Twin Pregnancy

Updated on April 30, 2009
M.V. asks from East Stroudsburg, PA
26 answers

I have just been told I am pregnant with fraternal twins. Do not know what to expect. I do know it is a high risk pregnancy, I am aware of that and scared as well. But, physically, what can I expect. Will I grow larger faster. Do I have to take it easier. Will I need bed rest at the end of the pregnancy, did any of you made it into term? Would love your input. Thanks, Vela

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J.D.

answers from Denver on

Vela,
Congratulations!! We have twin boys who are 18 months old. Very fun. I made it to 36 weeks 4 days, and my boys weighed 6 lbs 9 oz and 7 lbs. 11 oz! I fully believe it is due to my following the advice given in this book:
When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads, Revised Edition: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy (Paperback)
by Barbara Luke (Author), Tamara Eberlein
Also, get everything you possbily can get done before 30 weeks. Drink lots and lots of water! Enjoy and good luck!
J.

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S.H.

answers from Denver on

Full term for twins is usually 38 weeks instead of 40. I made it to 35 but I had identicals and some complications. Even with twins I didn't start showing till I was like 5 months. You don't really need to be careful. I was never put on bed rest either. Just enjoy it. It goes so fast. Get plenty of rest because you're going to need it. The first 6 months is the hardest so just push through. And don't let them sleep in bed with you. Congrats.

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S.T.

answers from Provo on

Hi M.,

Congrandulation on your twin pregnancy! I had faternal twin girls too 9 months ago and thank God they are still healthy and well!
With my experience yes, my stomach was growing larger faster than normal. My stomach was heavy and uncomfortable to sleep or turn in bed. I would also run out of breath faster than normal.
The advice I recieved was to take it easy but after being sick for 5 months with the morning sickness. I didn't want to be sitting around or laying down anymore. I wanted to be around doing things as long as my body would let me. I wasn't in bed rest but everyone is different. You do what's best for you.
I did carried to 38 weeks. My babies were born healthy and I was able to take them home the next day.

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B.F.

answers from Pocatello on

Dear Vela,
I had twins...boy/girl....and yes you will get bigger faster. I will tell you that I was not overly comfortable during the last month of pregnancy, but I did not have to be "more careful" with that pregnancy then my other two. I felt very good most of the time. I have asthma, that was a little trouble at first, because I had morning sickness, and could not keep the meds down. I ended up spending a day in the hospital on oxygen....just to make sure the babies were getting enough. I was put on bed rest one month before they were due(two weeks before they were born), because I was showing some sign of being toxic. I had them born two weeks early, because they were fairl big babies, and they were starting to be stressed. I did not have them C-section, and it was the easiest delivery of the three pregancy I had. I joined a Mothers of Twins group right after they were born, and found the things they told me to be very helpful. The most helpful thing they told me was to keep a notebook for each baby. Write in it when each of them was fed, bathed, move their bowels, how long they slept, and any other info. that is important to remember. It is VERY helpful, because even though mine were boy/girl, I would forget who I had bathed last, or who had been change when, or how much each of them had eaten....so on...so on. When we went to the doctor....I handed him the notebook to read. I got a little better as time went on, and then did not need the notebooks anymore.
Many of the ladies in my group had breast fed their babies, but I had a very hard time doing two babies, so they were bottle fed. I found it positive for me because my hubby would feed one baby while I fed the other one....we would take that time to bond with the babies, plus we had some great talks with each other....one of the only times we could find to be able to talk!!! LOL
I have always felt that I was very blessed to have had the honor of having twins. I just loved watching them as they grew. At two years of age they were so close, if I gave one a cracker, they would take it to their co-twin, and come back for their cracker. I have two older kids, and they would NOT have done that!!! My twins have remained very close, and when my daughter was married, her twin brother was on one side of her, and her dad was on the other...they both walked her down to her groom.
Just enjoy your pregnancy...relax....and enjoy those babies when they are born.....you are in for a wonderful time.
Good luck, and I would love to know how things go for you.

