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Twin Pregnancy Prenatal Care

By Sneha Jain

Pregnancy in itself needs great care and when you get to know that you are blessed with twins, the responsibility gets even more hard. Twin pregnancy requires you to be extra cautious as it increases the chances of baby's premature birth. Good prenatal care can protect the expecting mothers and her babies from all the complications involved during twin pregnancy. You need frequent prenatal visits to the doctor when expecting twins.

Twin Pregnancy Prenatal Visits

  • Fix an appointment with an obstetrician when you discover that you are carrying twins. You need to visit your doctor once a month in first 24 weeks. Every other week till 32 weeks and weekly after that.
  • Twin pregnancy requires you to visit a maternal fetal specialist. This obstetrician specializes in high risk pregnancy. They are known as perinatologists and will help you in handling multiple pregnancy.

Prenatal Tests During Pregnancy

  • Expecting twins will have the same prenatal tests as that of mother's expecting singletons. Twin pregnancy requires frequent tests.
  • Multiple pregnancy has 5 or more ultrasound tests unlike singletons. The first ultrasound test is conducted in the first trimester, which states that the expecting mother is carrying twins. Then, around 18 weeks you can expect to have an ultrasound test every month till you reach the term.
  • In twin pregnancies prenatal care the practitioner will perform vaginal test and ultrasound to check for premature labour.
  • Mother's expecting twins will require frequently blood check-ups, keeping a track for iron deficiency anemia. In a multiple pregnancy, the iron content in the expecting mother's body is used up more quickly. This leads to higher risk in pregnancy.
  • Gestational Diabetes is more common among women carrying twins than mothers with singles. Glucose screening test is conducted for mother's expecting twins to check diabetes.
  • Higher risk of premature labour in multiple pregnancy requires the mother to take a fetal fibronectin test after 22 weeks. This test is conducted when the expecting mother faces premature contractions.
  • Fetal fibronectin is a protein that signals when the body is getting ready for birth. If the test is positive, then the doctor needs to take extra precautions to prevent early birth.
  • Non-stress test is conducted after 28 weeks in multiple pregnancy. This test measures the heartbeat and movement of the babies. This test also checks for contractions that can lead to premature labour.
  • Prenatal care in multiple pregnancy requires your doctor to take extra precautions. He may suggest a biophysical profile of the expecting mothers. This test includes non-stress test with an ultrasound test to check the baby's body movements, breathing and the amniotic fluid that surrounds the babies.
  • Tests are also conducted to check babies for birth defects and down syndrome.

These prenatal care steps are must when expecting twins.

Read more about: prenatal twins
Story first published: Thursday, April 5, 2012, 11:42 [IST]
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