If you’re pregnant with twins, a healthy lifestyle and good antenatal care will help you cope with your pregnancy and give your babies the best start in life.
You might be thrilled at the thought of having twins. But on the other hand, you might be worried about how you’ll manage. In some cases, you might have expected it, or it might have been a surprise.
Whatever your feelings, the more you know about what's ahead, the better you'll be able to deal with it.
It's important to get good antenatal care. This is the care you get while you are pregnant. You can choose to have a midwife, an obstetrician, or a doctor look after you.
Having a healthy lifestyle and diet during pregnancy is important. Eat well, take gentle exercise, drink lots of fluid and, if you feel stressed, ask for support from friends and family, or talk to your midwife or doctor.
Some people think that if you are pregnant with twins, you need a lot of extra food. That's not true. The type of food you eat is more important for your babies than how much you eat. Talk to your midwife or doctor about the best diet for you. You might also be advised to take certain supplements, such as folate and iron supplements.
Make sure you look after yourself. Being pregnant with twins can be more tiring both physically and emotionally. All of the common pregnancy discomforts are likely to be more noticeable with twins.
It's vital to attend all your appointments so your midwife or doctor can see what type of twins you have, check your dates and pick up any problems.
Potential complications with twins
Most twin pregnancies are healthy. But complications can happen, and some are more likely with twins. These include:
- vanishing twin syndrome — a twin that is seen on ultrasound early but disappears by the next ultrasound
- high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia
- gestational diabetes
- haemorrhage (bleeding) around the birth
- premature birth
- complications during labour
- low birth weight
Having a doctor or midwife keep an eye out for these problems is important.
Options for giving birth
In Australia, you can choose to give birth in a public hospital, a private hospital, at a birth centre or at home, although home birth for twins is rare because of the higher risk of complications. You may find this decision overwhelming, so start talking about it to your midwife or doctor early in your pregnancy.
You may think that caesarean section is the only option, but talk to your midwife or doctor about whether vaginal birth is possible. Even if you try for a vaginal birth, you might eventually need to have a caesarean section, as with any other pregnancy.
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Last reviewed: October 2019