Your anatomy scan is just around the corner, and you may still be deciding whether you want to find out the sex of your babies or if you want to keep it a surprise. Some parents say they feel more connected once they find out the sex, while others marvel over the moment they receive the news in the delivery room.
It will be an incredible moment regardless of when and how you find out the news, but be sure to let the ultrasound technician know your decision before it begins so they can scan accordingly.
Your babies are sharpening their skills this week as their senses become more developed. Let’s explore what’s new with your little ones and how your bond with them will grow this week!
What’s new with your babies?
Your babies are developing a stronger sense of sight, smell, sound, taste, and feel. At this point in your pregnancy, it’s possible your little ones can hear your voice, which will soon become their favorite sound. Nurture this connection by singing lullabies or reading books aloud — after all, it’s excellent practice for when they arrive!
Those little limbs are more in proportion with the rest of your babies’ bodies now. Your babies are also developing a waxy film, known as the vernix caseosa, over their skin to protect it from the amniotic fluid.
Your babies now weigh about 8.5 ounces — about the size of a mango!
How are you doing?
Mentally, you’re probably excited about your upcoming anatomy scan. It’s exhilarating to see your babies on the screen, and parents of multiples get the added bonus of witnessing their interaction. This is just the beginning of their lifelong bond.
It’s normal to start feeling some discomfort as you approach the halfway point of your pregnancy. Many parents of multiples report feeling round ligament pain at this stage, which is the sensation of your ligaments stretching from your hips to your pubic area to accommodate the increasing weight of your uterus. Wearing a support belt can help ease belly and back pain as your pregnancy progresses.
If you’re feeling a burst of energy right now, this is a great time to start getting your baby gear ordered or to start thinking about organizing the nursery. Feel more like vegging out on the couch? That’s OK, too! Listen to your body and take as much rest as you need as you approach the second half of your pregnancy.
Will testing take place this week?
Your anatomy scan may be performed this week, though many providers wait until week 20. If you’ve chosen to do a Multiple Marker Screen (MMS, a.k.a. Triple or Quad Screen Test), your blood will be drawn sometime between now and your ultrasound appointment. This test measures specific proteins and hormones in your blood and will give a clearer picture of your babies’ risk for neural tube defects. This test may be less helpful for a multiples pregnancy, so speak to your provider if this is an option for you.
Amniocentesis is an elective test that can be performed between weeks 15 and 20 of pregnancy. This test is more invasive and is generally only done if you have an abnormal MMS result or if your babies are at an increased risk of genetic abnormalities. If you decide on amniocentesis, your physician will guide you through the steps of the procedure and how the testing results will help guide your care.
Focus on you!
Your body is doing some amazing things right now, but physically, you may be feeling less than stellar. Regular exercise can be helpful not only in keeping you healthy but also in helping your body feel better. Walking, light stretching, and other non-strenuous forms of movement are great options if you didn’t exercise before getting pregnant.
Not feeling up to physical activity? We get it! Treat yourself to a prenatal massage to unwind and soothe away any discomfort.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “Multifetal gestation: Twin, triplet, and higher order multifetal pregnancies.” National Guideline Clearinghouse. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, May 2014. Retrieved May 15 2021.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Twin pregnancy: What multiples mean for mom.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, December 13 2014. Retrieved May 15 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/twin-pregnancy/art-20048161.
- “FAQ: Multiple pregnancy.” American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, July 2015. Retrieved May 15 2021.