Twin Pregnancy: The Complete Guide For New Parents
You’re having twins! This exciting news may have brought on a host of emotions. But don't worry; that’s completely normal with any twin pregnancy.
Between the excitement and shock, you’ll probably have questions like, “Will the babies be healthy? How much weight will I gain? Will I be able to carry them to term? Will delivery be twice as hard?”...just to name a few.
From your symptoms to the delivery room, Mustela’s baby experts have the complete guide for your twin pregnancy.
How Multiples Are Made
Sometimes a twin pregnancy just happens, while other times it’s the result of genetics, meaning multiples run in the family. And occasionally, a twin pregnancy is the result of assisted reproductive technologies.
Age can also be a factor in how many buns you have in the oven. Moms over the age of 35 are more likely to release multiple eggs at ovulation because of hormonal changes, increasing the chance of having twins.
Your Twin Pregnancy Discovery
With extensive modern technology, your pregnancy can be detected early on. The best and most indisputable confirmation that you’re carrying twins is an ultrasound.
Note: sometimes first trimester ultrasounds don’t show both babies, so be sure to get another ultrasound around 12 weeks.
Fraternal Twins Vs. Identical Twins
You’ll discover whether your twins are fraternal or identical through your ultrasound. Fraternal twins always have their own placenta in your womb and develop from two eggs being fertilized at the same time.
Identical twins, on the other hand, develop from one fertilized egg that splits. They may share a placenta or, depending on when the egg splits, they may each have their own placenta.
Regardless of whether you’re having fraternal or identical twins, this pregnancy can be rough on your body. After your amazing discovery, start using Mustela’s Belly And Bust: Pregnancy Skincare Set right away.
Used daily, these products support and care for your changing skin!
Twin Pregnancy Symptoms
With any pregnancy, you can experience nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness, and weight gain. But with a twin pregnancy, you can expect many of your symptoms to be elevated.
- Nausea — Thanks to higher levels of hormones circulating in your body, nausea and vomiting can be worse in a twin pregnancy.
- Gastric Discomforts — Say hello to heartburn, indigestion, and constipation. Due to even more gastric crowding, these digestive discomforts are no strangers to twin pregnancies.
- Fatigue — Your body is working twice as hard growing two babies, so it’s using extra energy to keep up the good work.
- Body Aches And Pains — Toting two extra human beings around in your body is no small task. Expect backaches, cramps, and swollen ankles.
What A Twin Pregnancy Means For You
Taking care of yourself is the best way to take care of your babies! With twins, expect frequent doctor visits, more weight gain, and possibly an earlier delivery.
Frequent Doctor Visits
Since you’re carrying multiples, your doctor will keep an extra-close eye on your health to make sure you’re doing well and to watch for signs of preterm labor.
Your doctor will also check on your babies through ultrasound more frequently than they would with a single-baby pregnancy, which means you’ll get plenty of chances to peek at your sweet little babies!
Additional Weight Gain
Don’t let the words “weight gain” scare you. It’s for a good cause! You’re growing two babies, so expect to put on a few more pounds than someone carrying only one baby.
That said, it’s still important to stay healthy and gain the right amount of weight throughout your pregnancy!
For women who had a normal pre-pregnancy weight, you’ll want to shoot for gaining between 37 to 54 pounds during pregnancy. This will mostly be achieved by your growing babies, but it also happens by eating an extra 600 calories per day.
Work with your doctor to determine the amount of weight gain that’s best for you.
Expert tip: all that weight gain will literally stretch you, so take care of your growing skin by using Mustela’s Stretch Marks Prevention Cream! This fast-absorbing stretch cream delivers hydration to prevent the appearance of stretch marks.
We know it’s hard to believe, but you’re eating for three now! Make those extra 600 calories count. The quality of what you eat is just as important as the quantity.
To eat well when you’re expecting twins:
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals (five to six healthy mini-meals per day should do the trick)
- Shoot for extra nutrients (eat one extra serving of protein, one extra serving of calcium, and one extra serving of whole grains per day)
- Increase your iron intake (eat lean red meat, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, and spinach) (Note: Your blood work will reveal if you need to take an iron supplement.)
- Stay Hydrated (drink at least eight glasses of water each day)
Twin Pregnancy Risks
Some (but not all) twin pregnancies are classified as “high risk.” Knowing about the potential risks and complications right from the start can help better prepare you if anything comes up.
For your babies, the risks include:
- Early delivery
- Low birthweight
- Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (A rare pregnancy condition detected on an ultrasound that affects identical twins in which blood vessels in their shared placenta cross. The result is one baby gets too much blood flow and the other baby gets too little.)
For you, the risks include:
- Gestational diabetes
- Placental complications
Preterm labor is a concern for any expecting mom, but it’s more common in births of multiples. We’ll give you the basics on preterm labor and different methods for delivering your twins.
Expert tip: whatever delivery route you end up on, try Mustela’s Stretch Marks Recovery Serum as a post-pregnancy solution that hydrates your skin to help minimize the appearance of recently formed stretch marks!
The more babies you carry the less likely you are to carry them to term. During the third trimester — when your babies are growing machines — they tend to run out of room.
If you show signs of preterm labor early on, your doctor may find it beneficial to give you steroid injections to speed up your babies’ lung development. If labor doesn’t start on its own, your obstetrician may suggest induction or a C-section to decrease the risk of complications.
The good news is that the number of twin births has significantly increased. This means that doctors and nurses are more equipped and experienced in multiple-birth deliveries.
You may be wondering if you’ll be able to deliver your twins vaginally. The answer is yes!
After you deliver baby A, baby B usually comes within 10 to 30 minutes. Most mothers report that delivering baby B is a snap compared to delivering baby A (of course, this depends on the position of both babies).
For the second delivery, your doctor can adjust your baby’s position and move them into the birth canal, should they need help.
This method is very rare these days, but sometimes after baby A has been delivered vaginally, baby B must be delivered via C-section.
Since this method is hard on your body (because you’d be recovering from both a vaginal delivery and a C-Section), it is only done if your doctor notices a potential risk for baby B after baby A is born.
Your doctor may discuss a planned C-section when you discover you’re having twins. Reasons for a planned C-section include:
- Previous C-section
- Placenta previa
- Other obstetrical or medical issues
- Fetal position that makes vaginal delivery unsafe
With most planned C-sections, your significant other can join you in the operating room. Both of you may be surprised by just how fast delivery goes. Baby B will come within just a minute or two after baby A.
During your last trimester, make sure your hospital bag is packed and ready to go. You may walk into your weekly doctor’s appointment and find out you’re going to meet your babies that day!
A sudden spike in blood pressure (preeclampsia) is one reason your doctor may order a same-day C-section. Other reasons your doctor would order an unplanned C-section include:
- Your babies running out of room to grow
- Not progressing after laboring for a long time
More To Love
More babies means more love! But it’s completely normal to have concerns about your twin pregnancy. Mustela gives you answers to your questions and offers our support.
We support you by putting products in your hands to preserve the health of your skin throughout pregnancy and beyond. Our Belly And Bust: Pregnancy Skincare Set and Ultimate Hydration Bundle provide a great foundation for your twin pregnancy!
You can relax knowing your skin care needs are taken care of and get ready to hold both of your babies in your arms!