 30 to 35 pounds for mothers pregnant with twins.
It is also important to take into account the actual weight of the women too. Women with normal weight should only gain about 37-54 pounds, while the women who are overweight and obese should gain 30-50 pounds. However, you should always consult your concerned doctor as every pregnancy is not the same.
7. Fetal movement is not discovered early in twin pregnancy
While being pregnant with twins, the feeling of babies kicking is generally felt almost towards the end of pregnancy. It is said that these movements are only easily distinguishable only if women is experienced and has gone through pregnancy before because it’s incredibly hard to differentiate fetal movements from gastrointestinal movements.
8. Probability of gestational diabetes is higher in twin pregnancies
The chances of having gestational diabetes is much higher in mothers having twin babies, but it also happens when the babies are quite large, hence a C-section is required. Experts believe that the blues related with gestational diabetes is not much cause for concern, as typically the twin babies are not that large in size.
In majority of the cases, the women who suffer from gestational diabetes when going through pregnancy are much likely to get type-2 diabetes later on in life.
9. Probability of preeclampsia is higher with twins.
Usually pregnant mothers are not bothered about understanding the symptoms and causes of preeclampsia, however, since it is found to be more common amongst mothers of twins, it is important familiarize oneself.
Some of the symptoms include:
- High blood pressure levels
- Protein found in urine
- Swelling of legs
- Swelling of hands
- Swelling of feet
Preeclampsia leads to the more consequential and deadly eclampsia.
10. Due date arrives typically earlier in twin pregnancies
Normally, the due dates always arrive after 36 to 37 weeks and the babies that are born before 35 weeks in twin pregnancies require medical attention because they are said to be premature babies. Premature babies are the ones that are born before due dates, and thus are at risk for greater medical concerns as they are less in weight and are prone to more health issues and respiratory problems.
Despite the innovative advancements in the field of medicine, there is still no definite way to prevent preterm labor. Not even proper bed rest can ensure the prevention of preterm labor in twin pregnancies and other home remedies have also not been much effective either.
11. High chances of Cesarean section deliveries in twin pregnancies
Chances of cesarean section deliveries are quite common in twin pregnancies. Women having twins are more likely to have a C-section because usually the babies are found in breech so having a C-section delivery becomes an urgent necessity. This is not usually the case with delivering one baby.
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Institute of Medicine: “Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines.”
Abdulla Al-Khan, MD, director and chief of maternal and fetal medicine and surgery, Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey.
Mayo Clinic web site: “Twin pregnancy: What multiples mean for mom.”
Manju Monga, MD, Berel Held Professor and division director, maternal-fetal medicine; director, maternal fetal medicine fellowship, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston.