What's Different About a Twin Pregnancy?

Answers to Twin Pregnancy Questions

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Obviously, the main difference between a twin pregnancy and a regular pregnancy is the presence of two fetuses. At the end of a twin pregnancy, a mother will give birth to two babies, rather than just one.

The experience of a twin pregnancy can also be very different for some women. In some cases, women who are pregnant with twins experience enhanced or increased pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue, or edema (swelling).

While it's not quite accurate to say that these symptoms are doubled in a twin pregnancy, the increased levels of hormones do exacerbate them for some women.

The body of a woman pregnant with twins will adapt to accommodate two babies. That means that a woman pregnant with twins can expect to grow larger and gain more weight than a woman pregnant with a singleton. She will also require more calories and nutrients. 

In addition, a woman who is pregnant with twins is at greater risk for some medical complications, such as preterm labor, preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and gestational diabetes. Due to these risks, women that are having twins should consult their healthcare provider.

They may require closer medical care, including more frequent office visits, or additional tests. They are encouraged to receive proper medical attention, follow a healthy diet, take in ample fluids, and minimize any activity which puts the pregnancy at risk.

Researchers are still exploring the specific ways that a multiple pregnancy is different from a single pregnancy. For example, a 2009 study by Edinburgh University found that the biological process of premature birth varied from singleton to multiple births.

The study focused on a progesterone gel treatment that was found to be effective in reducing early births of singletons but did not have the same effect with multiples. It is hoped that further research to understand the differences will point the way to preventing preterm birth.

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