woman holding ultrasound of twins

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Carrying twins: What you need to know

First of all, if you are carrying twins, congratulations! You have the honor of bringing more bundles of joy into your home. To answer the question, absolutely, carrying more than one baby means you have more to nourish, develop, and protect! Your diet, sleep patterns, as well as exercise routines should be different than those carrying one baby. You should consult your healthcare provider to know exactly what you should do to properly carry your babies.

How is carrying twins different?

Your journey carrying twins is a lot different than a mom carrying one baby. Here are some of the most important differences you should be aware of:

  • Sharing an amniotic sac, or not: The most common type of twin pregnancy is one in which each baby has his or her own amniotic sac and placenta. It's more rare for twins to share the same sac and placenta.
  • Shorter term: Most women carrying twins give birth early in gestation than do moms who are carrying one baby, usually before the due date.
  • Diet: Remember that now you’re eating for three! You need to be eating significantly more than you used to. It is estimated that you should add about 300 calories a day for each child you’re carrying, as well as additional nutrients. It's a good idea to consult your healthcare provider to see how much you should eat per day.
  • Weight gain: Women carrying twins need to gain even more weight than other moms-to-be, so that their womb-partments can hold multiple tenants! Your healthcare provider will also have a better idea of exactly how much you need to gain.
  • Hydration: Your body will need to process more nutrients and more water, so it is important to drink plenty of water every day. You will be going to the bathroom quite often, but if your pee is clear, you’re all good. If there is any tint of color, you should drink more water.
  • Exercise: Exercise is incredibly beneficial for an expecting mom, but it becomes increasingly more difficult with twins. If your healthcare provider approves, walking, swimming, and yoga can help. Exercising with twins can be TOUGH, particularly by the third trimester, so you should take frequent breaks, stop if you feel overly fatigued, and always check in with your provider to make sure what you're doing is safe.
  • Pre-term labor: The most important part of carrying twins is the prevention of pre-term labor. The more babies you carry, the higher the likelihood of a premature birth because it is more difficult for your body. You should make a plan with your healthcare provider to constantly monitor your babies, and you should also be familiar with symptoms of pre-term labor to get help if needed.
  • Ultrasound exams: Ultrasound exams will need to be more frequent if you’re carrying twins because you need to closely monitor the growth of each baby. According to ACOG guidelines, women carrying multiples should have an ultrasound exam every 4-6 weeks.
  • Cervix measurements: Your healthcare provider needs to measure your cervix more often because some women with twins are diagnosed with cervical insufficiency.
  • Delivery: Twins require C-sections more frequently than singletons, so it's best to discuss your options with your healthcare provider.

Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Lo
Read more
  • "Multiple Pregnancy: FAQ188." ACOG. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 7/15/2015. Web.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. "Twin Pregnancy: What multiples mean for mom." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 12/13/2014. Web.
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