Twin pregnancy happens when a single fertilized egg splits into two or when the ovary releases two eggs during ovulation and both get fertilized simultaneously. In the first case the twins born are referred to as identical twins because they belong to the same sex and look starkly similar to each other; the second kind of twin pregnancy condition produces twins who may or may not be of the same sex and do not look exactly like one another.
Multiple pregnancies, like twin pregnancy, are considered to be risky because pregnancy complications that can occur in a woman or one of the fetuses, increases to double. Twin pregnancy comes with the chances of a premature birth because the womb often becomes too small to accommodate two fully grown fetuses. Efficient and effective prenatal care in the areas of nutrition is mandatory for maintaining the good health of the fetuses and the mother to be. Since this kind of pregnancy is different from the regular pregnancies there will be some differences in prenatal nutrition, labor and delivery as well.
Two Kinds of Twins:
As discussed earlier there are usually two kinds of healthy twin pregnancies.
- The Fraternal Twins: Also known as the non identical twins this is the most common sort of twin pregnancy that happens when two separate eggs are fertilized by two separate sperms. The genetic patterns of such twins are like any other siblings.
- Identical Twins: This is a comparatively rarer variety and the twins in this case of twin pregnancy. It happens when a single fertilized egg cell splits into two. The two fetuses have identical genetic patterns and therefore look starkly similar to one another. In some complicated pregnancies identical twins can be conjoined and this may give rise to Siamese twins later on. However that is rare and operable in most cases.
It is extremely important to keep visiting one’s obstetrician regularly and keep him posted about every change that the body might go through. Women with twin pregnancy might even consider visiting a perinatologist because they have expert knowledge about complicated pregnancies especially during the last trimesters. Extra caution has to be taken by those who have identical twins in the womb because in such cases the twins share the same placenta and it is important to find out whether both of them are getting a fair share of the space available to grow properly. The doctor will be able to suggest the tests that one must undergo regularly.
Take it Easy:
It is absolutely imperative to take it easy especially in the first trimester of twin pregnancy. The caution that one exercises while pregnant with one child should ideally be doubled in this case. Take lots of rest and if it is mandatory to work hard then take short frequent breaks in between whenever time permits. Always remember that this is a very delicate type of pregnancy so refrain from any such activity that might cause severe stress.
The amount of vitamin, mineral and calcium that a pregnant woman requires doubles up in the case of twin pregnancy. Generally the doctors suggest an increase in the intake of folic acid, calcium and iron. Keeping the system well hydrated is important as always. But in this case it becomes doubly so because dehydration can have a lot to do with premature delivery. During pregnancy it is considered healthy to put on around ten to fifteen kilograms of weight so do not worry if the indicator on the weighing machine says that one has put on a few kilograms. Just make sure that the gaining of weight happens over a long stretch of time.
It is wise to have a heads up upon all that can turn out to be future complications. So being informed about all possible consequences is encouraged. Women expecting twins need to know that their chances of premature delivery are much higher than those with one fetus in the womb. Such sort of pregnancies increase the cases of diabetes and preeclampsia thankfully both of them can be managed well if treated at an early stage. During pregnancies where the twins share the same placenta there is a risk of TTTS also known as Twin to Twin Transfusion System where some unnatural placental blood vessels interrupt with the blood flow among the twins thereby messing up the balance of nutrition and oxygen that each fetus needs. A disruption in this blood flow might cause one of the fetus to be over nourished while the remains under nourished.
Be Ready for Discomfort:
In most cases mothers expecting twins complain of frequent backaches and tiredness. This is understandable because with the presence of a second fetus the weight of the extra placenta and amniotic fluid increases. There is a tendency for high blood pressure as well. This happens in most cases but there are women who go through the whole process quite smoothly as well.
When all the three trimesters have been safely completed then comes the time to consider the two kinds of delivery options. Usually twin pregnancy requires a Caesarian form of delivery because there is a chance that either of the fetus did not turn down to the right position however normal vaginal births among twins is also common.
The biological mechanism is such that the stimulation of milk production will double when it senses the presence of a second fetus in the womb. A new mother of twins will require knowing the correct way of breastfeeding the twins because both of them may be hungry together or at completely different times.
This time of pregnancy is undoubtedly a highly stressful one for the woman but what is often neglected is the stress which the father of the twins undergoes as well. He may not be sharing the physical discomforts but he is definitely worried and equally tense about the whole process; so be patient and understanding with him. New parents-to-be are bound to flounder here are there. Ask family members to help out with the household chores and distribute work among responsible volunteers. Spend as much time as possible with the ones who mean the most and do whatever feels best. If there are no family members or friends around to help with the household jobs then try hiring someone who is good at managing household chores for a couple of months.