Here are some of the things I wish I’d known when pregnant with twins. Please let me know in the comments below what you wish you’d known when you were pregnant with twins.
1) Not all twins are born by c-section.
Some twins are born vaginally. If you’re having non-identical twins or twins with their own individual placentas and chorions you may be offered a trial of labour, often with an epidural in place. If you’re having identical twins sharing a placenta and chorion it is likely you’ll be offered a c-section. If you’re not sure which applies to you, please speak to your health team and they will be able to advise you.
2) It is possible to breastfeed twins!
Talk to your midwife about breastfeeding twins. She should be able to advise how to do this. Latching them both on together can be useful when they’re both hungry at the same time or when time is short and feeding them separately can be nice when you want to simply have some one to one time and a cuddle!
As breastmilk is made on a supply and demand basis, your body will naturally make more milk to meet the demand of two babies if you’re breastfeeding twins.
3) Twin Pregnancy is usually shorter than with a singleton
Single pregnancies tend to last around 40 weeks where as twins are thought to be term at around 37 weeks. Around 50% of twins will arrive before 36 weeks. These are classed as premature.
4) Not all twins will need time in special care
Some twins will of course, but if your twins are born near to term and have no other problems they may not need to go to special care. From around 33-34 weeks they may be able to breathe independently
5) It is possible to be pregnant with twins and not suffer severe morning sickness!
Often having severe pregnancy sickness can indicate that you’re having twins, but not every twin pregnancy produces severe sickness. Some people find that they have hardly any pregnancy symptoms. If, however, you have severe pregnancy sickness and are finding it hard to keep anything down please contact your midwife or GP urgently for help. My article about How to cope with symptoms of twin pregnancy might be useful to read too
6) It is possible to have twins without having a strong history of twins in the family
Many people assume that you have to be one of twins or have had a strong history of twins in the family in order to have twins yourself. However there are many things that can affect your likelihood of having twins including age, race, IVF amongst other things!
7) Twins grow at the same pace as singletons for the first 28 weeks!
If you’re wondering why you look big for your dates this is probably why!
8) There is no need to eat for three!
Eating a healthy balanced diet is important when you’re expecting twins but there’s definitely no need to eat for three. Have regular meals that have a good amount of protein, carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water and have regular light snacks to keep hunger at bay.
9) Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome only affects identical twins sharing one placenta.
If your twins are non-identical and/or have two placentas they will not be affected. TTTS affects about 20% of identical twin pregnancies, so if you have identical twins sharing a placenta you have an 80% chance of them NOT having it.
10) It is ok to ask your medical team for advice or clarification if you don’t understand something they’ve said
If your health team tell you something and you’re not 100% sure what they mean or you are offered a proceedure or test etc it is ok to ask for more clarification. If you’ve got any questions about having twins ask them to talk to you about it!