What to Expect With Twins
Hearing the words, “Congratulations, you’re pregnant!” can be one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life.
But hearing that you are pregnant with twins can be not only one of the most thrilling, but also among the most surprising and anxious times for expecting parents.
This remarkable news is happening more frequently in recent years, bringing mixed emotions, from pure enjoyment to fear, along with numerous questions.
Brian Mercer, MD, Chairman of OB/GYN and Maternal-Fetal Medicine at The MetroHealth System, is one of the nation’s leading experts in high-risk pregnancy care, including women who are at risk for preterm birth and those expecting multiples.
To help ease concerns for moms who are pregnant with twins, Dr. Mercer answers some important questions.
|I just found out that I am pregnant with twins. Are there special issues that need to be considered in twin pregnancies?
Currently, about 1 in 50 pregnancies in the U.S. is a twin gestation. While most twin pregnancies do well, there are certainly potential complications that can occur.
The most common complication in twin pregnancies is preterm birth; about half will deliver before 37 weeks.
Twin pregnancies, particularly identical twins with a shared placenta, can have troubles with poor growth and also unequal sharing of blood and nutrition through the placenta.
Moms who carry twins are at higher risk for gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and its complications, anemia, and cesarean delivery.
Because of all of these issues, women carrying twins (and triplets or more) require closer evaluation and follow-up than those with singleton pregnancies.
|What can I do to improve the likelihood of a good outcome for my twin pregnancy?
Most twin pregnancies will have a good outcome, with healthy mom and babies. But, because problems can occur, twin pregnancies should be cared for by a physician with experience in monitoring for and treating complications in these high-risk pregnancies.
Frequent ultrasound exams throughout pregnancy will be needed to follow the growth of the babies, especially for twins that are in one sac or share a placenta.
Women with twin pregnancies should be tested for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks gestation.
In the second half of the pregnancy, more frequent visits are needed to evaluate for developing high blood pressure (preeclampsia). Delivery in a hospital with facilities and staff available to care for both you and your babies appropriately is vital.
|What expertise does MetroHealth have in caring for twin pregnancies?
MetroHealth’s Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine has been recognized locally and nationally for its excellence in state-of-the-art care and research. Among many specialty high-risk pregnancy clinics available, MetroHealth offers a Prematurity Clinic that focuses on the care of women with prior preterm birth(s) and multi-fetal gestations, such as twins.
Patients are carefully evaluated by a team of experts for correctable risk factors for preterm birth and receive ongoing, personalized monitoring according to their risk factors.
Moms can also feel confident in knowing that if need be, MetroHealth offers a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) that is also renowned for its excellent outcomes and state-of-the-art care.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mercer, call 216-778-5498.
Meet Christie (and Sam and Henry, too)
In the third month of her pregnancy, Christie found out there were problems with one of her twins. Another hospital told her only one of her children would survive.
Terrified at the thought of losing one of their twins, Christie and her husband came to the high-risk pregnancy specialists at MetroHealth for a second opinion. Learn more about Christie's story.
|About the Expert
Brian M. Mercer, MD
Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Director, Division of Obstetrics
Director, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Specialty Interests: Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Preterm Birth, Multiple Gestations, Obstetric Ultrasound, Fetal Anomalies
Learn more about Dr. Brian M. Mercer