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A.K.

answers from Denver on

Hi

My fraternal twins are 5yrs old (I also have a 7yr old and a 9mos old).

The twin pregnancy was different than a singleton pg. I didn't grow any faster until about 6mos when I started to get very big, very fast. I was put on modified bedrest at around 30wks and delivered at 34wks.

I guess the biggest advice that I can give you is that you need to listen to your doc...if he/she says take it easy...DO IT! My first child was full term and almost 10 lbs so I thought I would have no problem carrying a twin pg to term. My doc told me to take it easy, but I didn't really take them seriouly....plus I had a two year old to run around after. My twins ended up being fine after a short NICU stay, but I do wonder if I would have been able to carry them longer if I had rested more.

Also, join a twins club....great support and advice. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. You are about to join a very special club! Good Luck!

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S.T.

answers from Denver on

Congrats. I had B/G twins at 36 weeks, 3 days after 8 weeks of bed rest for some premature contractions (was on a trabuteline pump). My older son was only 22 1/2 months when they were born. My dr said I was the second largest pregnant woman he had ever seen - probably because I carried them all out front. I took a class about multiple births, so check your area hospitals as well as the internet for options. Keeping them in as long as possible is a good thing. Wound up getting a few steriod shots near the end to help with lung development. Lots of protein in your diet is very important as well as hydration. If you get put on bedrest, figure it is your job. I'd rather pay with time then versus visiting babies in the hospital or going to therapy sessions down the road. They were big 6 and 6.5 and went straight to the newborn nursery. If you are going to breastfeed, insist that you be able to do them both at the same time before they send you home from the hospital. I had a great young nurse who worked with me. Get educated, listen to your body and realize it is going to be more of a drain on you growing 2 instead of one. Good luck! It was never as bad as I feared.

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E.S.

answers from Provo on

My b/g twins are 14 months old. My pregnancy went perfectly until I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia at 32 weeks (I taught full time until 31 weeks). My kids were 3lbs 15 oz and 5 pounds and spent five weeks in the NICU (mostly because they needed to learn the suck/swallow/breath thing). My advice to you would be:

Have a schedule, stick to the schedule, and keep the twins on the same schedule. I kept my kids on the same schedule they were on when they were in the NICU. At first, they ate every three hours, but were on demand at night (when one kid woke up, we woke up the other so they ate together). After awhile they changed to an every four hours schedule. By having a schedule you can plan your life (I would try to get one of the twins nap to correspond with your 1 year old' nap so you can have a break) - this is especially good for getting people to come over to help (definitely get help!). It is much easier for them to help when you can give them exact times that you'll need help. I had someone come over and help with one feeding each week day for the first four months and it was wonderful! I have some friends who had three kids before their twins came along - they didn't keep the twins on the same schedule and it was a nightmare. They refer to that first year as "the dark year." A schedule makes things so much more doable.

If you use bottles, have at least enough for one day so you don't have to wash bottles all day.

I highly recommend the Combi Twinsavvy stroller. It's amazing - turns on a dime, folds up to the size of a golf bag, is no wider than a wheelchair so you can go anywhere that's handicap accessible, reclines, has cup holders, the underneath baskets are sufficient, the front bar comes off so it can be used as they get older - I have another friend with twins who used this stroller for the entire time her kids needed a stroller, so it's useful for all ages and is durable. The only downside is that you can't attach two infant seats to it. It means you have to take the kids out of their seats and put them into their stroller. It wasn't so bad for us and it was very worth it since all of the other features are so great. Besides, your kids won't be in infant seats forever and how much are you going to go out with three little ones anyway? :)

Mentally prepare yourself for bed rest, a c-section, and your kids spending time in the NICU. You might not have any of these things, but it's better to be prepared than not. We found our NICU experience to be a very positive one. We knew our kids were going to go to the NICU so we weren't surprised when it happened. I would say the only days that were hard were: the day I came home and they didn't; and the day my daughter came home and my son didn't.

