Every year, more than 110 000 babies are born in Sweden, and about 1-2 % of the babies born are twins. Just like a normal pregnancy, a twin pregnancy is divided into three periods called trimesters, each of which is about three months long. Most people probably haven't even considered the possibility of having two, so it's perfectly normal to feel anxious and the news usually takes longer to sink in. It's perfectly normal!
First trimester: when the pregnancy test is positive
A positive pregnancy test is the starting point for first trimester in a pregnancy, whether you are expecting one or more children. The first period is just like any other pregnancy - until it's time for an ultrasound scan.
What are the pregnancy symptoms of a twin pregnancy?
Like the vast majority of pregnancies, symptoms such as nausea, breast tenderness and tiredness occur. In the case of a twin pregnancy, these symptoms may be perceived as more severe and more frequent by the pregnant woman, which is not known to those expecting their first child. However, if you have been pregnant before, you may already be able to sense something at this stage. These more pronounced symptoms are due to increased levels of pregnancy hormones.
When is a twin pregnancy detected?
The discovery of a twin pregnancy is often made during the first ultrasound scan. The timing varies from clinic to clinic, but an ultrasound is often offered between weeks 11-14. When a twin pregnancy is detected on the ultrasound, it is indicated by two small hearts beating on the screen, and you will be informed immediately.
If a twin pregnancy is detected on the first ultrasound scan, the answer that you are expecting twins will be sent to your responsible midwife at the maternity clinic you attend. A referral to a specialist ultrasound clinic will also be sent, where the aim is to find out what type of twin pregnancy you are carrying. After determining the type of pregnancy (monozygotic or dizygotic), the rest of the pregnancy is planned.
With a twin pregnancy, expectant parents are offered more antenatal care visits and more ultrasounds. The reason for this is because a twin pregnancy puts an increased strain on the pregnant body. Since it is a pregnancy with increased levels of pregnancy hormones and physical strain, a twin pregnancy is considered to be a twin pregnancy. high-risk pregnancy. It may be difficult for you as a pregnant woman to see yourself as an at-risk patient, and you probably haven't noticed any difference if you compare yourself with friends or acquaintances who have had children before. This may have a natural explanation in that at this stage of pregnancy there is usually not much difference.
It is common to be surprised by the news that you are expecting twins. A twin pregnancy can take longer to sink in, but it's perfectly fine and normal. Dare to seek out groups within the category to talk, think and feel with others in the same situation. During the first part of the pregnancy, it is very much about accepting the upcoming pregnancy and parenthood as a parent.
Second trimester of a twin pregnancy
The second trimester starts from week 14 of the pregnancy and continues until week 27, and in this trimester planning for the rest of the twin pregnancy begins. Among other things, you want to make sure that you are carrying a single or a double pregnancy (if you haven't already found out in the first trimester!) and depending on the type of pregnancy, a plan is made for future ultrasounds and visits.
In the second trimester, it is common to start feeling more tired., and by now it has most likely started to show that you are pregnant. You may have gained some weight by now, probably more than if you were expecting a baby, which is perfectly normal! During your pregnancy, it is important to listen to your body and try to slow down. Your body can handle two babies, but the babies can get crowded towards the end, which is why most twins are born before week 37+0.
Most people expecting twins may initially feel anxious and have many questions. All these feelings are perfectly normal after a twin announcement. Not many people think about the possibility of a twin pregnancy until they get the news, so it's not uncommon for it to come as a shock.
Worries and concerns may differ between the pregnant woman and her partner.Therefore, if you are living as a couple, it is good to talk about your thoughts and feelings. Remember not to put any blame on how the other partner feels or thinks! As a pregnant woman, your thoughts may be more related to your body, whether it will be able to cope all the way and how a twin birth works. As a partner, your thoughts may be more practical, such as finances or whether you will be able to fit in the home.
As a pregnant woman, it is important that you also feel confident in your midwife and confident in raising your thoughts, concerns and feelings, whatever they are. The midwife is there for you in your pregnancy journey! It may also feel good to turn to parent groups focusing on twin pregnancies to discuss the new life ahead.
There are different risks associated with different types of twin pregnancies. Everyone expecting twins should have an extra ultrasound scan, as there is a risk of stunted growth in the babies regardless of the type of twins. If you are pregnant, it is important that you attend your antenatal care check-ups and always tell them how you are feeling. At the beginning of your pregnancy, you will be informed of symptoms that you should be extra vigilant about. There is a few percent increased risk of high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and hepatorenal syndrome, which is an itching of the palms of the hands and feet. Just because there are risks does not mean that you or your children will get sick. Both you and your baby can stay healthy throughout your pregnancy!
Around week 16 of pregnancy, pregnant women are usually asked to fill in a form called EPDS. EPDS stands for Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and is designed to detect mental health problems in pregnant women. Mental health problems can be characterized by anxiety, depression or worry, and around 10-15% of pregnant women have some form of mental health problem. If you have a high score after completing the EPDS, your midwife will arrange for you to see a doctor or psychologist. Remember: just because you feel anxiety, for example, does not mean you have a mental health problem.
Third trimester: It's close!
The goal is near, although it may feel like a long journey ahead. A twin pregnancy is usually shorter than carrying a baby, with 50 % of all twin births occurring around week 37+0.
During the third and final trimester, expecting twins can be difficult. It can be a good idea to start slowing down and many people expecting twins actually go on sick leave. Pregnant women may start to feel large and heavy, which is because the stomach at week 30 for a mother of twins can be equivalent to the stomach at week 40 for someone expecting a baby. Pregnant women may experience pelvic pain and swelling, and it's simply time to start slowing down and resting. Being pregnant is hard and expecting two small babies is even harder, so it is good for couples to relieve the pregnant woman as much as possible. When expecting twins, back pain, hemorrhoids, varicose veins and sleep problems are more common, especially towards the end of the pregnancy.
Read more about twinning here!
When pregnant with twins, anemia (iron deficiency) is also more common. and this may cause you to feel extra tired during pregnancy, but your level will be checked by your midwife throughout your pregnancy. It is common for pregnant women to need extra iron supplements, but if you still feel extremely tired, talk to your midwife. Even if you feel heavy and tired in the third trimester, it's often good to keep moving every day, but it's important to keep listening to your body when it's tired.