How do I know I'm expecting twins?Maybe you already guessed it. The following signs will lead you to suspect that you expect twins:
- You have already gained much weight
- Your uterus is rather large for the given week of pregnancy
You can certainly determine a twin pregnancy only through an ultrasound examination. Twins can be seen as early as the sixth week of pregnancy, but unfortunately at this early stage it often happens that an embryo dies. It is not uncommon for only a baby to develop from initial twins. This is called the Vanishing Twin Syndrome (March of Dimes 2006, Lyons 2006).
Will I feel during pregnancy?First of all, it may be a shock for you to know that you expect twins, and it may take a while for you to digest the news. You might be worried, or even develop real fears, when you think about the future with two babies. You may also worry about possible pregnancy complications or possible problems at birth.
If your babies have grown a bit then you will probably get tired quickly and have to rest more often (HFEA 2006). In addition, you will carry a lot more weight than women who expect only a baby, and your gigantic belly circumference may eventually depress you.
You may find it reassuring to study the medical side of the twin pregnancy. Due to the great advances in obstetrics, twin births have become much safer. Often twins are born by Caesarean section, but many women also experience a spontaneous birth. Nevertheless, a twin birth is always a bit different than the birth of only one child. You can find out more here.
Rest, as often as possible, ask your partner and family for help in the household and do not forget to enjoy the little things in life.
According to research, twin mothers are more likely to suffer from postnatal depression, but that does not mean that it will necessarily apply to you (Sheard 2007). You will need a lot of energy, both during pregnancy and after birth. It is best to take good care of yourself during pregnancy and do not take over.
Are the pregnancy problems with twins stronger?If you expect twins, you may be more likely to suffer from the usual pregnancy symptoms.But that's not always the case (Lyons 2006).
In early pregnancy, higher progesterone levels may cause shortness of breath. Later, you will be short of breath because two babies are pressing against your diaphragm.
You may also be more constipated or bloated.
Later in pregnancy, adding more weight to your muscles can cause back pain.
Iron deficiency (or anemia) is common in twin pregnancies, so you may feel very tired. During pregnancy, your blood volume increases, in twin pregnancies even more (Hansen 2003). This means that the blood is thinner and contains less red blood cells responsible for oxygen transport. Eat rich in iron and really take the iron supplements that your doctor or midwife advises you to.
Will I gain more with twins?You may be able to gain more weight than mothers who expect only a baby. As with any pregnancy, you should strive to eat healthy and balanced so that you get all the nutrients that are important to you and your babies. You should also be careful to increase enough for your babies to develop well. For more information, see our article on healthy nutrition for twin pregnant women.
Will I have extra medical check-ups?Any pregnancy in which the woman expects more than one child is considered a high-risk pregnancy - but that does not mean that there are inevitable problems. But an expectant mother expecting twins is being asked to take precautions more often than a singleton pregnancy - about every two to three weeks, and from the third third each week. For triplets or more, it could be even more common.
Ultrasound scans are also more frequent - about four to six times.
This additional ultrasound examines how the babies are in the uterus, whether they are developing well, or whether any complications are emerging.
The blood supply to the fetuses is examined by special Doppler ultrasound examinations - but not all gynecologists can and should carry out these examinations. Do not worry if your kids look different in size on the ultrasound, some size difference in growth is completely normal.
Regular blood pressure and urine tests are also important (RCOG 2006, NHS Direct 2007) because twin pregnancies are associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes (HFEA 2006). For more information, read our article on medical care in a twin pregnancy
. Your doctor and midwife should also be aware that you - and your partner - also need practical and emotional support (RCOG 2006).
How will I do it?Normally you will not be bed rested just because you expect twins (Hansen 2003). But you will need extra rest. Make life easier before you give birth and help with housework, shopping and other errands.
If you already have children, then take care, if possible, for extra childcare. Take every opportunity to lie down and if your toddler is having a nap, do it at the same time. Breaks have priority now.
If you work, go to maternity protection as early as possible, and take advantage of any outstanding leave. This makes sense in any case, because on the one hand your pregnancy is very exhausting and on the other half of all twin pregnancies lead to a premature birth (Hansen 2003, HFEA 2006).
Talk to your midwife or doctor if the pregnancy upsets you. They understand how you feel and can give you specific advice.
Who else can help?The most important thing you need to learn now is to ask for help. If friends or family offer help, then accept them. If nobody offers you help, ask them for it. You can also contact a twin club. There you will get tips for everyday use and maybe even find new friends there who also have twins. Addresses and shops for twin or multiple parents can be found here.
Which danger signals should I pay attention to?The warning signs to watch out for are the same as in any pregnancy. Watch out for any unusual or disturbing signs, as the risk of complications in a twin pregnancy is simply higher. Trust your instinct, and if a symptom makes you feel insecure or you just do not feel well, call your midwife or doctor.
A premature birth, ie before the 37th week, occurs in half of all twin pregnancies (Hansen 2003, HFEA 2006). So make sure all preparations are made early, such as choosing a hospital and packing the clinic bag. Call your midwife if you think the birth is going on, or if you are worried (do not drive yourself or use public transport), go to the hospital directly. Let's overlook too much once as too little.
Pre-eclampsia is also more common in twin pregnancies. This is a dangerous complication that requires immediate medical attention. Pre-eclampsia is usually diagnosed by blood pressure and urine control, but the symptoms can also be:
- Severe headache
- Visual disturbances, d. H.if you see blurred or flashes of light
- upper abdominal pain
- Sudden swelling of the feet, ankles, face and hands and heavy weight gain from water retention. Finally, fatigue may be either a normal concomitant of a twin pregnancy or an indication of iron deficiency. Tell your doctor or midwife to help you.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 2004.
Having twins . www. ACOG. org [as of July 2008] Hansen, WF. 2003.
Pregnancy with twins . web. archive. org University of Iowa. [As of July 2008] HFEA. 2006.
Multiple pregnancies & birth: considering the risks. London: Human Fertilization and Embyrology Authority. Lyons P. 2006. Multigestational pregnancy. In
Obstetrics in family medicine . Totowa, Humana Press. March of Dimes. 2006.
Quick reference fact sheet for researchers and professionals. Multiples: Twins, triplets and beyond. www. marchofdimes. com NICE. 2008.
Management of multiple pregnancy - guideline in progress . www. nice. org. uk [as of July 2008] NHS Direct. 2007.
What kind of antenatal care can I expect during my twin pregnancy? www. nhsdirect. nhs. uk [as of July 2008] CKS. n. d.
Pre-eclampsia . cks. library. nhs. uk RCOG. 2006.
Consensus views arising from the 50th Study Group: Multiple Pregnancy. Multiple Pregnancy - study group statement, Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (RCOG). www. rcog. org. uk [as of July 2008] Sheard C, Cox S, Oates M, Ndukwe G, Glazebrook C. 2007. Impact of a multiple, IVF birth on post-partum mental health: a composite analysis.
Hum Reprod . 22 (7): 2058-65. Show sources Hide sources