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Defining the Stages of Pregnancy with Twins

Aug 17, 2007
Sometimes, women wonder if they are going to have more than one baby. Women who may be pregnant with twins for the first birth generally come from families with a high incidence of twins, have been taking fertility drugs or are at an advanced age. Frequently, women who wait until they are in their thirties to have their first child may release more than one egg. This then increases the chances of having a multiple birth.

Sometimes, a woman who has already given birth will believe that she is gaining weight faster than she did with the first pregnancy. This is normal. Her internal organs have already been stretched by the first pregnancy, so they will respond somewhat differently during subsequent pregnancies.

The stages of pregnancy with twins arent much different than the stages of pregnancy for a single child, but these stages may be more pronounced. During the first stages of pregnancy with twins, the first weeks arent that much different than that of the first weeks of a pregnancy with a single child. The fetus during the first weeks of any pregnancy is so small that it would be difficult to detect by the woman or even modern medical technology. Some mothers report that they have more severe morning sickness when they are in the stages of pregnancy with twins, but that may not be a reliable indicator if a woman is pregnant for the first time.

As indicated earlier, increased weight gain during the first trimester can be due simply to the increased size of a womans uterus, if she has had prior pregnancies. During the second and third stages of pregnancy with twins, weight gain with twins would be more noticeable. If a woman gains more than fifteen pounds by the end of the second trimester, her physician may need to run tests and take an ultrasound to see if a second fetus is evident. It is during those third and last stages of pregnancy with twins that potential problems can result.

The fetuses generally develop in the same way and at the same rate as single births. This isnt a problem when the fetuses are small. Problems may occur when the fetuses get to be considerably larger. At this time, the mother will be increasingly uncomfortable because of her weight gain. The fetuses wont have as much room to maneuver as a single fetus and many multiple births have premature deliveries. If the fetuses can be kept in the mothers uterus as long as possible after the 30th week of the pregnancy, the fetuses have a better chance of surviving on their own. Once born, they will develop at the same rate as any other child.
About the Author
Azzam Sheikh
Facilitator 'Strengthening families, strengthening communities' parent programme.

pregnancy resource center
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