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What Should I Know about being Pregnant with Twins?

Pregnant women should eat healthy meals, including lots of vegetables.
Most women who are pregnant with twins will be advised to gain 45 pounds.
Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome affects 15 percent of identical twin pregnancies.
Women over the age of 35 are more likely to have twins.
Carrying and delivering healthy twins is very common today, especially due to ultrasound capabilities.
Women carrying twins will need extra rest, since the body works harder to develop two babies.
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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2014
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When a woman finds out that she is pregnant with twins, it can be quite exciting. Current statistics predict that approximately one in every 41 sets of parents may have twins, triplets, or more sets of children. This statistic has more than doubled from previous generations. Non-identical twins, called fraternal twins, each have their own placenta. In the alternative, identical twins come from one egg that splits and creates two babies that can share the same placenta.

There are several signs that indicate that a woman may be pregnant with twins. Although a larger than usual abdomen is not in itself a sign that there are twins in the womb, it can certainly be one factor. Doctors will also consider the size of the uterus. If it is larger than normal based on the expected due date, it could be a sign, as well. In addition, if a woman has amplified symptoms of pregnancy, such as extreme morning sickness, edema, or indigestion, there may be twins. One of the most tell-tale signs that a woman is going to have twins is if the doctor can hear two distinct heartbeats.

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There are no factors that will increase the likelihood that a woman will have identical twins; however, there are factors that will give a woman a greater chance of having fraternal twins. Family history, on the mother’s side of the family, can increase the chance of fraternal twins. Also, women over the age of 35 and women who have partaken in fertility treatments are more likely to have twins.

Carrying twins can boost the likelihood of developing severe morning sickness.

Carrying and delivering healthy twins is very common today, especially due to ultrasound capabilities. Given the knowledge before delivery that a woman is pregnant with twins makes it is easier for her to take precautions to reduce complications during pregnancy, such as anemia, hypertension, and premature separation of the placenta from the uterus. Extra medical attention should be expected with twins. For example, a woman expecting a single baby will not see the doctor as frequently as one expecting twins. In fact, if a woman is expecting twins she will often see the doctor every other week starting at 20 weeks of gestation and every single week from 30 weeks.

A woman who is pregnant with twins should focus on having excellent nutrition. In fact, twins who are well-nourished can easily weigh 6 or 7 pounds (2.7 - 3.2 kg), instead of 5 or fewer pounds (2.3 kg), at birth. For each additional child the dietary requirements for the mother should increase. Therefore, someone who's going to have twins should consume 300 extra calories, one additional serving of protein, one extra serving of calcium, and one extra serving of whole grains above a woman who is pregnant with a single child. Also, a prenatal vitamin and an iron supplement should be taken on a regular basis.

A pregnant woman with twins may need to be on bed rest.

An additional baby means additional weight gain. Most women will be advised to gain approximately 45 pounds (20.4 kg) during the course of the pregnancy. The weight gain breaks down to about one pound (.45 kg) per week in the first 20 weeks of the pregnancy and 1 ½ pounds (.68 kg) per week during the next 20 weeks of the pregnancy.

Extra rest, extra help, and extra caution should be taken during the duration of the pregnancy. The body will be working two times as hard to develop the babies. Sometimes bed rest is recommended or an early leave from work is suggested by the doctor overseeing the pregnancy. A dual arrival is a memorable experience – and given the knowledge to know what to expect – it can be a rewarding experience, as well.

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tdeamicis
Post 5

And you can still have a natural birth with twins, even if one is breech. Consider a midwife, as they are the most likely to know how to naturally deliver breech babies. MDs have lost the art of birth. Avoid induction; allow the babies to come when they need to, not on the doctor's timeline.

summing
Post 4

One thing that a lot of people overlook, or don't think too seriously about, is that you will need twice as much of everything. One baby is expensive and materialistic, two babies is twice that. So be prepared. Plan your budget accordingly and start stockpiling diapers, bottles and rags. You will need them.

veenabose
Post 3

I have just had it confirmed that I am having twins and you made my day with this awesome resource for every one carrying twins. Love you and keep helping. I'm 12 weeks pregnant with twins.

MuffinMaker
Post 2

beachgirl05- Thanks for the helpful information. Women pregnant with twins should also be aware that they are more likely to deliver their babies early. Not very many twins make it to full term. It is not uncommon for twins to be born 6 weeks early. While many babies who are born early are healthy, they are at an increased risk for complications.

Eating properly and getting enough rest can help ensure that your babies are not delivered too early.

beachgirl05
Post 1

Women pregnant with twins should be aware that the likeliness that they will need a Caesarean section to deliver the babies is greatly increased.

It can be very difficult to naturally deliver twins. Complications can arise when delivering one of the babies, putting the other child in danger.

My advice is to hope for a normal delivery, but not to be surprised if you require a c-section. A c-section is a very safe way to deliver twins and the mother usually only has a small scar after the procedure is complete.

Keep in mind that you will have to stay in the hospital longer when having a c-section as opposed to delivering the babies naturally.

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