Twin Pregnancy- Double the Joy or Double the Challenges?

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Pregnancy brings with it reason to celebrate. While expecting twins, it is double excitement. But, at times, it can be challenging too. Although major medical advances have improved the outcomes of twin births, carrying twins is still a roller coaster ride.

Types of Twins

There are two types of twins – identical and non-identical. A single fertilized egg splits into two and results in identical twins who will look like each other and be the same sex. If more than one egg is released and fertilised during a menstrual cycle, it results in non-identical twins. They don’t look similar and can be of same or different sex.

Your Odds of Having a Twin Pregnancy

Being older than 35 years, family history of twinning, usage of fertility medications and IVF increases odds of carrying twins.

Detecting Twin Pregnancy

Twin pregnancy is usually diagnosed by an ultrasound examination. It is imperative to find out whether each fetus has its own chorion and amniotic sac, to understand the unique challenges during the course of twin pregnancy.

Risks of Twin Pregnancy

Twin pregnancies can have these potential problems.

Maternal Complications:

Since high blood pressure occurs 2-5 times more often in twin pregnancies, home blood pressure monitoring from conception can help early detection. There is also higher incidence of miscarriage, severe nausea and vomiting, gestational diabetes, anaemia and excessive bleeding after delivery.

Fetal Complications:

Preterm labour occurs in 60% of twin pregnancies. Preterm babies may need help breathing, eating, fighting infection and staying warm in a NICU.

Extra Care

Frequent Health Checks:

Since preterm birth and growth disturbances are the major contributors to new born death and disability in twins, frequent pre-natal visits and close monitoring maybe required.

Nutrition and Weight Gain

Gaining anywhere between 17-25 kilograms is recommended for a woman carrying twins, so adding about 600 calories per day to your meals is a good way to accomplish this.

Also, Read – 1st month Pregnancy Diet Chart

Exercise and Activity

Staying active during pregnancy is important. However, strenuous exercise must be avoided while carrying twins.

Be Aware!

Since preterm labour is common in twin pregnancy, be aware of warning signs of early labour like pelvic pressure, low back pain and increased vaginal discharge.

Mode of Delivery: Vaginal vs C-Section:

Vaginal delivery of twins may be feasible in certain circumstances depending on the position, size and type of twins. Caesarean section is often needed for twin pregnancies.

Twin pregnancy is a high-risk pregnancy and hence requires a tertiary care hospital which has a specialist obstetrician experienced with the management of twin pregnancy and neonatal intensive care (NICU) facilities which can provide immediate support to premature newborns.

Also, Read – Fruits to Avoid During Pregnancy

Dr. Vangallu Padmini Silpa

MBBS, DGO, DNB, FMAS

Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital, Kondapur, Hyderabad

For Appointment, Call 9958295296