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Twin Pregnancy Tips: A Guide for a Comfortable Pregnancy

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My twin babies are now 16 months old, and I have been putting off writing a post with twin pregnancy tips because my twin pregnancy was so rough, it was hard to reflect on.

I’ve tried several times and will write two sentences, get mad at the world, and give up.  My writing style tends to balance being honest, without sounding like I’m just whining.

I don’t really know how to write a post about twin pregnancy without being completely negative.

Being a mama to twins is the biggest blessing of my lifebeing pregnant with twins was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced, and I honestly feel as if I have a little bit of PTSD from the whole experience.

If you’re currently pregnant with twins and reading this, I don’t want to give you a panic attack.

I just want you to know that what you’re going through is really flipping hard, even if you have no complications during your pregnancy.

But you WILL get through it, and it WILL be worth it! So here are my tips to help get you through your twin pregnancy… written not by a doctor or an expert, but by an actual twin mama who has gone through it herself!

how to survive twin pregnancy

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When I was pregnant with twins, I realized that It’s pretty common for women to want twins.

Random strangers will tell me “Oh, I’ve always wanted twins (or multiples)!”

Sure. Sure you do.  Come over to my house at bedtime, mealtime, bath time, diaper change time, basically anytime other than when they are smiling and cooing at you from their stroller, acting as if they’re BFFs (spoiler: they’re not!) and you will change your mind. 

I smile and roll my eyes inside my head, but the truth is, when I was pregnant with my singleton, I thought it would be cool to have twins.

Sure, my belly would be a little bigger, but I would be getting two babies and only have to be pregnant once!

That sounds like a win-win situation.  I learned very early in my twin pregnancy that it is so drastically different from a singleton pregnancy, that a larger belly doesn’t even begin to cover it.

A Twin Pregnancy Is Considered High Risk

It doesn’t matter if you’re having a healthy twin pregnancy or experiencing twin pregnancy complications. Twin pregnancies are considered higher risk because there is double the chance of some sort of pregnancy complication.

Because your pregnancy is considered high-risk, your health care provider will likely require prenatal visits and monitoring.

It doesn’t matter if you’re having identical twins or fraternal twins; it doesn’t matter if your twins were conceived spontaneously or via fertility treatment.

how to survive twin pregnancy

How to Survive Twin Pregnancy Symptoms

Twin Pregnancy Symptom: Extreme Fatigue

My symptoms with my twin pregnancy were exactly the same as my singleton pregnancy, except 1000 times more severe.

My first pregnancy was a boy, in my second pregnancy, within the first few weeks of pregnancy, I knew that something was different.

I even speculated to my husband that it had to be a girl.  During my first trimester, I would fall asleep on the floor while playing with my son, Theo, who was 1.5 at the time.

I felt as if I had been drugged. Drugged and incredibly nauseous. Moving off of the couch or out of my bed was an incredible feat.

Twin Pregnancy Tips: Fatigue

OK, so how do you manage these intense symptoms? Especially if you are working (I was), or had other children to take care of (I did)?

Sleep and rest as often as you possibly can. If you have older children, turn on the television and lie on the couch with them.  It’s only a season and the extra screen time won’t kill them. 

Cut your obligations down to the bare minimum. The housework will still be there in the second trimester and third trimester if you’re feeling better (hint: you might not be).

Now is not the time to have an impeccable house or cook extravagant meals. Now is the time for simply surviving.

Family support. Now is the time to call in all of the favors from family and ask your spouse to pick up where you can’t. You are growing TWO BABIES, not to mention one or two placentas (depending on if the babies have separate placentas or a shared placenta) and amniotic sacs.

Iron supplement. If you struggle with low energy well into your second and third trimesters, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about taking an iron supplement. I mentioned it to my doctor because I was CONVINCED that there was something wrong with me.

He informed me that my iron levels were great, and the tiredness I was experiencing was simply because I was expecting two babies and my body was working hard.

Twin Pregnancy Symptom: Morning Sickness

While I never actually threw up once in either my twin pregnancy or my singleton pregnancies, I felt nauseous constantly in the first trimester.

To be fair, I don’t usually throw up when I’m not pregnant, but the nausea is still there. 

In the first trimester of my twin pregnancy, I couldn’t eat, and people couldn’t eat around me.  I would just lie on the floor, wanting desperately to throw up so the feeling would subside.

Twin Pregnancy Tips: Morning Sickness

Eat small snacks throughout the day. I felt much worse on an empty stomach.  Crackers and plain bagels are what kept me going.

I actually kept plain crackers on my nightstand and I’d nibble on a few before I got out of bed in the morning.

Peppermint oil. I also put a few drops of peppermint oil on a cloth and would take deep breaths through it.  The peppermint scent helped to calm my stomach (more ways to combat morning sickness).

The peppermint oil worked especially well if my husband was cooking or eating something that smelled absolutely disgusting to me.

Tummy Drops. These tummy drops are small hard candies that are meant to soothe the stomach. There are a variety of flavors, but my favorites were the double ginger peach and the peppermint.

