crying twinsHow is a twins pregnancy different from a single pregnancy?

There are several differences between a twins pregnancy and a single pregnancy, both in pregnancy symptoms and complications, as well as how you care for yourself and how your doctor cares for you during your pregnancy. For example:

  • You will need to get more rest.
  • You will be asked to gain more weight. Thirty to 40 pounds is normal for twins versus 20 to 30 pounds for a normal pregnancy.
  • The risk of preterm labor and delivery is much higher with twins (at 55 percent). Prevention of preterm delivery is the most important part of a twin pregnancy. You might consider joining a support group for multiple gestation, such as Triplet Connection or Mothers of Supertwins – MOST. You should learn as much as you can about the signs and symptoms of preterm labor so you can help your physician in your care.
  • Ultrasound exams should be more frequent. Generally they should be done every month for growth if there are two placentas and more frequently if only one (at 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 weeks, looking for evidence of twin-twin-transfusion syndrome). After 24 weeks, ultrasounds for growth and assessment can be every three to four weeks with one placenta. A level II scan is done at 18 weeks to look at the anatomy of the babies.
  • Your cervix needs to be measured every two weeks from 18 to 24 weeks gestation to diagnose a possible incompetent cervix. This occurs in about 5 percent of twins and is treated with a stitch to close the cervix and keep it from dilating.

Answered by Dr. John P. Elliott