Having a child is a real joy. But what if there are two or even three babies in the womb? Does multiple pregnancy pose a greater risk to maternal and child health? Ask your questions about giving birth to twins!
Of course, many pregnant women have a series of questions: Is the birth of twins very different from the birth of a child? Will the doctor take additional safety measures and will a caesarean be required?
Let’s clear all doubts!
1. How many weeks can twins be born?
As you well know, pregnancy with a single baby lasts an average of 40 weeks. However, multiple pregnancies are different, and twins or triplets are almost always born in the 37th week of pregnancy or earlier.
2. Is the duration of labor for twins longer?
Delivery is divided into 3 phases:
- Dilation of the cervix;
- Expulsion of the fetus;
- Placental release period.
First of all, the first phase starts with the contractions and ends with the opening of the cervix, the second part is from the moment the child is “expelled” out of the uterus, the third phase is from the moment where the placenta arises.
On the other hand, due to the greater stretch of the uterus during multiple pregnancy, your contractions may be weaker.
This means that it will take longer to reach a dilation of the cervix of 10 centimeters, the process will be slower and the duration of the first period will increase.
On the other hand, due to the increased stress and active contractions seen in some cases of multiple pregnancies, the cervix can be quite dilated at an early stage.
3. What care will the doctor have when giving birth to twins?
But in the normal course of multiple pregnancies without the threat of placental abruption or pre-eclampsia, no special intervention is needed. However, doctors can use the monitor to monitor each child’s heart rate and monitor the duration and timing of contractions.
4. In twin pregnancies, is delivery always cesarean?
Does a multiple pregnancy always end in an operative delivery? The need for a cesarean is determined by the number of fetuses, their location and other possible indications for the mother and child.
If during a pregnancy the first baby’s twins have their head down, many doctors recommend vaginal delivery.
In 2020, scientists at the University of Toronto (Canada) conducted a study to assess the prevalence of cesarean section among patients with multiple pregnancies.
Of the 2,804 women included in the study, a total of nearly half needed birth before the onset of spontaneous labor.
Among those who gave birth on time, 42% gave birth by vaginal delivery and 58% by elective cesarean. The authors also found that cesarean delivery was associated with better outcomes for the mother.
5. What is the interval between the birth of twins?
This question is of interest to many parents. Thanks to experts from the Center for Gynecology and Obstetrics at the University of Marburg, it was possible to respond.
Scientists have studied more than 4,000 cases of multiple pregnancies: data analysis showed that, in most cases, interval between the birth of twins is only 13-15 minutes.
There are cases where much more time has passed between the “meeting” of the twins.
In 2018, at the 26th week of her pregnancy, a German woman began giving birth prematurely: doctors removed a premature baby weighing just under 1 kilogram, and her sister managed to stay inside her mother. As a result, the second baby was born as early as 2019 – 97 days after her “hurried” twin.
6. Do twins always need to go to the ICU?
The need for hospitalization of a newborn in intensive care depends on the duration of the pregnancy and its birth weight. Many twins who are born on or near the expected date do not need additional support, treatment, or rehabilitation.
Thus, with significant prematurity and low birth weight, children are placed in special wards to monitor their growth and prevent the development of dangerous complications in time.
Only about 20% of twin babies end up in intensive care. For triplets and quads, this number is much higher – 80%.
Thus, the average stay for twins in the intensive care unit is 9 to 25 days, and for triplets and quadruplets from 11 days to 2 months. This time is needed to gain normal body weight.
7. Are twins at higher risk for complications?
If twins are born prematurely, they are at increased risk of complications, as the lungs and liver are among the last organs to complete their formation, premature babies are at increased risk for respiratory distress and jaundice.
With significant prematurity, more serious consequences are possible:
- cognitive impairment;
- Vision problems;
- hearing problems.
8. Pregnancy with twins: will postpartum recovery be more difficult?
Recovery after cesarean in multiple pregnancies does not differ from that of single pregnancies. However, if the birth was natural, it may take longer to recover.
Thus, this is often due to the peculiarities of the birth process: the uncontrolled and rapid birth of babies is fraught with ruptures of the vagina or cervix, and the incorrect position of the second fetus at birth is also threatening.
But if the mother has had a complication like pre-eclampsia, which is more common in multiple pregnancies, it is highly recommended that she remain at rest.
What else should I know?
The first few days, weeks and months are often the hardest for parents of twins.
Also, joining a support group for parents of twins can help. Hearing what worked for other parents can help you find solutions to problems that arise.
So too, get all the help you can, from neighbors, family and friends, to help you with household chores.
Having people around you willing to help can not only make the experience of caring for your babies more bearable, it can also help you rest and recover from the birth.