I seriously loved these so much that I now send them to all of my pregnant friends and family members!

Prenatal vitamin. Make sure you are taking a good prenatal vitamin + folic acid. If you aren’t able to keep food down, a prenatal vitamin will help to ensure you’re still getting vital nutrients to your sweet little babies.

Drink lots of water. I know, I know. Nobody wants to be told to drink water. But if you’re throwing up, it’s possible to get dehydrated and you want to avoid that at all costs!

Twin Pregnancy: Extra Monitoring

A twin pregnancy is considered a high-risk pregnancy, regardless of having a family history of twins or if they were conceived via fertility drugs or spontaneously.

We discovered we were having twins at our 8-week appointment where we could see two amniotic sacs and two heartbeats.

One of the sacs was considerably smaller, and my Dr. wanted to monitor it and warned us that it could result in disappearing twin syndrome

We spent the next 4 weeks wondering if we were actually going to have twins or if one of them would disappear. It was so scary!

With my singleton pregnancy, I only had 2 ultrasounds.  With my twin pregnancy, I had one at every single appointment!

It was amazing to see them grow every month.  I only saw my regular OB, but many other twin moms I know saw a high-risk OB as well as their regular one.

I was also supposed to start going in for weekly nonstress tests around 30 weeks, to monitor the heartbeats.  Since my water broke just before 30 weeks, I got to have them 3 times a day from the comfort of the hospital bed I was stuck in.

How to prepare: talk to your health insurance provider so you are aware of every cost.  We had a pregnancy ‘bundle’ but it didn’t include ultrasounds, so I had a ($200!!!) copay for every doctor visit.

Twin Pregnancy Symptom: Aches and Pains

It will hurt to climb stairs.

Or walk, or sit, or lie down, or breathe. 

Basically, simply existing hurts!

And it doesn’t start late in your pregnancy when your belly is so huge that you expect to be miserable.

It starts as soon as the second trimester.

When I was in my second trimester, you know… the “good” part of pregnancy, people would ask me how I was feeling and I wouldn’t know how to respond.

I’m not a sugar-coating type of person but didn’t want to be overly dramatic and just scream “EVERYTHING HURTS” even though it was true.

I remember telling another (singleton) mom that it was really tough, I was exhausted and in constant pain, and her response was “You’re 18 weeks? It can’t be that bad! This is the good part of pregnancy!”

Trust me. It IS that bad. And if you haven’t been there, you can’t possibly understand.

In October, I went to Target with Theo to pick up some things for Halloween.

I was under 20 weeks, and  I was in so much pain from walking around Target, that by the time I got to the checkout line, I had tears in my eyes.

I sat down on the floor, in the checkout line at Target, with Theo sitting in the cart screaming his head off, and people looking at me like I was totally crazy.

Upon being released from the hospital after having my twins, I cleaned my house from top to bottom.

I had just delivered two babies, yet I felt wonderful!

The pain of recovering from childbirth paled in comparison to the pain of my identical twin pregnancy. 

Pregnancy, delivery, and recovery are different for everyone, but I have talked with MANY parents of twins, who had healthy pregnancies, and a lot of women feel the same way I do.

I’m not saying this to scare you, I’m telling you this so you can prepare. 

I’m telling you this to validate your feelings.

My first baby, Theo, was born at 40 weeks and 4 days and weighed 9 pounds.  My twins, Josie and Margo, were born at 31 weeks and 6 days and weighed 3 pounds, 9 ounces, and 4 pounds, 7 ounces.

Their weight combined was an entire pound less than my one baby. 

Don’t think that just because you are early in your twin pregnancy, or because your bump isn’t actually that big, that this pain and exhaustion that you’re feeling isn’t real.

Your body is creating two babies, and depending on the type of twin pregnancy, two sacs, and two placentas!

Maybe you will be one of the lucky ones that has an awesome experience.  It definitely happens.  In fact, I have a friend who loved being pregnant with twins and didn’t experience any discomfort until the very end.

Twin Pregnancy Tips: Aches and Pains

Pregnancy support band. I used a pregnancy support band that helped a little.

I used this one because it was simple and wouldn’t bulk up under my clothes.  I didn’t really want to buy one of those crazy-looking, heavy duty ones.

However, I finally caved and ordered one, and it arrived the day after I was put on hospitalized bedrest. Ha.  Thank goodness for Amazon Prime and free returns!

Don’t even think about wearing heels, boots, or any shoes that are remotely uncomfortable.  You will regret it.

Warm baths. I also took warm baths almost every single night, and that really helped my sore body feel a little better. These pregnancy bath flakes have magnesium salt and they are absolutely wonderful (and pregnancy safe!)

Rest and stay off your feet as much as possible!

Pregnancy pillow. Having a pregnancy pillow for support while you’re sleeping will also help with some discomfort.

I have this one, and I really liked it. 

Twin Pregnancy: No Need to Exercise

I was at the gym, walking (ok, waddling) on the treadmill in my 40th week with my singleton.

