Multiple pregnancies guide weeks 25-28
Your babies now weigh around 500g each. Your uterus is continuing to grow, and you may find you are suffering from heartburn and/or indigestion as your stomach and other organs are compressed by your growing uterus. Try eating small, frequent meals and snacks rather than infrequent, larger ones and avoid foods which are spicy or high in fat as these may cause heartburn/indigestion. Also try to avoid lying down for an hour or so after eating to give your food time to digest. Some antacids, such as Mylanta, are safe to use during pregnancy, your LMC can advise you further on this.
Your babies now weigh around 800g each and are considered medically viable, this means that if they are born now, they have a chance of being able to survive outside the womb. Around 50% of twins are born prematurely, that is before completing 37 weeks of pregnancy, and the level of care that premature twins require depends on the gestation at which they are born, their birth weights, and whether or you are able to be given steroid shots prior to delivery to help develop their lungs. If you suspect that you may be going into premature labour, for example if you start having contractions, or your waters break or start leaking, contact your LMC and go to the hospital immediately. In some cases labour can be stalled to allow your babies more time to grow, and if your babies are going to arrive early, prompt medical attention will ensure they have the best possible start. For more information on premature babies, and to read some of our members stories about premature delivery, see here.
You are now officially in your third trimester! Your babies now weigh close to 1kg each, this weight gain will soon begin to slow down and if your twins are born at term you can expect them to weigh between 2.2kg and 3.2kg each. If you are expecting triplets, they will be between 1.8kg and 2.4kg on average at birth.
Your growing babies will be putting increasing pressure on your pelvic muscles and joints and it is important that you get plenty of rest. If you have extreme pain in your pelvic area, particularly in the region directly underneath your bump, and this pain worsens after extended periods of sitting down, you may have Symphisis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). SPD is a condition in which your symphisis pubis joint becomes inflamed, and it is more common in twin and higher order multiples. If you suspect you have SPD ask your LMC to refer you to a womens health physiotherapist as there are support belts and techniques which can help with managing SPD. Most women with SPD find it disappears shortly after birth when the weight of their baby/ies is no longer in their pelvis, but it is important to be aware of SPD if you have it as it can restrict the positions in which you are able to labour and birth.
If you are carrying twins, you have only 9 weeks to go until you will be considered full term. If you are carrying triplets, you will be considered full term at 34 weeks, and for quads or higher order multiples, full term is around 32 weeks.
If you are carrying monochorionic (single shared placenta) twins, you will have been having fortnightly growth scans for some time now. However if you are having dichorionic (two separate placentas) twins you may not have had a scan since your 20 week anatomy scan. From week 28 onwards, you will begin having fortnightly scans to assess the growth of your babies. This is to ensure that the placentas are functioning well enough to nurture both babies, and that both babies are growing appropriately. It is normal for twins to grow at a slightly slower rate than singletons and this is reflected in the lower average birthweight of twins as opposed to singletons. Twins also have a higher incidence of IntraUterine Growth Retardation (IUGR) where one or both babies estimated weights fall below the 5th percentile. If one of both of your babies are suspected of being IUGR your LMC will discuss your options with you. In some cases, a caesarian section is carried out to deliver the babies early so that they can be given extra nourishment and support to help their growth.