I think it becomes apparent just how little you know about parenting as soon as you find out you are pregnant with twins. Even if you have had children before, a twin pregnancy is a whole different ball game.
So, I wanted to prepare a checklist of pregnancy questions that you can ask your Doctor. That way you will have all the key areas of knowledge covered.
So here they are…
Questions to Ask in the First Trimester with Twins
This could quite easily be called the trimester of pregnancy questions! There are a lot of things you will want to know upfront that will dictate the course of care for the rest of your pregnancy.
Assuming that you already know you are pregnant with twins, the first question that you should ask your Doctor is if they have had experience with twin pregnancies before. You need to feel confident that your Doctor will be able to provide you with the care you need.
Then you should ask about the following:
Specialist Care: What is the process for transferring to specialist care and how the arrangements will work for ongoing joint care.
What is my Care Plan?: This outlines the care to be provided to you during your pregnancy – your appointments, scans, check-ups, etc
What Type of Twins am I Having?: Some twin pregnancies are higher risk than others, so you will want to know if your babies share a placenta or not. This will mean having a chorionicity scan.
Symptoms and Pains: What symptoms should I expect and how do I manage them? What if I experience cramping, spotting, pains, or feel unwell?
Complications: What kind of complications can arise and what should I look out for?
Morning Sickness: How long does this generally last and what can I do to ease it?
General Questions: This is information that is useful to know at all stages of your pregnancy, so remember to ask these questions upfront…
- What over the counter medication is safe for me to take if I suffer from headaches, indigestion, hayfever, etc.
- Is my current prescription medication safe to take?
- How much weight should I expect to gain during pregnancy?
- What exercise is safe for me to do?
- Should I have any vaccinations?
- Do I have an increased risk of specific conditions?
- What should I eat and drink a lot of and are there foods I should avoid?
- Should I be taking any prenatal vitamins?
- What position should I sleep in?
- Are there any activities I should avoid doing – sport, sex, dyeing my hair, painting my nails, getting a massage, etc.
- Who should I call if you are not available?
Questions to Ask in the Second Trimester with Twins
Just because this is known as the quiet trimester, does not mean you shouldn’t still ask pregnancy questions. There are lots of things you can educate yourself on for the coming months.
Diet: The worst of your morning sickness should be over and you will probably have an interest in food again. So cover off the best foods to eat and the ones that you should avoid for your particular pregnancy.
TTTS Scanning: During your regular ultrasounds, your Radiologist will be checking to see if you have Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. This is where one baby takes more than its fair share of the nutrients and fluids. It is normally picked up around 16 weeks. You can read more on this condition in our article – Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome – The What, When, Why and How.
If you are diagnosed with TTTS then there are further questions that you should ask at each ultrasound…
- What are the weights of each baby?
- Is the smaller baby growing at the same rate?
- Are there signs that the heart of the larger baby is thickening or enlarging?
- How much amniotic fluid is around each baby?
- Are the umbilical cords attached correctly and do they have 2 or 3 blood vessels?
- How long is my cervix and is it showing signs of thinning?
You can find a list of 15 questions to ask, as recommended by the TTTS Foundation here, and a full explanation of why you should ask those questions here.
Prenatal Education: Can you recommend any good prenatal classes that cater for twin pregnancies?
Baby Movement: It is in your second trimester that you will begin to feel your babies move. Ask when you can first expect to feel them move and how you should monitor their movements.
Blood and Urine: Ask your doctor to ensure your blood pressure is as it should be. Also, ask them to check for signs of protein in your urine which can mean a UTI or a symptom of preeclampsia.
Tests and Procedures: There are a number of tests that will happen during your second trimester, so check that you are aware of them and what to expect.
Gestational Diabetes: All women undergo routine screening for Gestational Diabetes in their second trimester. Ask your LMV what it means if you are diagnosed, or if you have any worrying signs.
Sex Of Your Babies: Around 20 weeks you can find out the sex of your babies if you choose to. Your LMC can arrange for you to know at your 20-week scan.
Emotional Wellbeing: Some women experience massive emotional changes and mood swings during their pregnancy. Discuss your feelings with your LMC at each of your appointments. Help is available in this area if you need it.
Questions to Ask in the Third Trimester with Twins
The third trimester is when things are starting to become very real. It won’t be long until you get to meet your twins. So you will need to have the final details covered off…
Swelling: Ask your Obstetrician or Doctor to check your hands, face, and ankles for signs of swelling which can indicate fluid retention or preeclampsia.
Position Of The Babies: Your babies will prepare themselves for birth towards the end of this trimester. It is important to know what position they are in so that you know if they are breech or not.
Finishing Work: When does your LMC recommend that you finish work? Make sure you have your maternity leave sorted and have a contingency plan in case you go into labour earlier than expected
Birth Plan: This is where you will discuss delivering your twins. Ask plenty of questions so that you know what to expect. Make sure you cover off…
- potential arrival dates
- whether you will deliver via c-section or have a natural birth
- will you have pain medication
- where will you birth
- who will be present
- who will act as your advocate and voice if you are unable
Waters Breaking: What should I do if my waters break? What if this happens in the middle of the night?
When Labour Starts: At what point should I call you and what should I do?
Feeding: Regardless of whether you choose to breast or bottle-feed, you will want to be equipped with plenty of information. So ask…
- What support is there for breastfeeding?
- What are the best brands of formula and where can I source them?
- How much should my babies be drinking?
- What should I do if I suspect they aren’t feeding enough?
Multiples Support: What kind of support is available to me as a parent of multiples?
While this is a fairly impressive list of questions, you will likely come up with more during your pregnancy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it is better to be informed than wonder away.