Complications Of Twin Pregnancy

Complications Of Twin Pregnancy

Complications can occur in any pregnancy. But in twin or multiple pregnancies, the chances of complications are higher than a singleton pregnancy. There are some complications that can occur during twin pregnancy but good prenatal care can help to reduce many of these complications. 

Risks and complications of twin pregnancy

Risk of Twin Pregnancy

There are some risks which are associated with twins pregnancy. Twin pregnancy increases the possibility of developing complications for both the expectant mother and the baby.

Risk of Twin Pregnancy for the mother

The risks of twin pregnancy for the mother are:

1. Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes is a condition in which a pregnant woman develops high blood sugar levels at any time of pregnancy. It usually happens in the second half of pregnancy. Gestational Diabetes is more likely to develop in twin pregnancies. Gestational Diabetes can cause various complications for both the mother and the baby. The complications caused by Gestational Diabetes for the mother are high chances of cesarean section, high chances of developing high blood pressure or preeclampsia, diabetes later in life, diabetes in other future pregnancies. The complications caused by Gestational Diabetes for the baby are early birth, high birth weight, respiratory distress syndrome, type 2 diabetes later in life. 

2. Gestational Hypertension (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension)

Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) is also known as Gestational Hypertension. It is a complication that is characterized by high blood pressure during pregnancy which can lead to serious pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, stillbirth or premature birth if left untreated. Gestational Hypertension reduces the supply of blood to the placenta due to which baby gets fewer nutrients and oxygen. If it is not treated then it can lead to preeclampsia which is also known as Toxemia. It is more likely to occur in twin pregnancy as compared to a singleton pregnancy.

3. Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a serious complication that occurs during pregnancy. It is characterized by high blood pressure along with protein in the urine. The symptoms of preeclampsia may include swelling, rapid weight gain, abdominal pain, dizziness or severe headaches. It can lead to Eclampsia if left untreated. Eclampsia can cause seizures, coma and can be life-threatening for both the expectant mother and the baby or the baby may need to be delivered early. The women who are pregnant with twins are more likely to develop preeclampsia.

4. Placental Abruption

Placental Abruption is a serious pregnancy complication where the placenta detaches itself from the uterine wall before delivery. It usually occurs during the third trimester of pregnancy. 

5. Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is a pregnancy complication that is characterized by severe morning sickness. It can cause severe nausea, vomiting, dehydration and weight loss. The women who are pregnant with twins are more likely to develop severe morning sickness. 

6. Gastrointestinal Problems

The women who are pregnant with twins are more likely to experience gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, digestion problems as compared to those women who are pregnant with a singleton.


7. Postpartum Depression

Pregnant women with twins are more likely to have Postpartum Depression. It occurs in women soon after giving birth. Symptoms may include insomnia, sadness, difficulty in bonding with the newborn, loss of appetite, crying, irritability, mood swings.

8. Postpartum Hemorrhage 

Postpartum Hemorrhage is excessive bleeding after the birth of the baby. Postpartum hemorrhage is more likely to happen in the women who are pregnant with twins or multiples due to the enlarged placental area and over-distended uterus.

9. Anemia

Anemia is a complication which caused due to the deficiency of iron. Iron increases the production of red blood cells in the blood. Severe or untreated anemia can lead to premature delivery or a baby with low birth weight. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin for you and your twins during pregnancy. Make sure to take the iron-rich diet and iron supplements as recommended by your doctor.

10. Cesarean Delivery

The chances of cesarean delivery are high in pregnancy with multiples due to the unfavorable position of the fetuses.

Risk of Twin Pregnancy for the baby 

The risks of twin pregnancy for the baby are:

1. Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)

Intrauterine Growth Restriction is a condition when the fetus is smaller than the expected gestational age. IUGR is a condition in which one or both the twins don't grow properly in the womb. It refers to the poor growth of the fetus in the womb. Twins with IUGR are more likely to have complications such as low birth weight, premature birth, meconium aspiration, low blood sugar, physical disabilities or cesarean delivery.

2. Premature Birth

The babies are more prone to born prematurely in twin pregnancy. The babies who born before 37 weeks of the gestational period are considered as Premature. Premature Birth can lead to several problems which are:
  • Low Birth Weight
  • Feeding Problems
  • Immature lungs that lead to Breathing Problems.
  • Stomach Problems
  • Nervous System Problems

The long-term complications of premature delivery are:

  • Breathing Problems such as Asthma
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Vision or Hearing Problems
  • Cerebral Palsy

3. Low Birth Weight

Low Birth Weight of twins is usually associated with preterm delivery. Low birth weight twins are more likely to develop health problems such as mental disabilities, hearing loss, vision loss after birth. Twins who born prematurely are at higher risk of developing long term health complications later in life.

4. Birth Defects

Twin pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects such as neural tube defects, heart-related issues in the newborn twins. 

5. Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)

TTTS occurs only happens with identical twins who share the same placenta. The blood vessels in the placenta supply oxygen and nutrients from one twin to another. TTTS occurs when the donor twin doesn't get enough blood supply thus has a lesser amount of amniotic fluid while the recipient twin receives excess blood supply than the donor twin thus has an excess amount of amniotic fluid. It overloads the cardiovascular system and causes heart problems.

Healthy Pregnancy with Twins

By following some tips you can reduce the risks associated with the twin pregnancy. Follow these tips for a healthy pregnancy with twins:

1. Regular Prenatal Appointments

Attend prenatal appointments regularly. Don't skip them. Your doctor will perform regular checkups during prenatal appointments to ensure the baby's well being and to determine the existence of any other problems. 

2. Stay Hydrated

Get plenty of fluids and keep yourself hydrated throughout the pregnancy. Sometimes dehydration can lead to miscarriage and it can be even riskier in twins pregnancy.

3. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eat a well-balanced diet throughout your pregnancy so that you can gain adequate weight during twin pregnancy and your twins get the proper nourishment which they need to grow inside the womb.

4. Stay Fit and Healthy

Stay active during twins pregnancy. If your doctor hasn't suggested you bed rest than don't put yourself on bed rest on your own. Staying active throughout the pregnancy is good for the health of both the expectant mother and the baby.

If you're pregnant with twins or multiples don't get worried about the complications associated with twin or multiple pregnancies. Complications can occur even in singleton pregnancy. So, don't take the stress. Good prenatal care reduces the risks of twin or multiple pregnancies. 

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Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and it should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or any diagnosis. Always consult a doctor for more information. Our website doesn't claim responsibility for this information.

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