Let’s start off by diving into the first trimester of a twin pregnancy – what you can expect for yourself, what your babies’ development looks like, and how you can set yourself up for a healthy, comfortable pregnancy.
As your twins are growing rapidly and getting ready to be able to survive on their own outside the womb, you’ll continue to experience belly growth up until your due date. For this reason, you may find that the fatigue, achiness, and weight gain you noticed in the second trimester continues or intensifies.
Many mothers carrying twins in the third trimester experience swelling in the feet, legs, and hands, as well as backaches from the weight of the babies. Just make sure to keep your doctor updated on all of your symptoms, as some common pregnancy experiences, like swelling extremities, can also be symptoms of pregnancy complications.
As you’re approaching the end of your pregnancy, your nesting instincts will start to kick in at full force. If you weren’t already feeling the urge to clean your home and get your babies’ living areas ready for them, you’ll certainly start to feel it now!
Nesting is a normal part of the third trimester in any type of pregnancy, but it’s important to make sure you’re not overextending yourself. Get plenty of rest according to your doctor’s recommendations.
Let’s learn a bit more about your babies’ growth and development during the third trimester on a week-by-week basis.
The first half of the third trimester brings increased abilities for your twins. They will be able to open and close their eyes, their brains will be developing rapidly, and they will start to shed the fine hair that’s been protecting their bodies for the past several weeks.
Your twins will continue to gain weight in the final weeks of your pregnancy, preparing them to support life outside the womb. However, it’s important to note that most twin newborns are smaller than singleton babies at their heaviest, with average weights of around five pounds at birth. Additionally, their lungs are getting ready to breathe on their own.
Carrying a multiple pregnancy can be exhausting to the body, which is why many mothers pregnant with twins may need more bed rest than singleton mothers. Ask your doctor how much you should be resting each day and whether some activity might actually improve your fatigue.
Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication that is related to sudden high blood pressure in pregnant mothers. Symptoms include swelling, excessive weight gain, blurred vision, and headaches. Most obstetricians will put their patients on bed rest if they’re showing early symptoms of pre-eclampsia.
You will likely start to experience Braxton Hicks contractions, or false contractions, as early as the second trimester. However, you may be going into early labor if you notice abnormal bleeding, more than four or five contractions in an hour, or cramps similar to menstrual pain.
Mothers carrying multiple babies in the third trimester should expect fatigue, swelling of the extremities, and back pain as the babies continue to grow in size. Make sure to alert your doctor of any abnormal or uncomfortable symptoms.
Some common items included in hospital bags for twin deliveries include:
Ask your doctor or nurse at your next checkup if you should include anything else for your specific needs.
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