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Let’s just start this off with the obvious- twin pregnancy is rough.
Whether you’re currently going through the (torture) or have already delivered, I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about.
But if you’re new to this, or are just wondering what might be different between the two types of pregnancy, you have come to the right place!
My twin pregnancy was kind of on the extreme side of the spectrum (you can read about it here). However I have talked with many other twin mommas for their less extreme experiences and everyone can agree;
Some of us are lucky and it’s almost as if our bodies were meant to carry twins. And to those mommas, CONGRATULATIONS! You beat the system! I envy you with a passion.
But for the majority of us- our bodies weren’t made for twin pregnancy.
Twin pregnancy pushed me beyond any and all limits I thought I had. And my body fought it every second of the way.
Before we dive into how a twin pregnancy is different than a singleton, I just want to throw it out there that I am not a medical professional. I don’t have any fancy degrees or skills.
I am just a twin momma who went through it all and is speaking from experience.
Okay now that my disclosure is out there- let’s get into just how different a twin pregnancy is!
Twin Pregnancy vs. Singleton Pregnancy
If you didn’t know already- a singleton pregnancy is a single baby pregnancy. A regular pregnancy. Most pregnancies. Us twin mommas just give it a new word 😉
If I would have known this before I went in for my first prenatal visit– I would have already known I was carrying twins. I mean, I took a pregnancy test right when I should have started my period just because my morning sickness was so bad.
I was probably about 4 weeks and 1 day when I took the test and those lines showed up so quick and SO dark right away. That should have been a tell tale of twins too!
I had been sick the morning before, and that night before. So I decided to just wing it and take the test. It was something I did often since I wasn’t too great at remembering to take my birth control. But at this time I had been off the pill for almost three months.
Fast forward to the following months and my symptoms were FAR worse than my best friend who was a few weeks ahead of me. I was sick the entire first trimester and she was only sick for a few days. I started gaining weight fast and showed by the end of the first trimester, but it took her a while longer to really show. And then the fatigue, insomnia, swelling, cravings, even frequency of urination was a lot more than her!
Gaining weight during pregnancy is just a pill you gotta swallow- however in twin pregnancy it’s a freakin horse pill.
During the average singleton pregnancy, it’s recommended to gain around 30lbs. But guess what? Yep it’s DOUBLED in twin pregnancy. Don’t be surprised if you gain 50-60 pounds during your twin pregnancy.
But there is a bright side! A good 50% of your weight gain will slide off after birth. And then if you’re really good at nursing and eating decently, the other chunk might come off too!
I am not very lucky in the department since I am an exclusive pumper and have no self control when it comes to food right now!
High Risk Doctors
Typically once your OB finds those two little sacs of love, they’ll refer you over to a high risk doctor for the rest of your care.
Some OB’s will continue your care, but it depends on your type of twin pregnancy. If they are DI/DI twins (separate sacs and placentas) you are considered a ‘low-high risk’ so they might keep you around. However if you have MO/DI or MO/MO, it is more likely you’ll be going to a specialist being that those are very high risk twin pregnancies.
Expectant twin (or multiple) mothers see high risk doctors due to their high risk category. Twin pregnancy comes with a LOT of risks (with much greater odds) than a singleton pregnancy. Check out my post here about what kinds of risks you can expect along with your twin pregnancy.
Frequent Visits and Scans
Not only will your doctor differ from a singleton pregnancy, but you’ll be seeing them a lot more frequently as well. Up until 24 weeks I was seeing my OB every four weeks and then getting a scan either at those appointments or after them. Then the appointments went to every two weeks, and then if I wouldn’t of been admitted on hospital bed rest, I would have been going every week for check ups and scans.
Seeing the twins so often really put my mind at ease, however, having that many visits and scans meant I was paying just that much MORE in co-pays. I would for sure check with your insurance provider prior to all of the visits and scans to get an idea of what your portion is going to be because all of those co-payments add up QUICK!
Less Involved Birth Plan
You have a lot of options when it comes to your birth plan during a singleton pregnancy. However, you lose a lot of your freedoms with a twin pregnancy.
Due to the risks involved, most OB’s will not let you go beyond 38 weeks without scheduling an induction. You can also forget the all natural water birth you have always imagined as well. It is very likely your OB will have you deliver in an OR in order to play it safe.
If both babies are head down, they might let you try a vaginal delivery. But if the twins are presenting in any other way, you will probably end up having a c-section.
My best advice when it comes to twin birth- learn about all of your options. Don’t set your mind on just one thing. Odds are, your beloved birth plan will be thrown out the window because the twins decided they weren’t going to corporate.
No Need to Exercise
Here is a little plus! During a singleton pregnancy, you should continue light to moderate exercise. But in twin pregnancy your body is already working so hard just to do about anything that
YOU DON’T NEED TO EXERCISE!
And I mean, you aren’t going to feel like exercising anyways with all of the extra fatigue. But it’s nice to know that your body is working hard enough that getting out of bed and walking out to your car is actually all you need to do!
In a singleton pregnancy, delivering early isn’t much of a thought. My best friend that was pregnant at the same time was only worried about NOT delivering by 40 weeks (which she didn’t, she was induced at 41 weeks).
But in twin pregnancy, we have to prepare early. And that means EVERYTHING. Start buying things early, plan your shower early, and prep all of our things early.
You could go to 35 weeks like the majority of twin mommas, however, I was admitted with pre-eclampsia at 29 weeks and stayed in the hospital until I delivered at 33. Needless to say I didn’t have a whole lot done and ordered way too much off Amazon and Target.
The hardest thing that twin mommas have to prepare for that singleton mothers do not is premature babies. It is something talked about at appointments, and reiterated when you go in for delivery. This might also mean speaking with the NICU team to prepare yourself.
Now, the most you can do is educate yourself as much as possible. What they might look like at each gestation, where their development might be and what that could mean for their development during their first two years.
Something you won’t be able to prepare yourself for is the reality of it all and it sucks. You could be the most educated person in the world in regard to prematurity, but it happening to you is a whole different story.
Twin pregnancy is very different from a singleton pregnancy. But they do have a lot of similarities.
For those mommas that have experienced both, what kinds of input do you have in regard to the differences and similarities? Go ahead and share below for the rest of the twin momma tribe!
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Talk soon mommas!