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Twin F.A.Q.s

Frequently Asked Twin Questions

How long is a twin pregnancy? Around 37 weeks. Triplets 34, Quads 32 weeks.

Will I have to have a caesarean if I am having twins? Not necessarily. If you have no particular complications and at least one of your babies is lying head first down towards the end of your pregnancy you should be able to attempt labour.

Can I put my twins into their own cot/ crib/ Moses basket or should they share? This is largely up to you, how much space you have and your budget. Some twins settle better together others are perfectly fine separately. It really is up to you.

If my twins share a cot/crib how should I put them to sleep? Make sure you have their feet to the foot of the cot, so that they can’t overheat or suffocate and that you follow the guidelines for safe sleeping. The alternatives are to let them sleep both along the length of the cot with their feet to the length of the cot bars. Or place their feet to the shorter ends at opposite ends of the cot

Can my twins have their own room or do they need to stay together in the same room? 
Do whatever works for you and your family. If you have  room and want to put them in their own room this is perfectly fine. If you want to keep them together this is also equally fine. When you decide to do this depends on your individual twins. Some will be ready sooner than others. If you are finding one wakes the other one up and you have space to move one into their own room you could potentially move one.

Can I breastfeed my twins? It is possible to breastfeed twins. Ask your midwife for guidance and to make sure you’re latching them on properly if this is your first attempt at breastfeeding.
Whether you feed them together or separately is up to you. It is a valuable skill to learn to breastfeed your twins together, however it is nice to sometimes feed them separately.
Having lots of supportive pillows or cushions helps you get comfortable and your babies at the right height to breastfeed.

You might like to read Twinsonline’s Article on Breastfeeding Twins. 

Should I dress my twins alike? Again up to you really! Some Adult twins have written in to complain about being dressed the same as children!  For new babies it’s really a matter of personal choice. Some people are given lots of clothes from a singleton which don’t match so end up dressing them differently other people prefer to dress them the same. It can be easier for other people to tell your twins apart if you dress them differently. Some mums opt to give their twins the same outfit but in different colourways. I have also heard of mums assigning a particular colour to one of her twins and buying mainly that colour. As a compromise you might like to decide which way to dress your twins until they are old enough to tell you what they would prefer. I tried to dress my twins differently so that they would always have a sense of self (not saying they wouldn’t have a sense of self if I dressed them the same). They reached about age 7 and started wanting to dress the same. This phase came and then passed over. They now have very individual dressing styles and this is fine.  The only thing I would say about dressing them alike is what do you do when one of them is sick? Do you change both so they stay the same?!

Should twins always be together? No! It is good for them to get used to being separated for short periods of time right from the start. It is nice for them to spend a bit of time one on one with another adult. If there are two of you or you have grandparents or other trusted adults near by the twins could spend short periods of time one with you and the other with their other parent/ grandma / your trusted friend. You don’t have to do anything very elaborate with them, it could be running an errand, collecting a takeaway, painting, baking a cake.

Can my same sex twins be identical even if they don’t share a placenta? Yes! Around a third of identical twins don’t share a placenta, a chorion or an amniotic sac. They sometimes get mistaken for non-identical twins.

Can I have twins even if I don’t have twins in the family? Absolutely! Many people are surprised by this. It is also surprising that if you are a non-identical twin yourself you are more likely to have twins yourself. (You would assume that it would follow that twins would be more common with identical twins but it isn’t) The reason behind this is that some women are more likely to release more than one egg per cycle. Some women’s eggs are also more penetrable by sperm. Again making non-identical twins be conceived.

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Twin Statistics

Currently in the UK it is thought that around 33% of twins are Monozygotic (’identical’) and around 66% are Dizygotic (’non identical’ or ‘fraternal’)

Monozygotic Twins (normally referred to as Identical or ‘ Id’ or sometimes ‘MZ’). Mono means ‘from one’ so Monozygotic twins started off as one fertilized egg (zygote) which split in the first few days to a week or so after conception. Monozygotic twins are the same sex* and generally look very alike, hence the label ‘identical’.

Of the Monozygotic (’identical’ ) Twins 33% are Dichorionic Diamniotic (i.e. NOT sharing a placenta or an outer membrane (chorion)  This is sometimes abbreviated to DC/DA  . This occurs because the fertilized egg split before the chorion had formed, in the first 3 days after conception. Depending how close together the twins implant into the uterus, they may have a fused placenta or or may have individual placentas.

Therefore it is possible for same sex twins to be identical and NOT share a placenta or chorion or amniotic sac66% of Monozygotic Twins are sharing an outer membrane (chorion) but have individual amniotic sacs. This is known as Monochorionic Diamniotic sometimes abbreviated to MC/DA  These have split between days 3 and 9 after conception.

1% of Monozygotic Twins are sharing both a chorion and amniotic sacs. These are known as Monochorionic Monoamniotic. This is sometimes abbreviated to MC/MA Monochorionic monoamniotic twins split after day 9  will be monochorionic monoamniotic.

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