They say two are better than one, and that’s never more the case than when you’re expecting twins. With two babies, you get double the joy and fun of watching them grow.
When you’re pregnant with twins, there are additional factors to consider, and your prenatal care usually looks a bit different than when you’re expecting one baby. Anita Gondy, MD, Saovaros V. Michaels, MD, and Ankita Raman, MD, the OB/GYNs at Women's Health Associates of Southern Nevada, Northwest in Las Vegas, Nevada, share what you need to know about pregnancy with twins.
Twin vs. singleton pregnancy
When you’re pregnant with twins, you grow two babies instead of one in your uterus. In most cases, you also have two placentas and amniotic sacs, one for each baby.
Twins are either fraternal or identical. Fraternal twins come from two separate eggs being fertilized, and identical twins result when one of your eggs splits into two eggs after it’s been fertilized.
Symptoms of twin pregnancy
The best way to confirm a pregnancy with twins is at your first ultrasound at WHASN-NW. During this ultrasound, we confirm how many babies you’re carrying as well as how far along you are.
Before this appointment, other signs of a twin pregnancy include:
- Showing and/or gaining weight more quickly
- Increased appetite
- Higher levels of fatigue
- More severe morning sickness
You’re more likely to become pregnant with twins if you have a history of multiple pregnancies in your family, used certain fertility drugs to conceive, or are over 35 when you conceive.
Prenatal care and twin pregnancy
Once our team confirms you’re pregnant with twins, we schedule your prenatal care to ensure you and your babies stay healthy throughout your pregnancy. Multiple pregnancies tend to be higher risk than single pregnancies, so your prenatal care can look different.
Common differences in prenatal care for twin pregnancies include:
Different vitamin and nutrition guidelines
Being pregnant with multiples means you likely need more of certain nutrients to support two growing babies, so our team often advises you to take additional prenatal vitamins. We also often recommend eating an increased number of calories and gaining more weight than when you’re pregnant with a single baby.
More frequent monitoring
Twin pregnancies have a higher risk of complications than single pregnancies. Possible complications of a twin pregnancy include preterm delivery, premature delivery, anemia, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia.
As a result, our team often suggests you come in for more frequent prenatal monitoring. Our team develops a schedule for you based on your unique needs in your twin pregnancy.
Our team monitors many twin and multiple pregnancies from start to finish, including high-risk twin pregnancies, but some pregnancies can have additional needs. If we determine your pregnancy needs additional support, we might refer you to a specialist in twin pregnancy for additional monitoring.
A different birth plan
Labor and delivery are always higher risk with twins. You’re more likely to have a cesarean section delivery for one or both babies, and you’re more likely to deliver a baby breech if you’re delivering vaginally. Half of women with twin pregnancies go into labor before they’re considered full term at 37 weeks.
Our team almost always recommends a hospital delivery with OB/GYN supervision because of these increased risks. This allows for quick intervention if you need any additional support during delivery.
Although twin pregnancy can feel very different from pregnancy with one baby, in reality, much of your pregnancy is often similar. With the right prenatal care and pregnancy plan, you can feel great, thrive, and deliver two healthy babies.
For prenatal monitoring and support for your twin pregnancy, contact us by phone or text to schedule your visit to WHASN-NW.