Premature Labor with Twins
Premature labor is labor that occurs any earlier than 37 gestation. Most twin pregnancies will be monitored regularly for preterm labor among other reasons. Recognizing the signs of early labor are important as prevention may be a possibility, giving your twin babies a better chance of survival.
During the third trimester you may have more appointments with your doctor and possible ultrasounds to check the growth and generally well being of your twins.
If your babies are born before the 37th week this is called a preterm birth. Generally babies born between 34 and 37 gestation are likely to do incredibly well.
Keep in mind that over half of twins are born prematurely with higher order multiples being born almost always preterm. Very few are born severely premature, before the 28th week.
Cause of Preterm Labor
The cause of premature labor has no one answer, it could be a problem with both or one of your twins, the mother or jointly mother and babies. Being aware and prepared could be crucial to the health of you and your babies. Listening to your body and those feelings of worry are great indicators, its good practise to follow up with your doctor with every concern you may have.
There are of course reasons to intentionally proceed with a premature birth. Complications such as preeclampsia could result in your medical professional performing a cesarean section or deciding to induce labor.
Remember it is important to be aware but not alarmed. Having the right medical care during your twin pregnancy is beneficial for the health of you and your babies.
**If you suspect you are going into labor contact your doctor immediately especially if you are early on in your twin pregnancy. Always discuss with your physician in detail the signs and preventions of premature labor before the fact.**
Having twins is an extraordinary experience but it is essential not to let the fear of what if take over, just take every day as it comes relax and enjoy your pregnancy.
If you are experiencing uncomfort, take a look at some tips for pain relief during labor
Early Signs of Labor
These can include the following:
- Regular contractions, about 5 in 1 hour
- Menstrual type cramps for any amount of time
- Dull abdominal and lower back pain
- Intense pelvic pressure, this may come and go
- A sudden gush or leaking watery odorless fluids from your vagina, your waters could have broken.
- Any amount of vaginal bleeding, bright red in color
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- A change in vaginal discharge
- Instinct that something isn’t right
Click here for more detail on Signs of Labor
Prevention of Premature Labor
If you are worried there are a few things you can do to help delay the onset of labor, and the delivery of premature twins, labor prevention can include:
- Keeping hydrated is important especially in summer months, being dehydrated can contribute to early labor.
- Preterm labor can be caused by smoking, alcohol and drugs, discontinuing use is extremely important throughout your pregnancy.
- Increase your amount of rest, put your feet up and take lovely long naps whenever you can, laying down on your side is great to relief the pressure on your uterus. You may need to stop working, when having twins many women discontinue employment at about 29 weeks.
- Have your twin pregnancy monitored correctly by your doctor or midwife telling all and asking every question no matter how silly it may seem.
- Listen to your body, even if you’re not sure it’s anything contact your doctor anyway, it’s better to be wrong then to leave it.
- There is medical prevention that can be given from your Medical Health Care Provider.
Treatment for Premature Labor
Early detection is the best solution though preventing preterm labor is not always possible. Once premature labor has been diagnosed by your doctor or midwife there are a number of treatment options, these can include:
- Medications which can be used to help stop or slow down labor, such as, magnesium sulfate.
- An infection can be the cause of early labor, antibiotics may be given for treatment.
- Bed rest may be needed either complete or partial depending on what is recommended by your doctor, you may have to stay in hospital in some cases.
- Hydration through an IV or even orally may be prescribed.
- If premature labor is inevitable corticosteroid medications can be given to help mature the lungs of your twins, which are likely to be undeveloped.
Have you got any further questions, then check out our Twin Pregnancy FAQs