If you have had an ultrasound showing you are pregnant with twins, you may have been advised to take special precautions. Because being pregnant with twins often means monitoring your health more frequently, you should check with your obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) to determine what precautions to take during your pregnancy.
Here are a few smart tips your healthcare provider might discuss with you.
1. Know What to Expect During Your Pregnancy
Even if your twin pregnancy is not your first pregnancy, understand that a multiple pregnancy is unique. With that in mind, you might expect a few occurrences that are not typical for a single pregnancy.
For one thing, women who are expecting twins may experience a higher occurrence of morning sickness. In addition, you might be more likely to experience some minor back pain. Heartburn is also more common among women who are expecting twins.
As you might expect, you may also gain more weight when carrying twins than you would with a single pregnancy. While a women might gain 25 pounds during a single pregnancy, a twin pregnancy may cause her to gain more weight. Anywhere from 37 to 54 pounds is typical weight gain for a twin pregnancy.
Although you might not have realized this before your twin pregnancy, your labor may occur somewhat earlier than labor for a single pregnancy. While your single pregnancy labor may typically occur at 40 weeks, you might expect to give birth a few weeks earlier when expecting twins.
Giving birth to twins also makes you more likely to require having a caesarian rather than a vaginal birth. Of course, every individual is unique and this approximation may not be typical for everyone.
2. Recognize the Potential Complications That May Occur
If you are carrying twins or multiples, you face a higher risk of health complications for yourself and for your babies. While speaking to your OB-GYN and following his or her advice may help prevent complications, it is wise to realize the potential of complications. Here are a few such risks.
Being pregnant with twins places you at a higher risk of developing prenatal anemia. Anemia occurs when your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells. When blood cell count is decreased, the remaining cells cannot carry sufficient oxygen throughout the body. The effects of anemia often include feeling weak and fatigued. To prevent prenatal anemia, your doctor might suggest that you take an iron supplement.
Hemorrhaging After Childbirth
While PPH can be quite serious, fortunately the condition is uncommon. Still, it is a risk to be aware of, as PPH produces a high volume of vaginal bleeding. You may have a higher risk of PPH if you are of Hispanic or Asian descent.
Women have a higher risk of gestational diabetes during a twin pregnancy. Your doctor will want you to keep a careful watch on your blood sugar levels during your twin pregnancy.
3. Understand Your Nutritional Needs and Suggested Caloric Intake
If you’ve had prior pregnancies, you may assume you know the basics of nutrition and caloric intake requirements. A multiple pregnancy, however, has specific nutritional needs, and your caloric intake may require a boost.
You might begin by asking your physician about your changing nutritional needs. They may suggest an increase in caloric intake. Just be mindful that you do not gain too much over the recommended weight gain, as that can lead to other complications. Always discuss dietary changes with your doctor.
If you have further concerns or questions pertaining to your twin pregnancy, consult with an OB-GYN at Rappahannock Women’s Health Center.