At one of my early checkups, I mentioned to my doctor that I was concerned I would have a ridiculous weight gain, but I was too tired to exercise.

He brushed it off and explained that my body was working so incredibly hard to grow healthy babies.

“Exercise isn’t as important with a twin pregnancy as a singleton pregnancy,” he told me.  “It’s more important to take it easy if your body is telling you it’s tired.”

How to prepare:  Rest. Just rest.

(If you’re currently expecting twins, you might also like to read my Twin Birth Story, How I Got My Twins to Sleep Through the Night and 5 Tips to Survive Newborn Twins.)

If you CAN handle exercising, that is fantastic! There is nothing WRONG with working out! But if you feel as if you simply cannot even handle gentle exercise, it’s OK.

Surviving Twin Pregnancy: Prepare Early

There’s no way to tell if you’re experiencing preterm labor until it is happening (I will get to that below!)

I’m sorry to tell you that, and I know it’s awful for pregnant women to think every day… is it going to happen today?? That was me.

I will tell you this: prepare for the worst and pray for the best.  It’s the best way to do things. We were NOT prepared for the worst.

Luckily, our nursery was pretty much done, and I planned to pack my bags for the hospital the weekend that I was 30 weeks.

Unfortunately, my water broke the Thursday before I was 30 weeks, and we went to the hospital with NOTHING. Honestly, I didn’t even care at that point, but, because when your water breaks in your 29th week of pregnancy, all you care about is having healthy babies!

So, we had no bags to bring to the hospital. We also had no plan for who would take care of our two-year-old while my husband was at work.

We discussed it a few times and decided it was crazy to ask around to find someone who could watch our son on the off chance that I was on hospitalized bed rest.

Friends, it is NOT crazy.  Make that plan.

How to prepare: Have your bags packed.  If you want to do any major projects for the nursery, get it done in the beginning.  And make an emergency plan!  If you’re a stay-at-home mom, that could include childcare; if you’re a working mom and rely on your paycheck, that could include putting aside extra money in an emergency fund.

I also highly suggest scheduling your baby shower on the early side! (I have a post with the best twin baby shower themes here!)

Related: What to Pack in your Hospital Bag for Twins

It’s scary, I’m not going to lie.  Hospitalized bed rest (click for my tips on surviving that!) and having premature babies were my absolute biggest fears when I learned I was having twins.

If that is you right now, I want you to know that I got through it, and you can too.  One day you will look back and think “Wow, I am one tough mama!” and you ARE!!

And now that you know how to survive a twin pregnancy, you’ll be more prepared!

Don’t forget to Follow me on Instagram to keep up with my twin journey!

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Ashley Francis

Friday 18th of August 2023

Currently 17 weeks with mono/di boys and I’m so glad I read this post! This is my first pregnancy so I have nothing to compare it to, but my whole body hurts all the time already and I felt so dramatic! I’ve also stayed nauseous since week 3, but like you thankfully don’t throw up just feel like I could at any moment! It’s nice to know I’m not alone in feeling this way or just being overly dramatic or negative. People are always asking how I feel and I hate always saying rough! Thanks for the post ❤️

Melissa

Tuesday 27th of December 2022

Thank you SO much for this post. I absolutely relate in not wanting to be dramatic, but this pregnancy is so much tougher than my singleton girl! I've felt everything you wrote about: I was exercising (doing P90x no less!) in my third trimester last pregnancy, and this time, walking from the bathroom to the couch gets me out of breath haha. I appreciate your honesty and your advice!

Meagan

Monday 8th of November 2021

I am currently 10 weeks with twins. We found out at 7 weeks and also have one sac much smaller the other. It was reassuring to read that you experienced that as well! Thank you for sharing that detail! We go for a repeat ultrasound in a few days and the anxiety of vanishing twin has been been so great for the past 3 weeks!

Brittaney Y

Sunday 14th of February 2021

Thank you for this!!!! I am so grateful I came across your story! You have eased my mind on some things I was really worried about. I'm coming up on 32wks with twin girls...I have never been so scared in my life!!!

Sara F

Sunday 23rd of August 2020

Thank you for writing this post! I know it is a few years old but it really helped validate my experience. I'm currently 21 weeks pregnant with di/di girls. These are our #5 & #6 children. I will have 6 kids under 10. I am so tired and already so uncomfortable!! The biggest issue though is the anxiety and fears of something going wrong. No one I know personally understands. And my husband works so much and so hard (for us, I know and appreciate) that he isnt able to help much at home already let alone once the twins arrive. My biggest fears are premature babies that have to spend time in the nicu with 4 children at home to care for and homeschool. Sorry for the vent. I really am excited as well but you can't tell from this comment :)

Caitlin

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

I'm months behind on responding to comments, so you may have had your twins by now! I can't imagine how tired you must be with 4 other children to care for. You are truly amazing! I hope that once you get through the adjustment period it won't be as hard as you're anticipating.

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