Have you just discovered that you’re pregnant with twins? Congratulations! This may not fall on your ears if you are completely taken aback by the news. No wonder you have taken a while to fully realize the fact. Don’t get obsessed about it. One in every eighty naturally conceived births is a twin birth.
What Should I Know When I Am Carrying Twins?
It is true that conceiving two babies are not as easy as conceiving a single baby. But just imagine yourself at a starting point of an extraordinary and interesting journey, at the end of which you will be gifted with two beautiful babies which make you forget all those extra efforts you took during your journey.
Obviously, there will be lots of doubts and fears regarding the twin pregnancy even if you already had a single pregnancy and delivery. In this article, we try to clear those doubts and also go through some facts and knowledge that will help you to proceed with your twin pregnancy safe and sound.
Are There Types Of Twins? What Types Of Twins Are There?
There are two types of twins:
- Monozygotic twins: These are identical twins with absolutely similar DNA. This happens when one fertilized egg or zygote splits into two and each part grows into an individual baby. Splitting occur around one to fourteen days after fertilization. Early the zygote splits, more identical the twins will be. Identical twins are less common. Only 30% of twins are identical twins.Monozygotic twins often:
- Are of the same sex
- Share one placenta with two umbilical cord
- Share a single amniotic sac
- Size and weight vary based on the nutrition inside the womb
- Monozygotic twins can be conjoined(some body parts are joint or shared)
Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome affects 15% of identical twin pregnancies.
- Dizygotic twins: Dizygotic twins are formed when the ovary releases two eggs simultaneously and both get fertilized to form two zygotes. Each zygote grows into on individual baby. As they are from two different eggs, the similarity will be like any other pair of siblings. Dizygotic twins are more common. About 70% of twins are dizygotic twins. Dizygotic twins often:
- Can be of same sex or opposite sex
- Have separate and distinct placenta
- Differ both genetically and physically
- Have separate amniotic sac
- Dizygotic twins cannot be conjoined at all
What Is Meant By Conjoined Twins?
Conjoined twins are twins with some of the body parts joined or shared. Only identical twins are supposed to be conjoined. This happens when:
- The separation of the zygote occurs after more than 12 days. This results in a partially separated zygote. When this zygote grows to babies, some of the body parts remained fused or there will be only one organ for both babies (sharing single heart, lungs etc.)
- The zygote separates fully but as the cell multiplies, they again fuse partially
Read more on conjoined twins here.
Do The Pregnancy Symptoms And Physical Conditions Differ In Twin Pregnancy?
Yes, there are difference in physical conditions and symptoms during twin pregnancy:
- Stronger pregnancy symptoms: Relatively higher level of pregnancy hormones are released when you are conceiving the twins. Hence, no wonder you are having more prominent pregnancy symptoms like nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breath: During early pregnancy, an elevated level of progesterone hormone can make you undergo shortness of breath. In the later stage, two babies pushing against the diaphragm can also account for severe breathlessness
- Back pain: Back pain can grow severe as you are bearing extra weight
- Fatigue: All the expecting mothers experience extreme tiredness during their first trimester. But they normally re-energize during the second trimester. But when you are pregnant with twins the re-energizing during the second trimester does not occur
- More frequent antenatal care: Extra scans and tests and antenatal consultations are suggested by the doctor as continuous monitoring is essential for the babies and mother. Twin pregnancy often possesses complications
How Can I Stay Well-nourished When I Am Pregnant With Twins?
You are expected to take more nutrition when you are pregnant with twins. The rule is to take 300 calories for a baby per day. As you are having a twin pregnancy it is significant for you to take 600 calories per day for the well being of both you and your babies.
- Add dairy products like cheese, milk, paneer, ghee etc. in your diet. Include fish and eggs in your menu. Fill out the remaining part of your diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. It is preferred to have ten serving (small) of grains when you are pregnant with twins
- Drink plenty of water. Be particular to drink minimum eight glasses of water. You can even measure the water to make sure you are taking adequate quantity. This will help your health in many ways like providing enough amniotic fluid for both of the babies. Remember, dehydration during the second half of pregnancy can trigger preterm delivery
- You will likewise need to increase your calcium, iron and folic acid dosage. You should try to part up your calcium and iron intake. An excessive amount of calcium can affect your iron assimilation. Most ladies pregnant with twins tend to be anemic. Being anemic indicates iron deficiency. In the case of iron deficiency during pregnancy, your doctor will prescribe more iron supplements
Can I Exercise When Pregnant With Twins?
Slow and gentle exercise can cause no harm even you are pregnant with twins, provided, you get a green signal from your practitioner. But once you pass 24th week, you should reduce exercises significantly. If you still have the urge (which rarely occurs) limit it to occasional small walks. Never stand for a long time. Bending over, lifting weights and squatting down are also strictly prohibited.
What Are The Danger Signs That I Should Watch Out For When I Am Pregnant With Twins?
As the twin pregnancy is associated with various complication, it is very important to understand the warning signals. That will help you to minimize the impact of the complications. Some of the red signals are:
- Uncontrollable and excessive vomiting: This excessive vomiting can be due to hyperemesis gravidarum which can lead to severe dehydration and weight loss of the mother. This is a condition which needs medical attention as soon as possible
- Sudden weight gain due to fluid retention: Excessive and sudden weight gain due to fluid retention indicates the possibility of pre-eclampsia which if not treated on time can take the life of mother and twins
- Blurred vision: Blurred vision can be due to fluid retention, increased production of progesterone. Photophobia, flashing light in front of the vision field can be an indication of more serious situation – pre-eclampsia. Gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, pregnancy induced hyper tension can also cause blurred vision during the twin pregnancy
- Intense itchy feeling: Intense itchy feeling without any skin rash indicates a rare but complicated condition called Obstetric cholestasis
- Extreme fatigue: Extreme tiredness can be the indication of iron deficiency
- Abdominal pain: Any type of abdominal pain (mild, moderate or severe) or back pain should not be ignored when you are pregnant with twins
A twin pregnancy is a double blessing, but you also need to be doubly sure as well. You need to be mentally prepared, and physically viable to carry and deliver twins. Take good care of yourself, eat healthy and have a healthy delivery.