Twin pregnancies are definitely a great deal more exciting and exhilarating as everything becomes two-fold.
Here is a general guide about what to expect with respect to your twin pregnancy development month-on-month.
Your pregnancy is calculated based on the month you first missed your period. This ideally means that you will arrive at your due date by adding 40 weeks to the first day of your last period.
This is ideally the first month after your missed period as there are chances that you haven’t yet found out about your pregnancy as of now. Even if you have, your gynaecologist might want you to wait for another week or more for you first sonogram.
Though you may not feel anything, your body is undergoing a lot of changes to welcome the fetuses for the next nine months.
For many, this would be the time when they find out about their pregnancy. This is the time when your body starts producing the hCG hormone and you get a positive result in your pregnancy test. You might get your first of the many ultrasound scans done somewhere around this time.
The fetuses would be approximately 1/4th of an inch and look like tiny specks in the ultrasound. If you are conceived with twins, you will be able to determine if they share the same amniotic sac (identical twins) or have two distinct sacs (fraternal). During this time, your twins will start registering heartbeats and their hearts will start pumping blood.
By the end of the 8th week, your fetuses will have developed distinct facial features and limbs making them look more like a human baby. They would be somewhere around 3 inches in length and will weigh around 25-28 gms.
During this phase of twin pregnancy development, the limbs start developing, and most of their vital organs like livers, kidneys, and lungs are already developed. You will then be advised to get a dating scan to determine your delivery date and to check if the babies are developing normally.
The flutters become more distinct as your pregnancy advances and your fetuses grow. Your babies are covered with fuzzy hair called lanugo which they would eventually shed before delivery. By this time, your babies will have all their vital organs developed and will be growing rapidly.
You will have gained considerable weight by now and start noticing your babies growing more active as you feel their movements more distinctively.
By this time, the genitals of your baby are developed and your obstetrician will want to see your anomaly scan to check the placental positioning, bone/spine development, the development of the valves in their hearts, brain development, and to monitor the growth rate of your fetuses.
The anomaly scan is a very important part of twin pregnancy development analysis as sometimes one fetus has a slower growth rate when compared to the other and might need medical intervention to aid its growth.
There will be lesser room for your twins inside the uterus and you can often feel them fighting for space. You will be able to feel their kicks, burps, and movements more definitely. During this phase of twin pregnancy development, your twins will have grown fingernails, eyelashes, and hair on their scalp. The lungs grow rapidly and the livers also start maturing simultaneously. Also, at this time, the bones will have hardened a bit more making the skeletal structure of your babies more rigid.
Starting from the 20th week of your pregnancy your twins would be scanned; every two weeks if sharing a placenta or once every month if they have individual placenta to check for growth and development.
Your babies start growing pretty rapidly now and most of their organs will start maturing.
At around 28 weeks, there will be absolutely no room for your babies to move around and you might feel that they have become less active.
Your babies will have fully functional and mature organs by around the 36th week and will then be ready to enter the world anytime.
Depending on the condition and growth rate, your obstetrician will be able to tell you how and when the delivery will happen.
You might have to take several scans and tests to understand the growth and development of your twin pregnancy. Frequent visits to your obstetrician will keep you abreast with their development phase and help you deliver your babies safely.