- Large for dates – if always measuring 4 cm larger than dates, are you wrong about your due date or is it twins?
- More morning sickness and other complaints of pregnancy due to more hormones
- Lots of movement
- Palpation – more parts!
- More than one heart beat heard
- Spotting or bleeding is common in first trimester – more placental site attachment, more hormones
It is good to get an ultrasound when twins are suspected.
There are three ways that the fertilized egg can divide when twins develop:
- Diachoronic/diamniotic are the safest for vaginal twin births.
Are the babies the same gender?
- Monochorionic twins are identical, so twins of the same sex will carry a risk for TTTS.
- Are the babies close to the same size or is one a lot larger than the other? The donor twin may be losing weight.
Good Maternal Nutrition is very important with twins
- Eat lots of nutrient dense foods
- Too high of a carbohydrate diet can lead to premature twins
- High protein diet is important – 90 to 120 grams a day
- Eat 3000 calories a day with twins
- Eat Healthy snacks between meals
- Take Lecithin to help lungs develop – 2 tablespoons of the granules a day in the last trimester
- Eggs are high in lecithin and protein – pasture raised eggs are best
- Grass fed butter and dairy products – higher in fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K
- Glycine helps with growth – the fetus requires 2-10 times the normal amount – Moringa and gelatin are good sources
- Juicing is a way to increase nutrient intake
- Eat lots of green leafy vegetables
- A good source of pure water to drink is important
- Vegans may need to “graze” all day long. It may be helpful to keep a food log so you can be sure that you are getting enough protein.
- A sign that nutrition has been adequate: fundal height is 50 cm or more at time of delivery
Books about diet for twin pregnancies
- Tom Brewer has a chapter on twins in his book
- Eat to Live by Dr. Joe Furman – a good book for vegetarian Mom’s that encourages a nutrient dense diet
- Let’s Eat Right for Healthy Children by Adele Davis
- Stinging Nettle tea and alfalfa – good for iron levels
- red raspberry – to tone uterus
- relaxation teas – chamomile – to help prevent premature birth
- Floradix liquid iron supplement
- Vitamin D3 – test to see if they are low and if so give 6,000 IUs a day (only 0.15 mg.)
- A good prenatal vitamin – whole food based
Expect more discomforts of pregnancy
- More morning sickness
- Varicose veins
- Backache, etc.
- Can be caused by increased hormones.
- Also anemia or low blood sugar
- How is your blood pressure?
- Drinking more water may help
- May be helped by regular exercise – walking and stretching
- It may be hard to sleep in a bed because of large belly, you may have to sleep in easy chair.
- Exercise – stretching and walking help a lot!
- Good posture is important.
- Belly band for support – soft elastic not something that will prevent the baby from dropping into the pelvis.
- Coconut oil or a good skin salve for your belly to help with skin stretching and itching.
- Picture both babies head down, talk to them and encourage them to turn, tell them that birth will be easier if they get in good positions.
- Acupuncture can be helpful for getting your babies to be in good positions.
- Breastfeed the first twin to help with the delivery of the second.
- Check out this website for more suggestions http://spinningbabies.com/learn-more/baby-positions/twins/
- Tie a ribbon on the wrist of the first twin or paint a toe nail so you can tell them apart if they are the same sex.
- Some women carrying twins are more likely to get high blood pressure during pregnancy. Look at suggestions for preventing PIH or pregnancy induced hypertension.
- Postpartum hemorrhage can occur more often with twins, so be sure to eat foods high in iron and eat plenty of green leafy vegetables and take an iron supplement if necessary.
- Prematurity is another thing that you want to avoid
- Bed rest at the end of the pregnancy
- If You have other children, you will need help
- Try and plan your life to be as free of stress as possible, especially in the last trimester
Possible signs of problems:
- Polyhydramnios or fundal height growing more than expected even for twins
- Hand and leg swelling in early pregnancy
- Twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) http://www.tttsfoundation.org/medical_professionals/what_is_ttts.php
- Is the placenta monochorionic? TTTS only occurs in identical twins with a single, shared monochorionic placenta. Placental type can be determined as early as 6 weeks of pregnancy.