Pregnancy – Twins
The first challenge is surviving the twin pregnancy and we know you can do it well. There are some things you will need to know. First of all, you do not need to eat much more than if you had only one baby. Eat a well-balanced diet in moderation. You will need three meals a day and two to three snacks a day. Exercise is fine, as long as you are not having contractions. Swimming and brisk walking are excellent forms of exercise, but leave the marathons for after pregnancy.
Many moms of twins experience more severe morning sickness. This is normal, but uncomfortable and there are many remedies. Please see our handout on nausea and vomiting for pregnancy tips on controlling the morning sickness.
Your doctor will see you more frequently than if you were having an uncomplicated singleton pregnancy. Monthly ultrasounds for growth are performed beginning at 20 weeks gestation. Sometimes, one baby will grow much more than the other so your doctor will want to know if this is happening. Non-stress testing will begin at 32 weeks gestation. This is a test that monitors the babies’ heart rates over 20-30 minutes time and is a measure of their well-being. A special ultrasound to perform a biophysical profile will also be administered weekly starting at 32 weeks. This also is to measure fetal well-being.
There are certain complications that occur more frequently in twin pregnancies that you need to be watching. Preterm labor, contractions with cervical dilation that occurs prior to term, is not uncommon with twin pregnancies. If you are having 4-6 contractions in an hour, please rest and if they do not go away or they get stronger or more frequent, go to labor and delivery immediately. Other conditions such as elevated blood pressure, preeclampsia, diabetes and stillbirth are also more frequent, so your doctor will be watching you closely for any of these problems at each visit. If you notice severe headaches that don’t go away with rest or Tylenol, blind spots in your vision, constant nagging upper abdominal pain, decreased movement of the babies, or a sudden increase in swelling; please call your doctor.
Oftentimes, twin pregnancies do deliver sooner than if you were having only one baby. However, many pregnancies can make it to term (37 weeks and beyond). Depending on the position of the babies at the time of delivery, a cesarean section may be recommended.
Remember, this is a special time and we at Oasis OB/GYN wish you the best. We will strive to help you in any way we can. We also recommend Mothers of Multiples support group and you may find more information about this group at www.nomotc.org. Another great website is www.twinstuff.com.