Why are there so many twin pregnancies nowadays? One reason is the increase of the use of fertility drugs. Another is the increasing age of new mothers – older moms have a greater chance of releasing more than one egg at ovulation. Twin pregnancies have increased by 76% over the past 30 years and fertility treatments greatly increase a woman’s chance of having twins or multiples. However, the chance of having identical twins is still only 1 in 285, as identical twins are not a direct result of fertility drugs.
Here are some of the most common questions about twin pregnancies.
Are pregnancy symptoms worse with a twin pregnancy?
If you are expecting twins, you may experience some of the usual symptoms of pregnancy more, but this is not always the case. However, due to the higher levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), women expecting multiples often experience severe morning sickness.
Higher levels of progesterone can also make you feel short of breath, and this can be made worse by two babies pushing up your diaphragm. You are also more likely to experience indigestion, bloating, heartburn, and constipation. Later in pregnancy, you may experience more muscle strain and back pain because you are carrying additional weight.
What danger signs do I need to watch for?
The danger signs in twin pregnancy are the same as any pregnancy. Be alert because the risk of complications is greater when you are expecting twins. However, try not to worry! Do not let fear spoil your pregnancy. Trust your instincts and when something does not feel right, call your doctor!
Preterm birth happens in more than half of twin pregnancies. Call the hospital if you think you are in labour or go straight to the hospital. How will you know it’s labor? If you have contractions that don’t stop with a change of activity, or if you have more than 4 or 5 in one hour, then it’s labor. Ask you healthcare provider under what circumstances you should be seen in the office or at the hospital.
Pre-eclampsia, or pregnancy induced hypertension, is also common in women expecting twins. Be aware of early symptoms such as severe headaches, blurred vision, flashing lights, vomiting excessive weight gain, and swelling of the face, feet, and hands.
How will I cope?
There are lots of things you can do to cope with twin pregnancy such as:
- Get plenty of rest, at home and at work (take a short break every hour).
- Get help with household chores.
- Have a daytime nap.
- Take early maternity leave since most twins are delivered earlier than single babies, usually at 37 weeks.
- Talk to your midwife and doctor when you have any concerns.
- Join a local support group for twin pregnancies or find an online forum for your special circumstances.
Written by Team Health Parenting
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.