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When You’re Expecting Twins: Five Pieces of Important Health Information

March 15, 2013
My twin sister and I as babies (I'm on the left)!

My twin sister and I as babies (I’m on the left)!

Whether you knew twins could be a possibility or it took you by surprise, actually seeing two hearts beats during your first ultrasound can be very emotional (to say the least)! Being pregnant with twins can be exciting, and a bit frightening. With the increased use of reproductive endocrinologists (REI) and amazing medical breakthroughs to treat infertility, twin pregnancies are on the rise. If you’re expecting twins, here are a few things you should know as you embark on your journey!

  1. Expect more! More doctor’s appointments, more time during each visit and possibly more doctors involved in your care. Two babies means two little lives to monitor, so expect to spend a bit more time in your doctor’s office with each visit. She’ll want to check both heartbeats and take a look at how each baby is developing. As the pregnancy progress, you may find yourself being seen more frequently than your friend who has one baby. And don’t be surprised if you are co-managed with a Maternal-Fetal-Medicine specialist (also known as a High-Risk Obstetrician) to help monitor both you and your babies.
  2. While most twin pregnancies result in two healthy babies, there is a heightened risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, pre-term labor, and pre-term delivery when you are pregnant with multiples. Talk to your doctor about theses risks, and be sure to keep up with your prenatal visits in order to catch any potential problems before they become more complicated.
  3. You may need a higher dose of folic acid. Check with your doctor to see if she recommends a folic acid supplement or an adjustment in your daily dosage of prenatal vitamins. Folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects in your babies, and a higher dose is often recommended in the case of twins.
  4. You’ll probably gain more weight in a twin pregnancy than you would if you were carrying one baby. Don’t panic! You’ll be carrying the weight of two babies and encouraged by your doctor to gain 5 – 10 pounds more than the average woman carrying one baby. These extra calories and nutrients are sustaining two lives, not including your own!
  5. C-section delivery can be a more likely outcome in a twin pregnancy. When you’re carrying multiples, you may want to be a bit flexible with your birth plan. The higher incidences of pre-term labor, the possibility of one baby being in the breech position and any other complications that may arise during your pregnancy make your chance of having a C-section slightly higher.

With a degree of knowledge, monitoring, and close communication with your doctor, you can enjoy a healthy and informed twin pregnancy. Making sure you keep tabs on your body and your babies throughout your term is recommended and will put your mind at ease as your near your due date.

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