Twin pregnancy: Twins baby delivery care

twins baby delivery

Your guide to labour and delivery in a twin pregnancy

Wow, you have going to have twins. Exciting as it may sound, it also brings in a sense of anxiety and nervousness regarding many issues, right from delivery to bringing them up.

But for now, it's important to understand what your birth options are if you are expecting twins because delivering two babies definitely differs from delivering one!

For one, twins are more likely to be born early because of which they could need special care right after birth. Also, they might come out smaller than a single baby.

What are my birth options in a twin pregnancy?

It's a good idea to discuss the birth options that you have with your doctor early on in your pregnancy. If you have no risk factors, you may even be able to have a normal delivery even with a twin pregnancy.

Every twin birth is different and is dependant on various factors like :

  • The health of the babies
  • The size of the babies
  • The position of the babies
  • Your health
  • Your choice of procedure
  • Hospital processes in dealing with twin pregnancy

There will usually be more doctors present for a twin birth because the chances of complications could be higher – for example, there may be a delivery doctor and two paediatricians: one for each baby.

Can I have a normal delivery if I am pregnant with twins?

The common belief is that a cesarean section is almost a certainty in a twin pregnancy. But this is far from the truth. In fact, more than 30% of twins are delivered vaginally and the labour and delivery process is quite similar to that of a single baby. However, if you're planning a vaginal delivery, it is highly recommended that you take an epidural for pain relief.

Labour in a twin pregnancy

The process of labour in a twin pregnancy is not too different from a single one but your babies will be closely monitored. You may have an electronic monitor strapped to your abdomen to monitor both babies closely.

You will be given an IV drip in case you need it for later.

Signs and stages of labour in a twin delivery

Exactly as in the case of a single birth, you're more likely to have a vaginal birth if the first twin is in a head-down position. If you do have a vaginal birth, you may need assistance. An assisted birth is still vaginal but with some intervention. In this a suction cup or forceps are used to ease the delivery of your babies.

Sometimes however, it may not be medically safe in certain situations to deliver vaginally and in such situations your doctor will recommend a c-section. In case you've had a c-section before, it's not usually recommended that you have go in for a vaginal birth if you are pregnant with twins.

Once the first baby comes, your doctor will check the position of the second baby by feeling your abdomen or doing a vaginal examination. If the second baby is in a head down position, the second baby should be born without much intervention since you are already dilated. If however, contractions stop after the birth of the first baby, you may be administered a drip to restart the contractions.

Caesarean section and twin baby delivery

A lot of women tend to go for elective c-sections if they have a twin pregnancy. You may choose to either have a planned caesarean, or your doctor may recommend a it for medical reasons, which may include the babies being in breech position or one of them lying sideways in which case you will have to have a cesarean section. Also, if you’ve had a difficult first pregnancy it just may be considered safer to have a caesarean section with twins.

Do remember, that as with any pregnancy, your plans for a vaginal birth may not work and you could end up having an emergency caesarean if one or both the babies become distressed, or the cord falls back into the birth canal.

Look out for symptoms such as:

  • Severe headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Pain in upper abdomen
  • Vomiting
  • Sudden swelling

These are signs of pre-eclampsia which is highly common in mothers delivering twins. Trust your instincts and learn the signs of labor. If it doesn’t feel like a symptom of labor then it probably is not. Contact your doctor immediately for guidance and consultation.