Being double blessed with twins can be shocking, scary, and exciting.
You’re probably glad to get two babies out of one pregnancy, but nervous about what to expect.
Questions are normal during pregnancy, especially if your body is creating more than one person at once. You’ve probably researched how many outfits and bottles you’ll need to buy, but you’ll also need to know what to expect for pregnancy and birth.
Here are 5 things you should know when you’re pregnant with twins.
1. Say Goodbye to Comfort
Before you know it, your twins will be taking up all your real estate. You’ll be uncomfortable “high” and “low.” You’ll have one baby kicking your rib cage, while the other is sitting so low, she’s causing some excruciating back pain…and of course pushing on your bladder, making the bathroom your new home.
Twin moms roughly gain about 10 pounds more than single baby pregnancies, thanks to extra amniotic fluid, blood volume, tissue, uterine growth, and of course the babies combined weights. Some twin moms even have two placentas.
This extra weight will test your body, and like many twin moms, you’ll probably have more swelling, heartburn, and backaches than if you were carrying one baby.
Be sure to take care of yourself by getting plenty of rest, eating healthy, and exercising. You may even want to try a super sexy support belt to help ease the discomfort.
2. Stronger Morning Sickness
If your morning sickness is unrelenting, you might be carrying twins.
Double the babies can mean double the hormones, which equals more nausea and vomiting.
Morning sickness can also begin even earlier when you’re expecting multiples. And, unlike its name states, it can hit you morning, noon, and night.
Morning sickness is often one of the first symptoms of pregnancy and is thought to be caused by the rising levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). HCG is typically intensified in twin pregnancies, which would explain the persistent nausea.
But, the good news is, that even with twins, morning sickness still typically ends around week 12-15.
3. Higher Risk
More babies, means more risk. Because you’re carrying two, you’re at higher risk of complications, like anemia, gestational diabetes, and postpartum hemorrhage. You’re also at higher risk of having placental problems, preeclampsia, and cesareans.
With twins, you can have one or two placentas, and because your placenta(s) covers more of your uterine wall with twins, you’re at greater risk for complications like placenta abruption, where it detaches from the uterine wall, and placenta previa, which is when the placenta covers (or nearly covers) the cervical opening.
Twin moms should be extra diligent about the warning signs of preeclampsia, as it can lead to seizures, stroke, and liver failure if left unmanaged. Be on the lookout for sudden swelling, high blood pressure, blurry vision, and severe headaches.
With higher risk of complications, comes a higher rate of c-sections. More than 60% of twin births are C-section deliveries, and often dependent upon how your babies are positioned or if they’re in distress. But remember, just because you are at higher risk, doesn’t mean you can’t have a safe vaginal delivery with twins. It is totally possible!
4. Expect an Early Arrival
Because you’re at higher risk for complications, you’re also more at risk for delivering early. But, even if you don’t have complications, simply because you’re carrying multiple babies, puts you at higher risk for preterm labor.
Roughly, 60% of twins are born before 37 weeks, so be sure to know the symptoms of preterm labor, and don’t be afraid to check with your provider if you’re unsure. As long as your water hasn’t broken, there’s often things your doctor can do to help delay delivery.
Lower your stress and anxiety of an early delivery by taking a childbirth class before month 6, hiring a lactation consultant (preferably an IBCLC), and touring your hospital’s NICU.
Help to prevent an early arrival by getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and avoiding heat and long commutes.
5. Delivery is Not Much Longer
The good news is, you get two babies out of one labor!
And, while your labor might be a little longer with twins, they are typically born just minutes apart. Many doctors do try to deliver your second twin within half an hour after the first, but if the second twin isn’t in any distress, there really is no need for a time limit.
After your first baby is delivered, that urge to push is going to continue, unlike with single deliveries. I have even heard of a few moms that had no idea they were having twins until that urge to push didn’t go away after their (first) baby came out!
The thought of delivering two babies may seem daunting, but don’t be afraid. Your doctor will monitor you and your babies closely to make sure you have the safest delivery possible.
Twins can be a blessing and a curse. With all the extra weight and hormones that come with carrying multiples, often comes crippling nausea and chronic pain. You’re also more at risk for complications, cesareans, and an early delivery. But at the end of the day, two little people are growing inside of you, and that is amazing!