Pregnant with Twins

Things You Need to Know If you’re Pregnant with Twins

 

A twin pregnancy is a double blessing, but it can also carry greater risks than singleton pregnancies.

 

Twins account for over 90 per cent of multiple births. There are two types of twins– identical (monozygotic) and fraternal (dizygotic). To form identical twins, one fertilised egg (ovum) splits and develops two babies with exactly the same genetic information.

1.  You are technically a high-risk patient

The risk of many potential pregnancy complications – including preterm delivery, cesarean birth, pre-eclampsia (a blood pressure disorder) and gestational diabetes – is elevated among women carrying multiples, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. That’s why you need to be especially careful about following your OB-GYN’s recommendations for visits, screenings and other care. “With that extra diligence, we can hopefully keep risks of adverse outcomes at a minimum,”

2. You should ask if you have multiple placentas

While all identical twins share a placenta, fraternal twins or other multiples may not – and sharing has implications for their health, since one developing baby may get the shorter end of the nutrient-and-blood stick, says Dr. Mary Norton, president of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and a perinatologist and medical geneticist at the UCSF Medical Center. “Like any siblings,” she says, “if they’re sharing, they don’t always share well.” In that case, moms-to-be need closer and more frequent monitoring.

3. There’s a good chance you’ll deliver early

The most common risk of carrying multiples is preterm delivery. “For each additional fetus that’s in there, you deliver about a month earlier. Average twins deliver around 36 weeks instead of the 39 to 40 weeks that’s considered full-term for singletons. “Most babies do fine [when they’re delivered at 36 weeks], but they’re at higher risk for complications,  such as respiratory, cognitive and other short- and long-term problems. Again, that means it’s important to talk to your doctor about what symptoms might signal an early labor. Worry a little bit more about things that might be common symptoms that could be premature labor if you’re pregnant with twins.

4. You’ll be a regular at the doctor’s office

Twin pregnancies require more monitoring than single pregnancies. “We tend to do more frequent ultrasounds for growth in twin pregnancies, compared with one anatomy scan and one growth scan in a singleton pregnancy.”

But along with additional testing comes risk. For example, the chance of miscarriage after amniocentesis is higher in twin pregnancies.  “You are sticking the mother twice, so if the risk of miscarriage is one of 1,000 in singleton pregnancies, it would increase it to one in 500 for twins.”

5. You’ll get bigger faster

“Women pregnant with multiples should be prepared to have a lack of clothes at the end – especially tops,” says Blair, who now relies on leggings, long tank tops and maternity shirts. “[My tops] no longer cover my full belly.” Her exercise routine also took a hit earlier this time around, which is to be expected, although movement is still recommended during pregnancy with multiples, “[Women] will be more fatigued, their hips will hurt, their joints will hurt,” and  “It’s just not going to be the same.”

Swimming for Pregnant Women

Swimming for Pregnant Women

Swimming is the safest form of exercise for expectant moms. It can benefit you – and your baby – by strengthening your heart and making it more efficient at pumping blood. This improves circulation to your whole body and boosts oxygen levels in your blood. Swimming gives you all this and more!

The benefits of swimming during pregnancy

  • It works both of your large muscle groups (arms and legs).
  • The water keeps you from overheating and prevents injury by supporting your joints and ligaments as you exercise, which is especially helpful for moms-to-be with round ligament pain. The buoyancy of the water lets you enjoy a feeling of weightlessness despite the extra pounds of pregnancy.
  • It counteracts increased back strain from your expanding belly. Pregnancy can make your spine and shoulders round forward and tilt your pelvis out of alignment, but swimming gently strengthens the muscles and offsets this tendency.
  • Immersing yourself in water alleviates swelling in your arms and legs.

Getting enough exercise is essential especially for breathing which will be very helpful during labor and getting the right doppler will be very helpful to ease fear and anxiety during pregnancy.

Swimming tips for the first, second and third semester

First: Swimming first thing in the morning may prevent nausea and energize you for the rest of the day. Use a kickboard, noodle, or another type of pool equipment to vary your workout and keep it fun.

If the smell of chlorine triggers nausea or causes skin or eye discomfort, see if there’s a saltwater pool in your area. If you want to swim in a body of water like an ocean, lake, or pond, check your healthcare provider first because germs and bacteria in open water can cause illness.

Second:  As your pregnancy progresses and you grow larger, you won’t need to cut down on swimming very much because it’s such a gentle activity for expectant moms.

The water’s buoyancy also reduces the effects of gravity on your body, so you can lie on your back to do the backstroke without risking the impaired blood flow such positions can cause on dry land.

Third: Comfort is key during the last weeks of pregnancy, so try different strokes to see which ones feel most comfortable. You may also want to get a maternity swimsuit to accommodate your expanding belly. You can use a snorkel to relieve the pressure on your neck when you bob up and down for air.

If you have sore or tight muscles, try walking in the shallow end of the pool instead of swimming. Move your arms through the water as you walk for more resistance. If you feel tired, use a paddle board to support your upper body, and take breaks as needed.Be extra careful when getting out of the pool, and wear non-slip footwear for walking on wet surfaces.

General Tips

Try to swim for 20 to 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week. If you swam regularly before pregnancy, you should be able to continue without much modification. Just be sure you know the warning signs to slow down or stop exercising.

A good guideline is to aim to drink one 8-ounce glass before you start your swim, one glass for every 20 minutes of exercise, and one glass after you get out of the pool. In hot or humid weather, you need more.

 

The Importance of Exercise During Pregnancy

Your body is changing and your belly is growing, but that doesn’t usually mean that exercise during pregnancy has to stop. Some women believe that physical activity during pregnancy could negatively affect the baby. Fortunately, exercise is safe for most pregnant women under a few conditions. In fact, it could even be beneficial for you and your baby.

Exercise is also known to relieve stress. If you’re stressing about the big change happening in your life or just have general anxieties, moving your body can help you stay calm. Evidence shows that chronic stress may affect your baby’s health, so even a relaxing walk around the block can be helpful.

Exercising for 30 minutes on most, or all, days can benefit your health during pregnancy. Exercising for just 20 minutes, 3 or 4 days a week, is still beneficial, as well. The important thing is to be active and get your blood flowing.

Exercises to avoid while pregnant:

  • Scuba diving
  • Exercises where falling is possible, such as skiing
  • Extensive skipping or bouncing
  • Exercises that require you to hold your breath, such as underwater swimming
  • Lying on your back or right side for three minutes or longer
  • Exercising in heat, such as hot yoga

Stop or slow down exercising if:

  • You’re too out of breath to have a conversation
  • You feel faint
  • Your heart rate is above 140 beats per minute
  • You feel completely drained of energy
  • You get a headache
  • You feel overheated
  • You have chest pain
  • You experience vaginal bleeding

Benefits from exercise during pregnancy:

  • Helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
  • May help prevent, or treat, gestational diabetes
  • Increases your energy level
  • Improves your mood
  • Improves your posture
  • Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance
  • Helps you sleep better

Regular activity also helps keep you fit during pregnancy and may improve your ability to cope with labor. This will make it easier for you to get back in shape after your baby is born.

There are many changes happening in your body during pregnancy.  First, joints are more flexible from the hormones which cause certain muscles to relax during pregnancy.  Your center of gravity or equilibrium is shifted from the extra weight in the front, as well as, your shifting hips.

This can affect your balance as you near your due date. The extra weight will also cause your body to work harder than before you were pregnant.