Twins & Triplets 254 posts

Potential complications of twin pregnancy

Written By MyloEditor142 Views

So, are you going to welcome double happiness? Congratulations on the twins! If double blessings are on your way and you are worried about the complications in your pregnancy, then it’s time for you to relax and educate yourself with all the possible twin pregnancy complications with this easy-to-understand guide-

Common Complications Associated with Twin Pregnancy

1. Preterm labor

  • When the delivery happens before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy, it is called as preterm delivery.

  • When you carry an additional fetus in your womb, the gestation period decreases.

  • The premature rupture of the ovarian membranes results in preterm labor.  

  • Premature babies do not develop properly. They do not achieve a normal healthy weight before they are born. Low-birth-weight babies may be incapable of fighting infections.

  • These babies often need special care in a NICU.


2. Miscarriage risks

As compared to singletons, a twin pregnancy carries a higher risk of facing a miscarriage. But it is impossible to say how much higher the risk is, as most early miscarriages are not identified. Most of the miscarriages occur in the first trimester of the pregnancy. Sometimes one baby is lost but it does not have an adverse effect on the development of the second baby. Many early twin pregnancies are not discovered so this occurrence is more common in nature. Feeling sad and down is natural under these circumstances. But you do not have any control over it. Talk to your doctor to guide and support you better during this difficult time.

3. Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)

One of the most common complications with a twin pregnancy is the growth issue. The growth rate of the twins begins to slow down at 29 to 32 weeks. IUGR occurs during the same phase when placenta cannot handle any more growth of the twins. IUGR is a condition in which a baby is smaller than is expected to be. Your body starts succumbing to the growth process as both the babies compete to obtain a sufficient amount of nutrients. Contact your gynecologist, as she may guide you by performing an ultrasound and measuring the size of your abdomen.

4. Placental Abruption

If the placenta detaches itself from the uterine wall before the time of delivery, it may lead to serious complications. Though it affects only 1 % of pregnant women, but chances of this condition are higher in twin pregnancies. In the case of a twin pregnancy, abruption may occur just after the first baby is delivered vaginally. Usually, C-section is advised to deliver the other baby.

5. Preeclampsia and High blood pressure

The chances of developing Preeclampsia are higher when you are expecting twins. High blood pressure can also be one of the complications that can pose serious threats to you and the unborn babies. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication marked by protein in the urine, high blood pressure, liver or kidney abnormalities. But with adequate parental care, it is possible to reduce the risk of developing a serious problem from preeclampsia.

6. Anemia

Due to increased blood flow, iron level drops which cause anemia. Your doctor will prescribe you a suitable iron supplement to cope up with this condition. When you are suffering from anemia, your body feels drained and tired. This complication is more common in multiple pregnancies. Regular checkups are must to keep a track of anemia levels.

7. Heart Failure

It is also observed that 13% of the women who are expecting twin pregnancies suffer from the danger of heart failure. They are more likely to have the risk of heart failure as compared to a singleton.

8. Gestational Diabetes

This is one of the most common problems that occur in twin pregnancies. The resistance to insulin production increases due to the presence of two placentas. And it leads to a sudden increase in blood sugar level. Greater placenta size or elevated levels of the placental hormones are also some of the reasons that lead to gestational diabetes.

9. Birth Defects

Twin pregnancies can also have the risk of developing congenital abnormalities in the newborn twins. Heart abnormalities, gastrointestinal disorders, and neural tube defects are some of the common birth defects usually experienced in case of twin pregnancy.

10. Obstetric Cholestasis

This rare condition affects the liver. Many studies have revealed that Obstetric cholestasis is caused by pregnancy hormones estrogen and progesterone. Twin or multiple pregnancies produce a higher level of hormones that why it is more common in such kind of pregnancies. The most common symptom is extreme itching without rashes. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience something like this.

Prevention of complications

This is the most common question that people often have and we truly understand this. Twin pregnancies have little to do with your lifestyle or behavior. But an early confirmation that you are expecting twins may help you in a big way. This will help your doctor to detect, monitor or treat complications that may arise. It is highly recommended to make a note of these important points-

  • Mothers who carry more than 1 fetus need more proteins, calories, iron, and nutrients. So, you need to have a healthy diet. Proper hydration is highly recommended. 

  • Be aware of all the warning signs associated with pre-eclampsia and other pregnancy complications that need immediate attention

  • More frequent prenatal visits help the doctor to monitor and treat the condition timely and effectively.

  • Seek doctor’s advice on doing some gentle exercises during your pregnancy and also attend all antenatal appointments.

  • Smoking is injurious to health and it is deadly during pregnancy. If you really want to do something for your babies, quit this bad habit now! Passive smoking may also create problems so ask your family members and visitors to smoke outside and make your home a smoke free zone.

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