All You Need to Know About Twin Pregnancy

Hey to-be mom and dad, buckle up! Now that your blessings of two little wonders are on their way, your pregnancy is going to be a little different. You might have a lot of questions about twin pregnancy, so here's everything you need, right from early signs of twin pregnancy to how you can prepare for it. Keep reading to find all your answers.

How is Multiple or Twin Pregnancy Possible

Twins or multiples can either be fraternal or identical. Fraternal babies are conceived when two eggs are fertilised simultaneously, leading to more than one embryo. On the other hand, you conceive identical babies when one egg is fertilised, and it splits into two or more embryos. When it is a higher-order multiple pregnancy, there are chances of conceiving both identical and fraternal babies in the same pregnancy.

A family history of twins, some fertility drugs, and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) can maximise the chance of a multiple or twin pregnancy.

Symptoms of a Twin or Multiple Pregnancy

When it's a twin or multiple pregnancy, you may notice some early signs that include:

  • More breast tenderness as compared to single pregnancy

  • Severe morning sickness, as the levels of hCG hormone being produced in the body, are higher

  • Rapid weight gain over the first three months of pregnancy

  • A slightly larger bump or a bump that may appear earlier, as moms pregnant with twins usually have a larger uterus than moms pregnant with a single baby.

Confirming a Multiple Pregnancy

If your uterus seems larger than normal, your doctor may suspect a twin or multiple pregnancy. If your doctor detects more than one foetal heartbeat, he or she will usually recommend an ultrasound scan, which can usually detect multiples by 12 weeks.

Types of Twin Pregnancy in Detail

Twin pregnancies are of two types:

  • Identical twin pregnancy: When one fertilised egg splits into two, it results in identical twins. This happens quite early on in your pregnancy. The twins will look very much alike with the same hair colour, eye colour and blood type and will be of the same gender.

  • Fraternal twin pregnancy: The most common types, fraternal twins, are nothing but two separate pregnancies happening simultaneously, sharing the same womb. In this pregnancy, two eggs are fertilised, which means your babies are related to each other genetically the same way siblings are related. They can be of the same gender, or a boy and a girl. Here's an illustration that depicts how fraternal twins are different from identical twins.

Types of Twins in Mother’s Womb

What Makes a Multiple Pregnancy Different?

Although you may feel alright, carrying twins or multiples is complicated than it seems. Your doctor might refer you to a specialist, where you might have to go through more prenatal visits, blood tests, and ultrasounds than required for a singleton pregnancy. Check out our twin week-by-week guide for more information.

Twin Pregnancy Risks

  • Premature delivery: Multiple pregnancy has a high risk of premature delivery. You might have calculated your approximate due date but note that your little wonders might arrive early - possibly before 36 weeks. In case of premature delivery, your twins or multiples might need special care and assistance for breathing or sucking for some time.

  • Twin-twin transfusion syndrome: In twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), one of the twins receives too much blood flow while the other doesn't receive enough. Your doctor will guide you on how to overcome this challenge.

  • Low birth weight: In a multiple pregnancy, the average weight of each twin is about 2 to 2.5 kgs at the time of delivery.

  • One of the twins can get tangled in the umbilical cord: Although a very rare case, some twins tend to share the same amniotic sac, which can be risky as one of the babies can get tangled up in one of the umbilical cords. Your doctor will check you more frequently and might recommend a c-section delivery.

How Much Weight is Appropriate in a Twin Pregnancy?

In a twin or multiple pregnancy, it is obvious that you will gain more weight. However, it is essential to put on the weight gradually and steadily to support your little ones' health. If you are healthy and your weight was normal before pregnancy, then recommended weight that you can gain with twins lies between 16 to 24 kgs. For this, you may require taking an additional 600 calories a day (300 for each baby), along with the recommended 2000 daily calories in the second half of your pregnancy. This depends on your activity level. Typically, you would gain about 450 gms a week in the first half of your pregnancy and then a little more than 450 gms a week in the second half. Read more about gaining weight healthily during pregnancy.

Preparing for Twins

  • Find the right doctor: Choosing a doctor who is experienced with twins is very important. He or she will be able to answer all your questions related to your pregnancy and provide you with appropriate advice and care.

  • Take care of yourself: Resting in your pregnancy is important, especially during the second trimester. You can try some basic, gentle exercises that may help you sleep better. It is also important to follow a good pregnancy diet to ensure that you and your babies are getting all the nutrients necessary for healthy growth. Do not miss any of your prenatal visits.

  • Make sure you get ready with plenty of time to spare: Opt for early maternity leave, if possible. This will give you more time to prepare at home, whether setting up a car seat or babyproofing the home nice and early, at around 34 weeks.

Why Do I Feel Anxious About a Twin Pregnancy?

Feeling apprehensive about expecting twins or multiples is quite natural. We stand with you, for we understand that you have to be prepared, focused, physically- and mentally fit to take care of more than one kid at once. Although two or more babies mean more of everything, they also bring double the love into your life and make your growing family a whole lot of fun.

You can try to seek support networks, speak to your doctor, and find other moms of twins for guidance. Don't forget to attend a childbirth class that is designed specifically for parents of twins or multiples.

Twins can be a challenge, but they will keep each other company while allowing you the beautiful experience of watching them grow into cute children with different personalities.

PS. The best part about having twins is that you get to choose names, for not just one but two or more little ones. Are you struggling to narrow down your baby name list? Worry not! Try our Baby Name Generator for more ideas.