Not only one baby growing in your belly, but two at once? A twin pregnancy is very special and differs in many ways from a pregnancy with just one baby. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about your multiple pregnancy with twins.
Coincidence or planned: How a twin pregnancy can happen?
Modern medicine makes it possible for women to get pregnant even though the natural way hasn’t worked so far. In vitro fertilization (fertilizing the egg in the lab and then transferring embryos to the uterus) and some fertility drugs can increase the likelihood of a multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets or more). This also explains why more twins are born today than in the past.
However, twins are often a freak of nature, and you should always take a look at your family history. The family predisposition to multiple pregnancies, are usually determined primarily by the mother. Women who already have fraternal twins in the family are more likely to give birth to two babies at once again, too.
How twins are formed?
In twin pregnancies, two babies grow in the mother’s abdomen at the same time. A distinction is made between identical and fraternal twins:
Monozygotic/identical twins: In this type of pregnancy, one egg is fertilized and then divides. These children are genetically identical and look extremely similar on the outside: they have the same sex, eye color, hair color and blood type.
Dizygotic/Twin twins: This is the most common type of twin. Fraternal twins can be thought of as two separate pregnancies that occur at the same time. In this case, two eggs are fertilized and a baby grows in each of them. The children are not genetically identical, but are related to each other in the same way that siblings born at different times are related to each other. In fraternal twins, it is possible that one is a boy and the other is a girl.
Identical twins even share one placenta, while in fraternal twins two separate placentas develop.
What are the possible symptoms of a twin or multiple pregnancy??
If you are pregnant with twins or multiples, you may notice something is different during early pregnancy. Physical signs that two or more embryos are developing in your belly could include:
Severe morning sickness, as the body produces more of the hormone hCG when pregnant with twins.
Rapid weight gain during the first trimester is indicative of twins.
Rapid and visible abdominal growth, as twin mothers usually develop a larger uterus than women who are pregnant with only one baby.
Very sensitive breasts.
Only an ultrasound examination will be able to determine whether you are pregnant with twins. At an ultrasound around 12. Your gynecologist will determine whether you are pregnant with twins at the end of the first week of pregnancy. Your gynecologist will probably be able to tell you reliably whether you are expecting multiples and whether they are identical or fraternal twins.
How much weight gain is possible in a twin pregnancy?
Carrying twins in your belly also means gaining more weight than with any other pregnancy. This is a good thing and important because your babies need adequate vitamins and minerals for healthy development, which only your body can provide for them.
Weight gain during pregnancy depends on your height and your initial weight before pregnancy. The weight gain for twins is generally between 15 and 20 kilos.
Typically, you should gain about 500 grams per week in the first half of your pregnancy and then a little more later on. There will be about 2.000 calories per day recommended. Depending on how active you are, from the fifth month on you will need additional approx. 600 calories (300 for each baby) more per day.
Here you can find out how much weight you will have to gain during your twin pregnancy.
Can a twin pregnancy be risky?
Even if you feel fine, a twin or other multiple pregnancy is automatically considered a high-risk pregnancy. It is therefore possible that your gynecologist or doctor will give you a. Your gynecologist refers you to a specialist.
A multiple pregnancy can pose the following risks, in addition to other minor or major difficulties:
Vanashing twins: In a pregnancy with fraternal twins, two embryos may develop first, but one of them may not survive the first trimester, while the other develops normally.
Early delivery: The risk of premature birth is higher with a multiple pregnancy. So your little miracles could already start before the 36th week. The twins will be born in the second week of pregnancy and may need special medical assistance for a while.
Low birth weight: Twins are usually smaller than other babies. They weigh on average only 2400 grams to 2600 grams at birth.
Tangled umbilical cord: In very rare cases, twin babies share the same amniotic sac. This can become risky if one of the babies gets tangled in one of the umbilical cords. If you are at risk of this, you will be seen more often by your doctor or health care provider. Your doctor will examine you.
