If you've just found out you're pregnant with twins it's likely you're feeling excited, nervous and overwhelmed...
Whether you’re over the moon that you have twins on the way (imagine those cute matching outfits!) or you’re worried about how you’ll cope with two babies (double the cost, double the stress and double the trouble), twins are a big adjustment.
There are complications that can surface with multiple babies, but the rewards are endless… double the love, double the fun and two babies from just one labour!
We spoke to Liz Halliday, Deputy Head of Midwifery at Private Midwives, to find out everything you need to know...
"Having twins can result in a higher level of hormonal changes,
which mean that pregnancy symptoms such as nausea,
vomiting and tiredness can appear earlier and be stronger than if you were having one baby." says Liz.
Make sure you take extra care of yourself, especially during the first trimester
, when symptoms are often more challenging. Despite feelings of sickness, make an effort to fill your plate with nutritiously-dense foods (think veg, complex carbs and proteins) and drink plenty of fluids.
2) Your bump with grow bigger and faster
"With two babies growing in your womb your bump is going to get a lot bigger a lot faster than it would with one. This can throw your posture off-kilter, causing back problems
and pelvic pain
much earlier than a singleton pregnancy might," explains Liz.
She suggests gentle and frequent exercise such as walking, pregnancy yoga and swimming to help keep your muscles strong and able to support your changing body shape.
4) You'll need more scans
You’ll have more scans than mums carrying one baby, particularly in the last two months.
"Multiple pregnancies can be a little more complex than single pregnancies, therefore it's likely that you will be offered care in a multiple pregnancy clinic and will be offered more scans to check that both babies are growing well, and everything is normal," explains Liz.
5) It's not uncommon for twins to arrive earlier than your estimated due date
As long as you follow your GP’s advice and look after yourself, there is no reason why your labour should be more difficult than a single birth. But, there is
an increased chance of a caesarean.
"Your body may recognise that it is challenging to carry two full term babies and so many women labour spontaneously before their estimated due date. This is very normal and your healthcare team will talk to you about it and make a plan," says Liz.
"You may be offered induction of labour or an elective caesarean section at some point (depending on how you and your babies are doing), but this will be fully discussed with you to help you make a decision that is best for you and your family."
The support available to you:
TAMBA is a fantastic resource you can use to connect with other parents of twins. For face-to-face support, join your local twin's club – TAMBA’s website has a list of ones registered in the UK.
Be easy on yourself, too. The house doesn’t have to be immaculate. Your friend’s invite to pop over can be turned down if you’re just too knackered. Rest up and sleep when your babies sleep. Remember you're doing a great job!
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