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What's Different About a Twin Pregnancy?

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Updated June 25, 2014

Question: What's Different About a Twin Pregnancy?
Get the answers to frequently asked questions about pregnancy with twins and multiples. Have a question that isn't answered here? Ask me.
Answer:

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 nauseau, 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.

In addition, a woman who is pregnant with twins is at greater risk for some medical complications, such as preterm labor, preeclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) and gestational diabetes. Women who are pregnant with twins should be encouraged to receive proper medical care, 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. A 2009 study by Edinburgh University found that the biological process of premature birth varied from singleton to multiple birth. 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.

More answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Twin Pregnancy

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