• We’re Pregnant With Twins (or More)!

    Twins can be incredibly exciting! When you find out the big news that you?re having twins, you might experience a rush of different emotions: surprise, joy, anticipation, maybe even a little uncertainty and panic. That?s all normal. Twin pregnancies come with their own special joys, as well as unique challenges.

    As with many facets of parenting, there?s no way to predict precisely what?s in store for your twin pregnancy. But if you?re pregnant with twins (or more), your midwife or OBGYN will be able to help prepare you for many aspects of the experience.

    How Do I Know if I?m Pregnant With Twins?

    Twins or triplets account for roughly 3% of all births in the United States. Being certain that you?re pregnant with twins requires medical assessment, and is often first diagnosed with ultrasound.

    However, there are some early signs of a twin pregnancy that could motivate you to seek out an accurate screening. Some of those signs include:

    While the above may be considered possible signs of twin pregnancy, none of these presentations are exclusive to being pregnant with twins. The only way to be sure that you?re having twins (or not having twins) is to undergo a medical screening using an ultrasound diagnostic. Usually, dual heartbeats can be detected by ultrasound imaging, and this can confirm a multiple birth.

    Types of Twins

    There are two basic classifications for twins: identical and fraternal. Here?s how they?re different:

    In many cases, ultrasound can help to differentiate between identical twins and fraternal twins at a relatively early stage–with varying degrees of confidence, but we never know for certain until they?ve arrived!

    In general, twins will tend to develop at the same rate as single-child pregnancies, following the same gestational period. That said, more than half of all twins are delivered before the typical 37 week full term. In most cases, delivery occurs close enough to full term to ensure an uncomplicated birth.

    Complications and Risks of Twin Pregnancies

    Having twins can be absolutely thrilling. Talking to your OBGYN can help identify some inherent risks, challenges, and complications that can accompany multiple-child pregnancies. Some health complications can impact either the children or the mother, depending on the issue. Your OBGYN or midwife will be able to help guide you through common risks, so you can focus your energies on being a joyful parent to twins.

    Some of the most common complications and risks that impact the mother include:

    Some of the complications that affect the children can include:

    Identifying risks early can help keep complications to a minimum.

    What if I?m Having Triplets? or More?

    In the long term, more children is going to mean more joy. But in the short term, the more embryos developing in one place, the higher the risks for complications. The complications are often quite similar–but if you?re pregnant with triplets, your risks for those complications will increase.

    Every pregnancy is different, so be sure to talk to your OBGYN about any concerns you might have.

    How to Prepare for Twins

    If you?re expecting twins, preparing for your delivery experience will be an essential part of your pregnancy. First and foremost, you should expect more visits with medical professionals than you might otherwise. It?s absolutely essential to keep a close eye on your health as your pregnancy develops in order to spot complications early and provide the best care possible.

    Giving birth to twins may also mean a longer recovery period for the mother or babies afterwards. Being proactive about care or assistance you may require can help you spend your post-pregnancy days concentrating on building bonds with your new bundles of joy.

    The most important step in preparing for twins is to talk to your OBGYN or Midwife. Make sure that you get all of your questions answered and concerns addressed. We?ve helped many parents-to-be focus on the excitement and bliss of having twins! You can learn more about our obstetrics services here. If you want to know more about having twins–and what you might need to know–contact our Wilmette or Glenview offices to schedule an appointment.