As for the pregnancy: Yes, you'll be huge - you're carrying two kids. Yes, it'll probably be very different from your singleton pregnancy. I've only had twins, but everyone that I've ever talked to that has twins and singletons says it's very different. I taught full time, but sat as much as I could when teaching and took it easy at home. That won't be easy with a one year old so you might need to get help before the twins come so you can rest and keep those kids in you as long as possible.

I recommend you get the book "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads." It has a TON of useful information, including how to help you through your pregnancy and help it be a healthy one.

Don't be afraid, this is so exciting! You have two little lives in you. Yes, twins are hard (especially in the beginning), but it gets so much better. Yes, it's a high risk pregnancy, but you'll see your doctor a lot more than you did with your last pregnancy - trust your doctor, take it as easy as possible, and eat a lot!

Good luck!

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M.Y.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My fraternal twin boys are now 15 and have learners permits to drive which is much scarier than the pregnancy ever was. My pregnancy was my first and it really was wonderful. Yes, I got larger much faster, I got much bigger (couldn't touch my bellybutton by the end) and the stretchmarks are quite astounding (but, well worth it). I personally never went on bedrest and worked up to the point where I could no longer reach what I needed to at work (about 3 weeks before delivery). I had a c-section (all my subsequent pregnancies have been VBAC without complication) only because one of my twins decided to lodge his head up under my ribs for the entire time and it was thought that I may have one vaginally and then a c-section. My doctor also took then at 37 weeks just because they were so large. I never went on bed rest and felt tired but great and nervous the whole time. I got the benefit of seeing them frequently as my doctor wanted to check growth and positioning frequently via ultrasound.

I had a great experience!!!! Everyone has a different story and advice to share especially on the exciting and nervewracking adventure of a multiple pregnancy. i was very involved in Salt Lake Mothers of Twins. If they still have their chapter active they could be a great resource for many things including friendships. Also, if you end up on bed rest, there is another support group specifically for high risk, bed rest and parents with babies in NICU. I can't remember the name of the group but you can google for the info or ask the Mothers of Twins rep you talk to or your doctor.

Good luck! This is a great adventure and twins really are amazingly fun. Just remeber, every pregnancy is different and everybody looks at their own pregnancies differently. Find positive people to talk to to help make your experience more positive.

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K.O.

answers from Salt Lake City on

First- congrats! How very exciting. I had twin girls 11 months ago and it is an adventure! Yes, you will grow larger faster. My twins were born at 36 weeks and I was measuring 46 weeks, so you will get huge! My doc was happy that I even made it to 36 weeks, he thought I'd go sooner. More than likely you will need some sort of bed rest at the end of pregnancy. My doc never put me on official bed rest, I was lucky, but told me to just take it very easy. So the last month I was pretty much down, in order to keep those contractions at bay. Just listen to your doc and your body and rest a lot at the end to keep those babies in as long as possible. I went to the hospital twice before they were actually born because of contractions, they were able to stop them and sent me home. Good luck and just take it easy and enjoy resting as much as you can, cause once they are born it's busy busy- but the best thing ever to have twins- you will love it!

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A.H.

answers from Billings on

I have 12 month old fraternal b/g twins. The pregnancy wasn't too different from my single babies except that yeah I was bigger faster and you are uncomfortable sooner. I delivered at 37 1/2 weeks and they were 5lb 8oz and 6lb 2oz and they were able to go home 24 hours later. If you have any questions or need to talk send me a message!

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K.D.

answers from Denver on

Yes, you'll grow bigger faster. If I recall right you should get maternity clothes a size bigger than you would normally. At 5 months I was where I was at 9 months with my first. All of my pregnancies are high risk, so I was told I wouldn't keep the pregnancy. Due to those factors we did lose one, right around 5 months, but the other baby was born healthy. I was restricted although not put on bed rest. I did have to quit work completely. I really only taught about 5 hours a week, but the doctors were concerned. Like I said though, those problems were all related to the reason I've lost 3 other babies, and not so much the twin pregnancy. Congratulations! How very exciting! I often miss my little guys twin.

