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Understanding Possible Twin Pregnancy Complications

Expecting a baby is exciting, let alone being pregnant with twins or triplets! When pregnant with two or more babies, the moms are classified as being a high-risk pregnancy. Having this label does not necessarily mean that you may face twin pregnancy complications. It is helpful, however, to educate yourself of any abnormalities that may arise during twin pregnancy. Fraternal twins are less likely to face complications, compared to identical twins. Here are different situations that may arise when pregnant with more than one baby.

Twin Pregnancy Complications: Monochorionic, Diamniotic Twins

Not only do monochorionic diamniotic twins (MCDA) share a womb, but they also share a blood supply. How can u get pregnant with twins that are monochorionic, diamniotic? They develop from one fertilized egg that splits into two. Though MCDA twins share a placenta, they do have their own amniotic sacs. By having their blood vessels connect to the single placenta, each baby receives proper nutrition that they need to grow. Doctors monitor MCDA twins the same as other twins, by conducting twin ultrasounds.

Possible Complications for Monochorionic-Monoamniotic Twins

Like MCDA twins, monochorionic monoamniotic (MoMo) twins are identical twins that share one placenta. Unlike MCDA twins, monochorionic-monoamniotic twins also share an amniotic sac. One major concern is that MoMo twins can get entangled by their umbilical cords. MoMo twins will be the same sex, as they develop from the split of one fertilized egg. The twins will have the same features as their identical twin brother or sister.  

When it comes to twins, medical professionals will continue to monitor the growth and development of each baby. In identical twins, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) occurs when the placenta is shared between the babies. Blood vessels are attached to the placenta. The blood is rerouted to one twin, with a lower supply to the other twin. This results in one fetus receiving more blood than needed, while the other twin does not receive enough blood to help it grow.

Other Types of Twins

Dichorionic twins are another type of twins. This can be labeled for either identical or fraternal set of twins. Each twin baby has their own amniotic sacs and placentas. About 30% of identical twins are classified as being dichorionic twins.

IVF and Higher-Order Pregnancies

The chances of women becoming pregnant with higher order multiples have become more likely over the years. Women who have a challenging time becoming pregnant may look into using in vetro fertilization (IVF). With regards to IVF, eggs are taken from the women. Sample of sperm is provided from the male donor who wants to be the father of the babies. Once the medical physicians have the eggs and sperm, they will fertilize the egg with the sperm donation. Should the embryo form, they will be placed into the woman’s uterus. Women who hope to become pregnant may request multiple embryos to be inserted into the uterus.

On the positive side of IVF, if the embryos take, they will grow to become fetuses and likely result in higher-order multiples. This means that a woman is pregnant with triplets, quadruplets, or more babies. Since there is not a lot of room, the babies may have to be delivered earlier than the typical 36 to 40-week gestation. In times of difficulties, higher order pregnancies have a higher risk of low birth weights and premature deliveries.

Twins and Premature Birth

Twins have a likely chance of being born prematurely. This means that twins are delivered before the 37-week mark of gestation. When babies are born prematurely, they weigh less, and their organs have yet to fully grow. Babies born before the 28-week period have a challenging time surviving on their own. The more time babies can stay inside of the womb, the better chance they have of not staying in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for a long amount of time.

how early can twins be detected

Additional Twin Pregnancy Complications

If you are pregnant with high blood pressure, or develop health problems while pregnant, your doctor will closely monitor your health and the health of your babies. Within the first trimester of pregnancy, your health care provider may run a blood test on you. This screens the hCG, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and estriol levels. The screening is commonly referred to as the triple test.

Having a higher level of AFP can raise a red flag to medical professionals as spina bifida may be present with one, or more, of the babies within the womb. Spina bifida occurs when the neural tube does not properly close. This is one of the birth defects that can happen if the mom-to-be is not taking enough folic acid.  

In the triple test, if there are lower levels of AFP, hCG, and/or estriol, one of the babies may be diagnosed with Trisomy 21. Trisomy 21 is a genetic disorder that is commonly known as down syndrome.  When the cells divide within the growing embryo, one extra or partial chromosome appears. Having the ability to receive early diagnosis in Trisomy 21 allows for early interventions that can help to promote a normal qualitative life.

Essential Prenatal Care for Twins

Pregnancy requires women prenatal care for themselves and their babies, including the much-needed folic acid intake. Whether it be a singleton pregnancy, twins, triplets or more; staying informed and listening to your medical care provider will make for an easier pregnancy. Thus, allowing you to stress less and to continue making the best decisions for yourself and your babies. 

Have Additional Questions About Twin Pregnancy Complications?

Having knowledge on twin pregnancy complications keeps you informed of what some moms have experienced. Listening to your doctor’s advice, along with educating yourself, allows you to make informed decisions for the duration of your twin pregnancy. At TwinStuff, we have a TwinStuff Facebook Group filled with experienced parents of multiples who provide endearing support to others within the community. We offer reliable and educational advice, along with fun suggestions on high-quality products for your expanding family. From twin baby shower themes to matching onesies with clever sayings, TwinStuff has you covered for all the milestones to come your way.

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