Nothing compares to the moment you find out you’re going to be a parent. Safe to say, it truly is one of life’s great joys. So when you’re pregnant with twins, that feeling your might burst with happiness doubles, right? Well, it certainly does in part. Being pregnant with twins comes with a smorgasbord of rewards: not only does it call for double the fun, snuggles, and love, but you also get two babies in just one labour. Brilliant! That being said, carrying twins for nine months is very different from carrying a singleton. And there can be complications. Pregnant with twins? Here’s what to expect.
The morning sickness struggle is real
While morning sickness is a minor symptom in pregnancy with a singleton, we’re sorry to say it shows its face a lot in twin pregnancies. To put it simply, two babies mean more raging hormones. The key culprits are progesterone, relaxin, oestrogen, and human chronic gonadotropin (hCG). These hormones are responsible for making you feel nauseated (not to mention desperate for the bathroom 24/7 and at your wits end about the incessant acid reflux). If you feel truly terrible, get in touch with your GP or midwife.
You don’t have permission to eat for three (sorry!)
We hate to dispel this myth, but sadly you can’t eat for three when you’ve got two buns in the oven. Of course, gaining weight is vitally important during pregnancy – it wards off preterm labour, for one. However, you can’t go crazy. It only takes an additional 200-400 calories each day (as opposed to 150 to 250 calories for one baby) to properly nourish your blossoming babes. To put that into perspective: this amount equates eating a bowl of Greek yoghurt with fruit every day.
Spoiler alert: your tummy is going to get big…like really, really, really big
In regular pregnancies, some women can hide their baby bumps pretty well. Unsurprisingly, the same can’t be said about twin mums. You may find yourself having to invest in stretchy maternity trousers by the time you hit 8 weeks. And once you reach 32 weeks, you’ll be looking like you’re about to pop! Get ready to stock up on plenty of super stretchy outfits.
Did someone say scans?
If you’re expecting two babes, you’ll have more than just two routine ultra-sound scans during pregnancy. These are crucial to ascertain if your little ones are healthy and growing well. In addition to the routine scans you have between 10 and 14 weeks (the dating scan) and between 18 and 24 weeks (the anomaly scan), you’ll also have a chronicity scan at the same time as your dating scan and growth scans every fortnight from 16 weeks pregnant. Brace yourself for lashings of ultrasound gel!
There may be complications
As with any pregnancy, complications can occur. Minor risks, like an iron deficiency and anaemia, can be treated with a high-strength supplement and dietary improvements. More serious issues, however, such as preeclampsia, hypertension, and gestational diabetes are increasingly common if you’re pregnant with twins. It’s well worth keeping your eagle eye on the warning signs, and speaking to your GP or midwife if you notice anything worrying.
You’ll probably go into labour early
Chances are, you’ll go into labour early with twins. In fact, approximately half of multiple babies in the UK arrive prematurely. You can expect to meet your little cherubs around 37 weeks, though, it is indeed possible to go into labour earlier than this. Make sure you take it easy in the weeks leading up to labour. Give yourself enough maternity leave off work, too.
Oh, and you’ll need teeny tiny baby grows
While every little human is different, typically your twins will be on the smaller side when they make their entrance. The average weight of a twin born in the UK is 5 pounds. And that means kitting out your tiny nuts with tons of tiny baby grows. Thankfully, The Essential One’s got you covered.