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L.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I have read a book by Jane Seymour called Two at a Time. She talks a lot about eating well and doing exercises (even if you're on bed rest). According to the book, you will grow faster. Bed rest will depend on iff you have any true complications. And yes, 38 weeks is term for twins.

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Z.L.

answers from Denver on

Hi Vela,

Congratulations! I know it can be overwhelming to hear that you are having twins. We have a daughter (now 5) and 16 month old boy/girl twins. They are running around the house as I write! They are a joy. My Dad is a twin so I always had this feeling that I would have twins. Anyway, yes, your pregnancy is higher risk. My best advice is to try and eat 5-6 meals a day and gain weight early. Around halfway through the pregnancy, the babies have less room to grow, and therefore its harder for them to gain weight. I developed HELLP syndrome and delivered them at 35 weeks and 5 days (so they were considered premature by 2 days). They were 5 lbs 5 oz and 5 lbs 4 oz. - which I was sooo relieved about. My other advice is to take it easy - ask for help - stop working earlier if you can. Treat this pregnancy differently than your first. Try to carry those babies as long as possible. Really, you will have the best time with them. I actually think they are easier than one baby! (Now that they are older, I should say).

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J.B.

answers from Denver on

I have a 10 year old son and 8 year old twin daughters. Yes, I got bigger faster with the girls. I had more heartburn during the twin pregnancy but most other pregnancy symptoms were very similar. I was considered higher risk because I was 35 when the girls were born. They were born at 35 weeks weighing 4lb 9oz and 4lb 11oz. One was a little slower to get the suck/swallow/breathe function down but was only in the hospital a week longer than her sister and I. Both are perfectly healthy, active youngsters. Congratulations! The most challenging part is getting sleep after they arrive. Accept whatever help you can. :)

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J.L.

answers from Pueblo on

I got bigger fast. Mine were my first pregnancy so I wasnt sure what was going on at all. I didnt find out until I was 3 almost 4 months along. I did go into preterm labor at 30 weeks. We were able to hold them off until 35 weeks. They were born 5lbs 11oz and 5lbs 13oz. We were in the hospital less than 24 hours. There were completely healthy. I have a aunt who went to 40 weeks with her twins and she didnt slow down for a day. She had no need to. So really it does depend on your body.

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N.R.

answers from Denver on

Feel free to call me at ###-###-#### - I have twin boys now 5 yo & a 3 yo girl. I'd be happy to talk!

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E.K.

answers from Denver on

You've received a lot of good insights & advice so I won't repeat anything. I have 22 month-old twin girls. My tummy was huge, but nowhere else b/c the babies took up so much space I never got to eat as much as most pregnant women. I was induced at 38 weeks, no bedrest & was doing pre-natal exercises until I was 34 week (check out PreggiPower.com).

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K.K.

answers from Denver on

Hi Vela,
Each pregnancy is different and obviously this too will be a new experience. As an older mom carrying twins (along with diabetes and elevated blood pressure) I too had a high risk pregancy. Don't let it scare you. But do be aware you'll have to be extra vigilant about diet, exercise and resting. Try to make things a bit easier on yourself. Listen to what the docs recommend. Have a back-up plan for taking care of your 1-year old daughter in case you need to go on bed rest. As you get closer, make sure you have plenty of diapers, wipes, and meals ready to go. The first few months will whiz by. But most of all, enjoy it! An additional resource for a mother of multiples is M.O.M.S. (Mothers of Multiples Society) - they host the big sales in Castle Rock every March and August and it's great for getting additional stuff you'll need for two babies at a time. With the membership, you'll also be enrolled in NOMOTC (that's a national organization for mothers of multiples. They recently held their national convention here in Denver.)Both are great sources for support (breast-feeding, meals, etc.) as well as socially. Good luck!

