Will my twins be premature?

will my twins be premature

Twin pregnancies are classed as full term at 37 weeks . This is earlier than a single baby pregnancy which classed as full term between 37-40 weeks. Additionally, a lot of twin births (including our own at 35 weeks), are born prior to this.

What this means, is that twins are often born premature. So what should you know about premature births?

Don’t be scared!

The term ‘premature’ is pretty scary. However, you should try not to worry. Twins come out a little early, with most born at 36 weeks. They are born early as there just isn’t room to go to 40 weeks! Yes they will be smaller than other babies, and yes they may have a few issues at first – but medicine and healthcare is well equipped to deal with this.

Issues

Our twin girls (Summer & Skye) were born at 35 weeks by cesarean section. Skye was taken straight to intensive care with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and jaundice. The next day Summer also had to be treated for jaundice. Whilst sounding horrific, these are both common issues for premature babies. More importantly, modern healthcare is excellent at identifying and handling these.

Try to not let any issues overwhelm you. Whilst much easier said than done, your twins are in the best place for any complications they may face.

Temperature & weight

Premature babies have little fat on them and may not be able to regulate their own temperature yet. As such, you will have rather a lot of attention in hospital from nurses checking your twins temperatures and weight.

Typically this only last a couple of days, as soon as they are happy your twins can regulate their temperature and are holding weight then you will be given the green light.

Corrected age

This threw us for a while! Put simply, your twins will have a ‘corrected age’ if born under 40 weeks. For example, our twin girls born at 35 weeks, therefore at 12 weeks old they have a corrected age of 7 weeks. You can work out your twins corrected age like so:

  • Your twins current age – number of weeks premature = corrected age
  • Example; 20 weeks currently – 5 weeks premature = 15 weeks corrected age

Note: Use 40 weeks as ‘full term’. So if born at 35 weeks, your twins are considered 5 weeks premature.

Understanding from others

Around 3% of total births in the UK are twins. Therefore, most people will not be able to relate to the idea that twins are usually born early. Your parents and friends may be a little shocked by aspects such as the size of your twins or their weight.

Try to not let it phase you. To be honest, with twins, you are on a journey that few others will understand.

Summing up

There’s a good chance that your twins will have a few issues when born. Whilst this may be the case, try to appreciate that you are in the best place you could possibly be for them.

Try to read up and talk to other twin parents about their experiences. It’ll give you an idea of what to expect when the time comes to welcome your own twins into the world!

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