Of all the things to feel, it should be a sense of optimism. This is because twins born at 30 weeks have a high survival rate (more than 90%, to be exact) as long as they are given due medical attention.
Such medical care is more than available today through the development of medical technology and procedures. However, certain intricacies go along with 30-week-old preemies that every mother should know about.
You and Your Twins at 30 Weeks
As a mom to 30-week-old twins at this time, it is entirely reasonable to feel really exhausted and find yourself trying so hard to endure the worsening back pain. You will also notice some changes in your feet and experience more mood swings.
It becomes difficult to sleep, and you go to the bathroom more often. It will be beneficial if you take naps throughout the day and you may also want to buy that pregnancy pillow everyone has been talking about! You definitely need all the rest and comfort you can have.
Also, take time to elevate your feet to make things easier on your back, and watch your posture.
CAPTION: The health of the mother and babies is a priority.
Your twins, on the other hand, weigh about three pounds each and are about 15 to 17 inches long, which is about the size of a cucumber. It is at week 30 when the growth in twins begin to lag behind compared to singletons.
Twins who are 30 weeks old have more fat stored, start shedding the fine hair that covers their bodies and can already blink. More importantly, the brain development of 30-week preemies begins to control body temperature.
Twins stomach and intestines are getting ready to digest milk and can begin sucking which develops their muscles used for eating.
What should I expect if my twins are born at 30 weeks?
Most babies who are born between 28 to 31 weeks require oxygen therapy through surfactants and mechanical assistance so they will be able to breathe a lot better. This means they would need to spend some time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Oxygen therapy allows babies to breathe increased amounts of oxygen and may be given in many different ways.
One is via using an oxygen hood, a plastic dome with warm and moist oxygen. This is for babies who need extra oxygen even if they can breathe on their own. Another way is to use the nasal cannula which is a tube with soft prongs that is placed into the baby’s nose.
Compounds called surfactants may also be used to reduce surface tension allowing the lungs to inflate easily. Finally, to breathe for the baby, using a breathing machine is sometimes needed.
What are the complications involved in twins born at 30 weeks?
It is known that babies born before 37 weeks are considered premature. Meaning, the babies’ bodily systems are immature which poses a number of health concerns.
A number of these complications are common in premature twins are seen while they are in the NICU, according to Eugene Ng, a neonatologist and chief of newborn and development pediatrics at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto.
- Preemies may develop Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD), a chronic lung disease that makes babies more prone to infections and bronchitis.
- Feeding issues would be most likely. Preemies have what is described as slow-moving guts making them vomit more. This is why when it comes to feeding them, breast milk is best.
- Eye Problems can arise in babies who are born before 31 weeks. Specifically, this condition is called retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) which affects how blood vessels of the retina are developed. In the future, preemies may require glasses because they are at risk of refractive error which causes nearsightedness and farsightedness.
- Preemies are at a high risk of acquiring infections because of their immature immune system. Because infections become quite severe, there are a number of SOPs in NICUs. Visitors and parents are screened for any illness, hand washing is mandatory, and medical instruments are always sterile.
- Babies who are born less than 32 weeks may also be at risk of brain hemorrhage or brain bleed. But then, this risk decreases about five percent every week the baby is in utero. A brain ultrasound is done during their stay in the hospital for this kind of things.
Although thinking about these complications and conditions is stressful, there is a guarantee that twins born at 30 weeks have a high chance of survival be able to live full lives. And as a mother, there is nothing like seeing and being involved in every milestone your twins will have.