Complications can happen with any pregnancy, but the chance of it happening with twin pregnancies is higher. This is not meant to scare anyone. The chance of you having a great, uncomplicated twin pregnancy is still very high. The reason that we may be prone to more problems during twin pregnancies is that our body was meant to carry one baby at a time. Now you add one, two or three babies to that, and our body has to work harder to deal with its new residents.
Here are some of the issues that may be encountered more often with twin pregnancies:
Lack of iron can happen in multiple pregnancies due to the fact that women carrying twins have an increased volume of blood in their system. You do need to eat more food rich in iron or your doctor may prescribe you special vitamins containing increased iron and folic acid.
Or retaining water can be more exaggerated with multiple pregnancies. Swelling in the hands and feet can happen. Trying to stay off your feet and having them elevated usually helps a great deal. However, any swelling has to be mentioned to your doctor immediately.
As your pancreas is required to produce more insulin, your body may start to resist it and cause the excess blood sugar to stay in your blood system for longer periods of time, resulting in what is known as gestational diabetes.
Between weeks 24 to 28, your doctor will check your blood sugar levels by going through a test of drinking a very sweet beverage and taking your blood afterwards. If the results are high, you will have to repeat the same test, except this time the drink is sweeter and you give 4 bloods samples at 1 hour intervals. Based on the results of these tests, a diagnosis is reached. If you do have gestational or pregnancy induced diabetes, then you will need to follow a very strict diet as well as insulin injection may be in order!
The good news is that gestational diabetes usually magically disappears after your babies are born. However, you may be at a higher risk of developing type II diabetes later in life.
Intrauterine Growth Restriction
Sometimes, for some unknown reason, one twin does not grow as much as the other, and causing a substantial weight difference between the two babies. If the difference in weight between the twins is more than 20 percent, then the smaller twin has growth restriction. In this case, an Ultrasound test is used to monitor the growth to ensure a proper outcome.
Otherwise known as pregnancy induced hypertension or high blood pressure happens slightly more often with multiple pregnancies. Your doctor will watch for this carefully by checking for protein in your urine tests, any swelling, as well as checking your blood pressure at every visit.
Usually with bed rest you may be able control the problem, otherwise, depending on the severity of the condition the doctor may prescribe medications that seem fit to be used during pregnancy.
Preterm Labour with Twin Pregnancies
If you go into labour or have any signs of labour prior to week 36 then it is called preterm labour. In that case you are usually put on a restrict bed rest. Some signs of preterm labour include:
- Lower back pain
- Premature rupture of membranes (when your water breaks)
- More than normal vaginal discharge
Chances of going into preterm labour is higher with twin pregnancies.
Due to the pressure put on the oesophagus, pregnant women often get a bad case of indigestion. All you can do is take Tums (if your Dr oks it) or sleep with your upper body and legs (if you retain water) elevated. Not a very comfortable position!