Twin transfusion syndrome (FFTS): Another rare risk with identical twins is fetofetal transfusion syndrome (FFTS), in which one baby gets too much blood and the other doesn’t get enough. This problem could be solved by prenatal surgery.
If you are pregnant with twins, your doctor or nurse will examine you. Your doctor will take a look through your belly and at your babies more often than with other pregnant women. He/she will certainly be able to ease your fear of possible complications. A high-risk pregnancy does not mean that something has to go wrong, but only that difficulties cannot be completely ruled out.
How does a multiple birth usually happen??
All multiple births are always considered high-risk, even if your pregnancy is normal and there are no problems. However, a twin pregnancy does not necessarily mean that the birth will be by cesarean section.
A vaginal birth is perfectly possible under the following conditions:
The twins each have their own amniotic sac.
The 34. Week of pregnancy has already ended.
The birth position of the two children is favorable and allows for a natural birth.
The birth itself is usually not much different from any other delivery. One baby is born and cared for first, followed a short time later by its sibling. However, the amount of time between the two deliveries varies from woman to woman.
However, if a C-section is planned for you or is needed spontaneously under the birth process, it’s nothing to be afraid of. You are in the best hands at the hospital.
Can you breastfeed twins fully?
Breastfeeding twins is certainly more time-consuming than breastfeeding just one baby, but it is possible and can be a wonderful experience.
It is important that the breasts are stimulated, especially at the beginning, by regular breastfeeding, so that milk production is stimulated. A healthy and balanced diet during breastfeeding also promotes the production of breast milk.
Twins can have different breastfeeding needs. So one twin may want to breastfeed more often than the other. In general, however, it is advisable to gently establish shared meals and to breastfeed both children at the same time.
This can become a bit of a challenge. It will probably take you some time to find the right breastfeeding position for you. Let your midwife support you in this and use aids such as blankets or a nursing pillow to support your babies well during breastfeeding and to protect your back.
Multiple pregnancy: Helpful tips and information
Twins mean twice the happiness, but also twice the work. As time goes by, you will certainly grow into your role as a twin mom or twin dad. We have already collected some helpful tips and information for you here:
The right contact person:in: In order to have all your questions answered satisfactorily, it is helpful if you consult a gynecologist or an obstetrician early on. Look for a gynecologist and a midwife who have already cared for several twin pregnancies.
Take care of yourself: As with every pregnancy, it is also important with twins to rest and eat healthy in between every now and then. In addition, a little pregnancy exercise can do your mind and body good.
Maternity protection: As with a pregnancy with only one child, your maternity leave begins six weeks before the planned date of birth. After the birth, however, it is extended by four weeks in the case of twins. If it is possible for you to take some additional leave before the birth, you could extend your maternity leave and give your body a break. Talk about this with your gynecologist. Your gynecologist.
Household help: Especially in the first time after the birth of twins, you will be very busy with your babies and yourself. As a legally insured person, you are entitled to household help to take care of daily tasks such as laundry or cooking. Apply to your health insurance company in good time before the birth.
Talk about your fears: Physical discomfort and the question of how your daily life will be with twins may worry or even frighten you. This is completely normal. Talk about your fears and worries with those around you and your doctor. Your doctor and your midwife.
Maybe even during your pregnancy you should get in touch with other parents of twins. You can certainly benefit from their experience and tips.
Facts at a glance
Twins are usually born before the expected date of birth. On average they are born around 37. Pregnancy week born around.
You can find out if you are expecting twins by having an ultrasound at the end of the first trimester. A rapidly growing belly, nausea and a high hCG level, however, already allow the assumption that it could be a twin or multiple pregnancy.
In a pregnancy with identical twins, one egg is fertilized and then divides. These children share a placenta in the womb, are genetically identical and look the same. Fraternal twins are created from two different eggs and are not genetically the same. With fraternal twins it is possible that one is a boy and the other a girl.
Twins may be a challenge, but you will also enjoy them twice as much. They will keep each other company and you will have the wonderful experience of watching two little people with different personalities grow up.