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K.T.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I am now the mother of 17 month old faternal twins. I know your concerns, fears, anxieties, etc..... I had them 3 1/2 weeks early. The girl was 6.3 lbs. and the boy was 5.4 lbs. They are alot of work, but wonderful. I know you are scared. Know that as long as you do what your are told by your doctor, eat right, don't over do anything and rest as much as you can with a 1 year old, then you should be just fine. I also have a 6 year old. I was told that it was a plus to have already had one baby and that the twins were faternal instead of identical. Although having twins is considered a high risk pregnancy, having a child already and having them be faternal is easier on you and them. For me the biggest worry was how to afford them. I don't know your situation, but for me I am still struggling. I am a full time working mom and have to pay over a $1000.00 in daycare. My advice, take as much help as is offered to you and ask for help. You will need it.

The best advice that was given to me, is when they are born and come home, keep them on the same schedule. If one wakes up to eat, wake up the other one. If you don't, then you will never rest. When they get to be around 3 months, then use the E.A.S.Y. method (Eat, Awake, Sleep, Your Time)! It will save your life. I hope I have been of some reassurance. There is a lot to learn and know. If you need to talk or need answers, I'm not an expert, but I am living it right now and I can help you with what helped me. Please feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com. I had always wished I had someone like me when I found out. Good luck.

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M.H.

answers from Boise on

Congratulations! It was scary at first for me, but I was so excited too. For needing bed rest it is all determined on how you are when you are carrying them. My doctor figured I would be on bed rest, but I never was. You get to see your babies a lot! Usually every other time you go into the doctor you will have an ultrasound done. For me I grew so close to my babies that way. I felt I was closer to them than I was to my first child. Around 5 months you will look like you are 9 months pregnant and you will continue to grow from there. I was 62 inches around all out front 2 weeks before I had my babies. People would be walking behind me in the store and then I would turn and they would come up to me and comment on how big I was and how they couldn't tell from the back, then ask if I was carrying twins. It is funny now, but when you are walking through the store you are exhausted! The babies take a ton of energy out of you, you just have to saunter and waddle your way through. Sometimes a 15 minute jaunt will take you an hour just because it is so hard to walk. Also, my husband rubbed a ton of lotion on my stomach. It will help with not having to many stretch marks.
I carried my babies to 2 weeks before they were due and I had a scheduled c-section. My boy turned out to weigh 6lbs 10 oz. and my girl weighed 7 lbs 12 oz. while their placenta weighed 5 lbs.
You will need help after they are born. When your doctor says get 6 weeks of help for after they are born you get that 6 weeks. I only had 2 weeks of solid help and 2 weeks of 1/2 day help and it was definitely not enough! You are exhausted, you need your rest, and you are doing double of everything.
If you have any other questions feel free to write and ask. Congratulations and I pray you get to make it to term.

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M.O.

answers from Denver on

I had b/g twins at 44! Raising twins is an amazing experince, mine are 8 now. Do everything your Doc says, join MOM - Mothers of Multiples, subscribe to Twins mag, get some books on twins.

Once they are born, keep them on the same schdule for eating and sleeping. This will keep you sane. Put a dry erase board on your frig to record stuff for each baby, daily. Like eating, pooping, medication, etc. Don't think you can keep it all straight in your head.

If your family or freinds offers help...take it!

Hang on for the best ride of your life!

