fbpx

Home » Your Twin Pregnancy » Creating a Twin Birth Plan – When Should My Twins Arrive?

Twin Bunnies

Creating a Twin Birth Plan – When Should My Twins Arrive?

Your Twin Pregnancy

by | Last updated Mar 18, 2020 | Published on Sep 18, 2017

This article may contain affiliate links. You can read my affiliate policy here.

One of the most confusing times during your twin pregnancy will most probably be around planning for your big day….. your babies birth day.

So much of the information available for singleton babies states: the closer you can get to the 39/40 week mark, the better it is for baby – assuming there are no issues with mummy or baby that would necessitate an early arrival.

However, the same advice does not apply for twins, and here is why.

International Research: Twin Pregnancy Delivery Dates

In September 2016, an international team of researchers published the results of their review of over 30 studies carried out on twin pregnancy delivery dates and the impact on the health of the babies in-utero and up to 28 days post birth.

What they were trying to determine from this study was the impact that gestational age has on stillbirth vs neonatal (up to 28 days post birth) complications and whether there is an optimal time for twin babies in an uncomplicated pregnancy to be born. Not too early that the risk of complications post birth can occur, but not too late that complications happen in-utero.

In a nutshell – are they safer in or out?

The studies they reviewed were conducted around the world and included research from the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand. What this research team discovered when collating the data from thousands of twin births was that there appeared to be a tipping point, particularly in dichorionic pregnancies, at around 37 weeks.

Babies that were born prior to 37 weeks had a higher risk of complications arising post birth, which is understandable given that they were born prematurely. However, a delay in delivery by a week (to 38 weeks) led to an additional 8.8 deaths per 1,000 due to an increase in stillbirth. Quite significant findings. 

Placenta Health

One of the main issues with leaving twin babies in-utero past 38 weeks is to do with the health and function of the placenta(s).

As a twin mummy-to-be, the closer you get to 38 weeks the more pressure caring for your two babies puts on your body. The placenta’s that have spent the entire pregnancy nourishing your babies can start to deteriorate and may no longer be able to keep up with fulfilling your babies needs.

If you think about it, the placenta provides food, oxygen and waste removal for your babies. So, things can get pretty serious for your babies pretty quickly if they don’t have access to optimal levels of food and oxygen. 

Clinical Guidelines for Elective Birth Dates for your Twins

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides clinical guidelines to the NHS in the UK and provides a reference point to many countries around the world about the management and care of multiple pregnancies.

Their clinical guidelines state:

If your pregnancy has been without complications, you should be offered an elective birth from the following times depending on your pregnancy:

  • 37 weeks if you are carrying dichorionic twins (where both babies have separate placentas)
  • 36 weeks if you are carrying monochorionic twins (where the babies share a placenta)
  • 35 weeks if you are carrying triplets.

Having an elective birth at these times is not thought to increase the risk of health problems for your babies. You can choose not to have an elective birth at the times recommended here; however, continuing your pregnancy for longer may increase your risk of complications and you will need to be monitored very regularly to ensure your babies are kept safe.

I recently contacted Michelle Wise BSc MD FRCSC MSc who is a senior lecturer at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Auckland and a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist for National Women’s Health, ADHB and asked her thoughts on the recommendations that should be provided to twin mama’s that are starting to prepare for their babies arrivals.

She said “I would encourage your twin mothers who have a dichorionic pregnancy to be informed of the risks and push their midwife and obstetrician for an induction of labour at 37 weeks as it is appropriate and evidence based”. 

Your Birth Plan Appointment

Your doctor or midwife should explain all the risks and benefits of the possible options when you have your birth plan appointment from around 29-32 weeks.

It is important that you spend a bit of time before your birth plan appointment, making yourself familiar with the latest guidelines and if the advice that you are receiving from your LMC varies from these guidelines then you have a right to question them about their reasonings and/or ask for a second opinion if you do not feel comfortable with the advice they are giving you. 

Further Reading

For more reading please visit the British Medical Journal research published here https://www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i4353 and the NICE clinical guidelines here https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg129/ifp/chapter/Planning-your-birth

Did you find this article helpful? Let me know by leaving a comment below. I’d LOVE to hear from you!

Also, I would really appreciate it if you could take a second to share this article on your favorite platform just by clicking on the buttons below.

Then other twin mamas can discover it too xx

Don’t miss a thing!

Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest and join our super supportive Facebook Group. Or why not subscribe to Twins & More and get updates on the latest new twin products, offers and articles, plus lots of other twin goodness we have to share with you straight to your inbox every week?

You might also LOVE to read…

Discover why you need a breast pump when breastfeeding twins

So, you have decided to have a go at breastfeeding your twins. Good for you! Then why is it that...

Toilet Training Twins

Toilet training is one of those last major toddler milestones that you have to go through. You...

How is the Twin Z Pillow different from other twin breastfeeding pillows?

So, you’ve decided to breastfeed your babies. It’s almost a given with one baby, so why not with...

Your Newborn Twins – Meals for the Freezer for After your Twins Arrive

One of the best things you can get organized for yourself before your twins arrive is to fill your...

Types of Twins – Did you know there are ELEVEN?

For the vast majority of the population, when you mention the word ‘twin’ it generally conjures up...

*This article contains affiliate links, this means if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will receive a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Twins & More Team

Hello and welcome! I’m Anna, the twin mama behind Twins & More.

I am passionate about helping twin mamas just like you to feel less overwhelmed and more prepared to be the best twin mama you can be.

I created this space for YOU and I hope to nurture, support and inspire you through your twin pregnancy and your first years as a new mama of twins.

I really hope you enjoy your visit.

Anna xx

READ MORE

FOLLOW US ON PINTEREST

Having Twins? Our twin pregnancy and preparing for twins email series will help you feel less overwhelmed and more organized as you prepare for your beautiful twins to arrive