Table of contents:
- Difference of Identical Twins and Non-Identical Twins
- Factors That Can Increase the Risk of Twin Pregnancy
- Twins Delivery Method
- Risk of Twin Pregnancy
- Tips for Preparing for Childbirth with Twins
Preparing for the birth of twins is actually not much different from childbirth in general. However, there are indeed some things that need to be known before giving birth to twins, so that pregnant women can make more thorough preparations ahead of time
One of the preparations that pregnant women can do from the beginning of pregnancy is to consult with an obstetrician to determine the method of giving birth to twins according to the condition of the pregnant woman.
In addition, pregnant women can also ask doctors about the risks of conceiving twins, how to treat twins, and the sex of the babies in the womb.
Difference of Identical Twins and Non-Identical Twins
There are two types of twins, identical twins and non-identical twins. This is influenced by the number of eggs and sperm at the time of fertilization. Here is the explanation:
Fraternal or non-identical twins
Fraternal twins are the most common type of twin. Fraternal twins occur when two or more eggs are fertilized by two or more sperm. Therefore, the physical appearance of fraternal twins is not exactly the same, but only looks like siblings. The gender can also be different.
Identical twins occur when one egg is fertilized by one sperm and then splits and develops into two or more fetuses. Identical twins will have the exact same physical appearance and the same sex.
Factors That Can Increase the Risk of Twin Pregnancy
Not all couples can have twins. However, there are several factors that can increase your chances of having twins, including:
History of twins in the family
If there are twins in the pregnant woman's family, especially fraternal twins, the pregnant woman's chances of conceiving twins will be greater. Having a family history of twins allows a woman to inherit a gene that allows her ovaries to release more than one egg at ovulation.
Age of pregnant women
Women who are pregnant at the age of more than 30 years have a greater chance of carrying twins.
Pregnant women aged 35–40 who have given birth also have a greater chance of conceiving twins. This is because the release of two eggs simultaneously is more common in these conditions.
In addition to heredity and age, the IVF program to produce offspring also increases a woman's chances of conceiving twins.
Twins Delivery Method
Like childbirth in general, there are two methods of giving birth to twins, namely:
About 1 in 3 twins is born through normal delivery. This delivery can be done if the head position of one of the twins is already in the birth canal. However, women who are pregnant with twins who give birth vaginally generally require an epidural anesthetic injection to relieve pain.
Most of the process of giving birth to twins is done by caesarean section. This is because even though the baby's head is down and the first baby can be born normally, the second baby will usually have difficulty getting it to be born normally.
The delivery of twins by caesarean section is highly recommended in the following conditions:
- Baby triplets or more
- breech baby position
- Pregnant women have high blood pressure
- The labor or opening process is taking too long
- Prolapse of the umbilical cord, which is when the umbilical cord descends and closes the birth canal
- Twins share the same placenta
Risk of Twin Pregnancy
Containing twins can increase the risk of complications for pregnant women and their babies. There are several risks of twin pregnancy, including:
Baby born prematurely
The more babies you carry, the higher the risk of babies being born prematurely. This condition can affect the baby's growth and development, both in the womb or when born later.Therefore, pregnant women are advised to routinely check their womb if they are pregnant with twins.
In addition to premature labor, the risk of miscarriage also increases if pregnant women are carrying twins. In some cases, one of the babies may even disappear, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy. This condition is called vanishing twin syndrome.
Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome
Twins who share blood vessels in the placenta are at risk for unequal blood sharing. One baby can get more blood, while the other baby is deficient.
Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome can cause serious complications for both babies and is usually treated with an early delivery.
High blood pressure in pregnant women
Containing twins increases the risk of high blood pressure in pregnant women. Not only that, being pregnant with twins also makes pregnant women more susceptible to anemia, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.
In addition to the various conditions above, pregnant women will also experience various complaints more often when carrying twins. Some of these complaints include:
- Nausea and vomiting (morning sickness) that is more severe
- Gain more weight, especially in the first trimester
- Hemorrhoids and varicose veins
- Stomach bloating and heartburn
- Pelvic pain and back pain
Tips for Preparing for Childbirth with Twins
Containing two or more babies does consume more energy and pregnant women also have to be more careful in everything. Routine pregnancy check-ups are important things that need to be done while pregnant with twins.
In addition, there are several things that pregnant women can do when carrying twins so that delivery can run smoothly later:
1. Exercise regularly
The risk of he alth problems for women who are pregnant with twins will be higher. Therefore, pregnant women must always maintain their stamina and he alth condition by exercising regularly. Kegel exercises are an example of an exercise that pregnant women can do to strengthen their pelvic muscles.
2. Live a he althy diet
Conceiving twins does not mean that pregnant women need to eat twice as much as normal pregnant women. The diet of pregnant women with twins is more or less the same as that of mothers carrying one fetus, namely:
- Consuming he althy and balanced nutrition
- Eat complex carbohydrates that are also rich in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, to prevent constipation
- Fit protein and iron needs from eggs, fish, beans, and lean red meat, for blood formation
- Fulfilling calcium needs to maintain he althy bones and teeth, for example from milk and its processed products
- Drink lots of water to prevent dehydration
- Eating he althy snacks, such as fresh fruits and vegetables
- Avoiding non-nutritive snacks, such as packaged chips or candy
- Consuming folic acid at least 600 mcg to 5 mg to reduce the risk of defects in the fetus
3. Take a break
Women who are pregnant with twins are recommended to get more rest and avoid strenuous activities. However, that does not mean that pregnant women cannot move at all. Pregnant but recommended to do light activities, such as yoga or walking around the house.
4. Reduce stress
Having a twin pregnancy is indeed more difficult, so it is not uncommon for pregnant women to experience stress, especially when they are approaching the time of delivery.
Stress can have a negative impact on the immune system, so pregnant women can be more susceptible to disease. In addition, uncontrolled stress can also affect the condition of the fetus and increase the risk of the fetus being born with low birth weight.
Therefore, pregnant women can do relaxation therapy or meditation to reduce stress.
5. Prepare bigger funds
The cost of caring for and raising two or more children at once, from baby equipment to their future education, will certainly be higher.
To reduce costs, some equipment, such as clothes, toys, and shoes, can be used by relatives that are no longer used. However, some equipment that requires safety standards, such as dining chairs and strollers, should still be purchased new.
With good preparation, pregnant women will be calmer in undergoing pregnancy and more prepared to face childbirth. If pregnant women experience certain symptoms while pregnant with twins, immediately consult a doctor so that the right examination and treatment can be carried out.