For mothers who are about to give birth to twins, the last trimester is imminently the time to be extra cautious. Because this last stretch can be a bit more stressful, knowing precisely when the full term for twins is will significantly bring a sense of comfort especially when mothers are especially particular about preterm labor and essential preparations.
This article will give helpful insight as to knowing just when your twins are ready to pop out of the oven as well as the essentials to pre and post-natal care.
How Many Weeks is a Full Term Pregnancy for Twins?
Pregnancy Day By Day editor-in-chief Maggie Blott, M.B.,B.S., reports that there are about 1 in 31 twin births in the United since the 80’s. Among those births, more than half of the twins delivered were born at about 37 weeks, which is considered normal and healthy when giving birth to multiples.
Baby Center UK says, the average timeline for twin pregnancies is about 36.4 weeks and doctors consider 37 weeks as the full term pregnancy for twins. Babies born within this time (32 to 37 weeks) have no complications and actually do well.
Preparing for the Arrival of Your Twins
Since multiples are born earlier compared to singletons, it is important to already have a hospital bag packed as early as the 26th week of pregnancy. During the wait time, the Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) advises thinking about how you would want to feed your babies.
It is important to inquire and attend antenatal classes specifically for twin pregnancies. These classes include sessions on how to breastfeed more than one child. Being able to know the merits of bottle feeding, breastfeeding, or the mixed approach is also very helpful.
How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Twins
When pregnant with twins or multiples, there are a lot of changes that go through until you reach full term. One of which is that weight gain is rapid as early as the first trimester.
The vomiting and nausea can be pretty intense, as well as the pain of breast tenderness. Such physical changes call for extra TLC, so it is important to always have someone with you at home during these times.
Another important thing to note according to The Office on Women’s Health is to visit your doctor. With twins, visits to the doctor will happen more often than those moms who are pregnant with singletons.
Mothers who carry twins have a higher risk of low birth weight, preterm birth, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and cesarean birth. To avoid complications, frequent prenatal visits are a must. Doing so, allows your doctor to monitor the health of your twins, including your own.
Close monitoring will give you the best chance of having your babies being born full term and at a healthy weight. Plus, you will be able to know the vitamins you need and what activities are unsafe during the pregnancy. In short, your doctor is your best friend at this critical time.
What if I Give Birth Early? What Should I Know About Pre-Term Labor?
It is important to know the signs of preterm labor in order to avoid complications and be able to get help on time. Since preterm labor is “silent,” being aware of your body is key. The first thing to be keen with is contractions. If you experience these symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor as soon as possible:
- Having four or five contractions in an hour
- Pressure in the pelvic area that is persistently rhythmic
- An aching back
- Experiencing cramps
There are also other signs of preterm labor like diarrhea and vaginal discharge or bleeding. Any discharge that looks streaked or bloody may mean that the cervix is about to dilate.
If you feel a gush of fluid or a leak from the vagina, this too can mean that the membranes have prematurely ruptured. This fluid is from the amniotic sac and when it breaks, the fluid gushes through the vagina. Finally, another symptom is that certain gut-feel that something is just not right. When things like these happen, go straight to your doctor.
After Giving Birth, What Now?
Although the pregnancy and delivery can be a cause of worry, it is essential to look forward to what happens next- your twins’ arrival! This is a joy for any mom but then, take note that care is still very much needed. Because your body is still recovering, you’d definitely need to do a number of changes at home.
To allow ample rest, limit the number of visitors at home. Be sure to have some extra hands to help with preparing meals and cleaning up the house. Eat healthily. Drink a lot of water and take in a lot of fiber to avoid constipation. Prevent swelling in your legs by putting your feet up and to avoid vaginal discomfort, sit in a warm bath. Whenever the need arises, apply nipple cream to sore breasts to soothe the pain.
Always be in check with your emotional health. If you feel sad, be sure to open up to your partner and family. If the sadness doesn’t seem to go away, be sure to call your doctor. Take all the rest you can whenever possible. Your babies always need you at your best.
There is nothing like the joy of giving birth and being a mom.
Even if this brings a number of physical and emotional changes, being ready with the essentials throughout the journey of pregnancy to giving birth is a must and will be a source of comfort early on. From knowing when the full term for twins is, doing necessary preparations, being emotionally ready, and of course realizing complications and risks, achieving a safe and healthy pregnancy is more than possible.