I’m expecting twins... Now what?

Congratulations! You’re expecting twins… Oh my God, you’re expecting twins! Two very normal reactions for yourself and for others to have when you/they find out that you’re becoming a mummy of multiples. Once the news had sunk in that you’re embarking on a twin pregnancy journey that’s going to be double the fun, it’s time to plan. We’ve picked out our top tips for women expecting twins to put at the top of their to-do list as soon as they find they’re expecting twins. But, before we dive into those, let’s look at one of the most common questions twin pregnancy Mums and Dads often ask:

Are pregnancy symptoms worse with twins?

Sadly, for some women, yes. While every pregnancy is unique, many women with twin pregnancies often experience more intense symptoms. This might include heightened morning sickness, increased fatigue, and stronger pregnancy hormone related changes. Twin pregnancies may result in faster weight gain and a larger baby bump earlier on compared to a singleton pregnancies. It’s important to remember that not all twin pregnancies are the same, and some women may have significantly milder symptoms. If you are struggling at all with twin pregnancy symptoms consult with your Doctor or midwife for personalised advice and guidance. and to ensure a healthy pregnancy for both you and your little ones.

baby twin feet and toes in black and white photo

Are all twin pregnancies higher risk?

Firstly, it is important to know what type of twin pregnancy you have. The NHS outlines three possible types of twin pregnancy:

  • dichorionic diamniotic (DCDA) twins – each has their own placenta and separate sac
  • monochorionic diamniotic (MCDA) twins – share a single placenta but have their own separate sacs
  • monochorionic monoamniotic (MCMA) twins – share both a placenta and a sac – this is a much rarer type of pregnancy

If you’re expecting identical twins the chances are they are MCDA, some will be DCDA and in very rare cases MCMA. All non-identical twins are DCDA.

Any twin pregnancy is considered at greater risk of pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) and iron deficiency however, MCDA are considered even higher risk due to the risk of twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). As a general rule, most multiple pregnancies (even an uncomplicated twin pregnancy) will be more closely monitored and there may be more frequent ultrasounds. It is important to remember, in the main, these extra checks are purely precautionary and are in place to support a healthy pregnancy and healthy babies.

midwife performing health checks on lady expecting twins

Top twin pregnancy tips

Take your folic acid

Folic acid is vital in the early stages of pregnancy to help stave off birth defects such as Spina Bifida. Women with twin pregnancies may need more folic acid according to some doctors. The NHS recommends 400mcg of folic acid for pregnant women. If you’re expecting twins, some doctors recommend taking up to 1000mcg of folic acid daily however make sure you have discussed this with your healthcare provider before taking a higher dose. You should start taking the folic acid from the moment you start trying to conceive until you are pregnant.

pregnant lady taking folic acid

Gear up for morning sickness

Doctors believe that one of the causes of morning sickness could be high levels of the human hormone chorionic gonadotropin. No need to try to understand the scientific terminology, but what you do need to know is that levels of this hormone are higher in twin pregnancies which can lead to stronger pregnancy symptoms. This means that women carrying twins have a higher incidence of nausea and vomiting in the first trimester. Unhelpfully there is no known cure for morning sickness. You just need to find your own particular way of keeping it at bay. Popular tips include: getting out of bed slowly in the morning, eating little and often, keeping crackers by your bed to nibble on as soon as you wake, making sure you keep hydrated even if you can’t face water (lots of women swear by flat Sprite instead) and using ginger products to stave off the nausea.

Some mums to be (of twin pregnancies or singleton pregnancies) will sadly suffer with hyperemesis gravidarum a very severe form of morning sickness. If you are affected by this it is very important you seek medical help from your Doctor or midwife due to the heighted risk of dehydration.

Ginger is a longstanding nausea beater when you’ve got morning sickness

Adjust your calorie intake

If you are pregnant with more than one baby, you will need to have a slightly different calorific intake than women pregnant with one child. Broadly speaking you will not need any extra calories in the first trimester but are likely to need around an extra 300-500 calories per day in the second trimester and 500-600 extra calories per day in the third. For context, singleton pregnancies are usually advised to have an extra 300 calories per day in the second and third trimesters. To give you an idea of what 600 calories equates to, here are some popular foods that total 200 calories: 33ml of milk, 1 avocado, ½ a bagel, 51 grams of cheddar cheese, 3 small eggs or 34 grams of bacon.

Plan ways to get your sleep

Getting enough sleep during a twin pregnancy can be quite a challenge, but using a feeding pillow can make the world of difference. Feeding pillows aren’t just for nursing mums; they can be your sleep saviour too! As your bump grows, finding a comfortable position to rest in can feel like a nightly struggle, that’s where the feeding pillow comes in. Whether you’re lying on your side or trying to prop yourself up a bit, these pillows provide fantastic support for your growing belly (which is likely to grow faster during a twin pregnancy) and can help alleviate some of the general discomfort that often comes with carrying twins. They’re super handy for nestling between your knees to relieve hip pressure and create a cozy sleep cocoon. We highly recommend investing in one early on in your pregnancy so you’re ready to go as soon as you need it!

hippychick feeding pillow

Don’t forget to enjoy your twin pregnancy

Expecting twins is an incredible journey filled with unique joys and experiences. From feeling those precious double kicks to indulging in extra servings of your favourite cravings guilt-free, there’s so much to relish during this special time. Get ready to embrace the excitement and love that comes with expecting twins and make the most of this extraordinary chapter in your life. Twins can be double the joy, and while it may come with its own set of challenges, it’s also twice the love!

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