Discovering that you are having twins is very exciting – but after the initial surprise it can also be daunting. What do you need to know about having twins? How will this change your pregnancy care?
Twin pregnancies have several unique features, so it’s essential that you are cared for by specialists experienced in managing twin pregnancy and performing twin ultrasound. In many hospitals, twins are now cared for by maternal-fetal medicine specialists.
As you progress through your pregnancy, these are some of the special issues to consider:
- The dating scan: as well as confirming your due date, this scan determines the type of twins you are having. This is critical – it affects the plan for your entire pregnancy!
- Screening tests: for Down syndrome are altered by twin pregnancy and should be interpreted by an expert.
- Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome: affects babies who share a placenta (called monochorionic twins). Monochorionic twins need regular ultrasound surveillance throughout the pregnancy for this condition.
- The 18-20 week fetal anatomy scan: scanning twins accurately requires a huge amount of experience. Make sure the person performing your ultrasound has scanned lots of twins before.
- Monitoring twins for growth problems: all twins need regular ultrasounds to check their size and well-being throughout the pregnancy.
- Monitoring your health: there is a higher chance of complications with twins. An experienced high-risk obstetrician will be able to monitor you closely and manage any issues that arise.
- Labour and delivery: twins can be born vaginally or by caesarean section, depending on circumstances. If you are keen on a vaginal delivery, you will need to find an obstetrician with experience in planning and managing vaginal twin births.
Dr. Colin Walsh is an Obstetrician and a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist. He is highly experienced in caring for complex twin pregnancies. He previously ran a busy specialist ultrasound clinic, designed specifically for women with identical twins and other complex multiple pregnancies, including twin-twin transfusion syndrome and monoamniotic twins.
He provides comprehensive private obstetric care for women expecting twins – women can have all their antenatal visits, prenatal screening testing and all their regular ultrasounds in our rooms at 460 Pacific Highway (/twins-triplets/).
Dr. Walsh is very experienced in vaginal twin delivery and is happy to discuss the benefits of vaginal delivery versus caesarean section in your particular case.
In addition to caring for his own twin pregnancies, Dr. Walsh frequently sees women with twins referred from other obstetric specialists, who attend SHORE for Women for regular twin ultrasound scans (/twin-triplet-scans/).