Giving birth to twins – this is how it usually happens

All births are different, regardless of whether it's a twin birth or the birth of one baby. But even so, it's nice to know what to expect on the big day. This is what happens during a normal twin birth.

Jenny Jansson

3 min read

Reviewed by Jenny Jansson

Certified midwife

Giving birth to twins – this is how it usually happensPhoto:Preggers

It's just as likely that the twins will be born vaginally as by Caesarean. Your doctor or midwife decides at the end of the pregnancy what is most appropriate in your case and sometimes you get to participate and influence the decision. Twin 1 who is closest to the birth canal needs to be lying head down for a vaginal birth to take place.

Around half of all twin births, happen before week 36 and lots even earlier than that. If twins are born prematurely a Caesarean is usually performed and the babies may need to stay in a neonatal uni at first.

A planned Caesarean with twins is carried out in the same way as when there is "only" one child to be delivered. You are given spinal anaesthesia and are awake while the doctor opens the stomach and uterus with an incision and takes out the babies, one at a time. An extra midwife is usually in the operating room - someone needs to hold the first twin while the second is lifted out. The doctor then lifts out the placenta or placentas and stitches the incision together.

Now let's move on to a vaginal twin birth. It's not that different from giving birth to one baby. During labour, you may have two CTG machines around your stomach instead of one, to monitor the baby's heartbeat and your labour. Twin labour is always classed as risk labour. When it is time for the babies to be born, there are usually quite a few people in the room: obstetricians, midwives, assistant nurses and sometimes also anesthesiologists and nurses.

After the first twin is born, the obstetrician checks the position of the second twin by ultrasound and then guides them into the correct position by holding your stomach. At this stage, it is common for the contractions to have lost their intensity and you might be given a drip in your to stimulate contractions. You might think that a twin birth means double the work for you as a mother, but that's usually not the case. The second twin usually comes out quickly and easily, because the first has already paved the way, so to speak.

Jenny Jansson

Reviewed by Jenny Jansson

Certified midwife

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