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S.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Just be glad you are not having your twins in Vegas. There are so many law suites in Las Vegas, that doctors are extra careful. The second they found out I was having twins (I was 19 weeks). They sent me to a perinatologist. I had to have a big ultra sound and then a few weeks after that I started going in for monitoring. I had no complications, they just consider twins high risk. I went in for monitoring 2-3 times a week. I would lay there for an hour to hour and a half listening to the babies heart beats, then have an ultra sound to make sure everything looked good and my levels were good. Then every few weeks I would go in for another big ultra sound (not even the 3-d) I wish I could have. It cost me $100 a week just in copays. When I moved back to Salt Lake (when my b/g twins were 4 weeks, I also have 3 other girls). I asked my ob up here if I would have to go through the same thing. He said only if I had complications. Which I really didn't. I started to contract and dialate around 29 weeks so I was put on bed rest, but I was still up a lot going to my hundreds of appointments. I was still going to my regular ob every 1-2 weeks as well. I ended up having a scheduled c-section at 36 weeks. I really had no choice. They called me up and said you are scheduled for a c-section on this day. The babies ended up being in the NICU for 8 days, but really didn't have complications. Just needed to grow and learn basic things like eating, keeping up body temp. and breathing all at the same time. Really I think it would have been a pretty simple pregnancy had I not had to go to the Perinatologist. Even though it was fun to hear and see my babies every few weeks, I think that did help me not worry so much. I did get quite a bit larger than my other pregnancies, esp. toward the end. The biggest shock is that a baby is in every inch of you. But then again I am only 5 feet tall!

Congratulations on the twins!!! Mine are now 19 months and it is getting more easy and more fun everyday!!!

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S.M.

answers from Denver on

I can't access the page right now, but you should check out www.blueribbonbaby.org
If you eat right which means a lot of protein and eating healthy and plenty there is no reason a twin pregnancy should be high risk. You might want to talk to a midwife in your area for some advice.
http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/VeganPregnancyDiet...

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E.K.

answers from Denver on

Congratulations! Twins are lots of fun. I actually went full term and and was induced at 39.5 weeks. No bed rest; I kept working until the very last day (I work in a hospital, no less!). Good luck. You'll enjoy the experience!

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S.L.

answers from Provo on

Well You sound just like me only about 4 years ago--and I sure have learned a lot!!! When my eldest son was 13 months I found out that I too was pregnant with fraternal twin boys. And when my twins were almost 2 I found out that I was again pregnant with another set of fraternal twin boys. As for risk factors--it really depends a lot on your previous pregnancy. How much did you gain with your first? Did you go full term with your first? My first was a 36 weeker. My 1st set of twins were born at 33 1/2 weeks and my 2nd set were born at 34 weeks. I go into early labor and did so with all 3 pregnancies. With my twins I was put on bed rest at 24 weeks and then was hospitalized at about 30 weeks along -- but I really don't think that is normal. A friend of mine also had fraternal twins and delivered at 38 weeks and took her babies home, where mine had to stay in the NICU for about 4 weeks. It really does depend on you and your body. The good thing is that they are fraternal and have their own placenta and are not sharing anything except space. As for growth--how big did you get with your first. With my first I really didn't get big at all, and with my 1st set I was bigger (there were 2) but I was in no way HUGE, with my 2nd set, I was bigger -- still not HUGE they were born at 34 weeks and I was measuring about 38 weeks, but I did have back to back twins and that was to be expected. My cousin just had identical twins, she's shorter and gained more but still looked great. Her babies were born at 35 weeks and spent 11 days in the NICU. Every BODY is so different.
I wish you all the best. I wouldn't worry so much about the pregnancy-- It's bringing them home when it really starts!!! : ) CONGRATULATIONS!!!! It really is going to be a lot of work and sooo much fun!!!

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M.P.

answers from Denver on

Welcome to the wonderful world of twins, Mrs. Vela!! It is quite a trip. As far as the questions you posed, it varries from woman to woman. Some carry twins quite well, with only the last couple of weeks in bed. I was on strict bed rest for four months (yikes!) because our boys had TTTS. Your body will tell you what you need...so will your doc.

The only thing I can recommend to you is make sure you get enough protien!!!! So many mamas who carry twins become anemic because of feeding two other people, and protien seems to be the first thing we're giving. Other than that, take it easy and enjoy all of those extra hormones - ha!

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