Delivering Twins

Delivering Twins

Now that you’ve come to grips that you are having two babies instead of one, you now must prepare yourself for some challenges that have twins present that are different than having just one baby. Your labor symptoms are much the same as a one-baby birth, except you can expect labor at around 36 weeks rather than 39 weeks. However, the method of delivery will be determined from several factors.

Signs and Stages of Labor

The first sign of labor most women experience is a feeling the babies have dropped, also called ‘lightening.’ It becomes easier to breathe and the pressure of the babies begins to open the cervix.

The next stage is a bloody show where the mucous plug at the entrance of the cervix unplugs and the cervix begins to dilate. You will then experience your water breaking or rupture of the membranes.

Contractions start coming at regular intervals of 7 minutes apart and lasting 30-60 seconds. This process takes several hours to several days. As a mother having twins, you’ll be happy to know that your labor pains are about the same as a mother having a single baby.


Expectant mothers having twins have a 60% chance of delivery by C-section. Many times one or both twins will be positioned feet or butt first or side-by-side. There are some combination deliveries where the first baby is delivered vaginally while the second is delivered by C-section.

Some doctors recommend that mothers having twins have an epidural to relieve pain and in case the delivery team must transition from a vaginal delivery to a C-section. An epidural is a method of administering pain medication through a catheter into the spine.

This method allows you to be awake during the delivery. In the case of a combination delivery the second baby can be delivered safely by C-section without delay because you body is already prepared.

Sometimes the second baby arrives within 2-5 minutes of the first. However, it is more likely for the second baby to be delivered within 20 to 30 minutes after the first baby. The second baby usually comes much easier than the first.

Signs of Preterm Labor

You can prepare for your twins to be born early because nearly 50% of twins are born at 36 weeks. Many mothers having twins dismiss the signs of preterm labor because they don’t trust their own instincts. Call your doctor when you are experiencing signs of labor. He will have you come to the office or to the hospital and make the determination. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

When you get to the hospital you will be examined to see how much you have dilated. Next, two belts will be strapped across your belly to monitor your babies. If your due date is far off they may try to stop labor and delivery with medication. If the doctor decides not to stop labor but you’re at least a day from delivery you will be given injections of corticosteroid to speed up the growth of the babies’ lungs.

The more you’re prepared for having twins, the easier it will be on both you and the babies. Knowing all the possibilities you face will make the labor and delivery a wonderful time to remember.

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