EXPECTING TWINS : 10 COMMON QUESTIONS
Thrilled, Shocked, Anxious, Overwhelmed? Congratulations! You are expecting Twins!
If you are expecting Twins, you are in for a roller coaster journey for the next 9 months and beyond. It is an exhilarating moment for any woman to be pregnant, but carrying multiples brings along a plethora of concerns and questions. While it's natural to be excited & nervous at the same time, it is imperative to ask the most important questions to your doctor at the beginning.
So here we are listing 10 Common Questions that you can clarify with your doctor.
Are my Twins identical? Do they share the Amniotic Sac and Placenta?
Well, to make it simple, there exist 3 scenarios while carrying Twins:
Separate Placenta- Separate Amniotic Sac: this is the most common kind of pregnancy and in a way, an ideal one because each baby has own source of nutrition and own protective membrane.
Same Placenta- Separate Amniotic Sac: This is the case of Identical Twins and is a risky pregnancy because both the babies share 1 common source of nutrition. Expect close monitoring of such a pregnancy by your healthcare provider.
Same Placenta- Same Amniotic Sac: This is the rarest & riskiest type of Twin pregnancy involving several fetal complications.
Will I be able to breastfeed my twins? Will my body produce enough milk?
Yes, if you wish to, you should certainly breastfeed your babies. That's the ultimate source of complete nourishment for newborns. Attending prenatal classes to understand different positions (Like Football position) for breastfeeding twins would be helpful to prepare yourself. Remember, breastfeeding twins is a very exhaustive process because of frequent nursing sessions. Modern gadgets like a breast pump, milk storage facility & feeding pillow will just make things easier for you.
Breastfeeding works on the rule of demand & supply. Frequent nursing will stimulate milk production, and your body will produce enough to feed both your babies.
Are Pregnancy symptoms worse with Twins? Should I expect everything double fold?
Be prepared. It's not going to be easy Mama! If not double, pregnancy symptoms might hit you harder if carrying twins because pregnancy hormones would be at higher levels. Increased HCG levels causing nausea & morning sickness, higher Progesterone levels causing breathlessness, bloating and back pain due to more weight are some of the common symptoms you would experience. Piles & Varicose veins are also not uncommon in Twin pregnancy due to pressure on blood vessels in the pelvic area.
Does it mean it's going to be a complicated pregnancy? Are there more risks associated?
Well, calm down mommy! But yes, multiple pregnancies do come with greater risk of medical complications, for example, preterm labour, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and hypertension. You would need to be in regular touch with your doctor. Expect a number of scans, check ups and additional tests. The idea is to keep a closer check on your progress & to keep risks at bay.
Will I not be able to complete the full 40-week term?
This is one of the most important things to be kept in mind. Generally twins/ multiples are born earlier than a singleton. You should do the preparations at your end accordingly. Also, because of this, your babies might need to spend a few days in the hospital before you take them home. Keep a check of NICU facilities in your hospital beforehand.
How much weight should I gain while carrying Twins?
You would surely gain more weight than for a singleton pregnancy. The amount of weight gain would depend on your BMI and pre-pregnancy weight. But typically,
• If you were at a healthy weight before pregnancy, weight gain would be around 37 to 54 pounds during pregnancy.
• If you were overweight before pregnancy, weight gain would be about 31 to 50 pounds during pregnancy.
• If you were obese before pregnancy, weight gain would be about 25 to 42 pounds during pregnancy.
Will my movement be restricted during pregnancy? My home & work - how will I manage that during pregnancy if I am advised Bedrest?
No. Bedrest is not a compulsion in today's times. If ever it is advised, it would be only precautionary. Please understand, the only biggest danger in Twin pregnancy is of Preterm delivery. To combat that, try and keep your movement low, do not stand for a long time, keep taking breaks and ensure to keep yourself hydrated. It would be a good idea to keep some help around like your mother or friend who could manage regular errands on days when you are low on energy.
If your workplace is demanding and stressful, keep your Supervisor/Team informed that you might have to take leaves post completion of 6 months. Trust me, at the end everything would be worth the efforts and adjustments. And remember, if everything progresses normally during your twin pregnancy, you may not require bed rest.
How do I ensure enough nutrients are reaching both the babies? Do I need to eat for Three?
No. Don't eat with an intention to feed the babies. Eat a balanced healthy diet to ward off indigestion, anaemia, and constipation. Ensure regular intake of supplements prescribed by your doctor like Folic acid, calcium & iron.
Should I prepare myself for Cesarian delivery?
The likelihood of cesarian is higher in multiple pregnancies. The position of the babies is the only reason for this. While a normal vaginal delivery is also possible, but as said, be prepared for a surgical delivery.
What preparations should I have in place for handling Twins? Do I need to shop everything double?
More than anything else, you would certainly need emotional support.The thought of handling 2 babies is certainly overwhelming. Don't shy away in asking for help from your family or close friends. If anybody offers cooking or arranging grocery, do not hesitate. Such a support group would help you cope up with PostPartum Depression and otherwise from physical fatigue.
While preparing babies' essentials & gear you would need most things double- 2 strollers, 2 car seats, 2 baby carriers, extra- actually tons of diapers etc. You can start with a single cot and make the babies sleep together for initial 2 months. It's beneficial for their growth and for maintaining a healthy sleep pattern too. It goes unsaid that you should have your Financial Planning in place before welcoming your little bundles of joy!
Honestly, carrying and then raising twins is not easy. It would be exhausting. But as they say 'the bigger the challenge, the greater the reward!'.
Also, you will have several questions at each step, at each milestone. Do not hesitate in asking and clearing your concerns with your Doctor. Worrying & over thinking would just do harm.