If you’re expecting twins, your babies likely have a bit more time ahead of them in the womb. However, parents of triplets or other higher-order multiples can expect their pregnancy journey to end soon, which can bring on a slew of different emotions.
You may go into labor spontaneously, or your physician could decide it’s safer to deliver early via induction or scheduled C-section rather than to continue the pregnancy. Giving birth to triplets or more vaginally is extremely rare due to a higher risk of complications during labor and afterward. Fortunately, babies born at this point tend to do very well and are less likely to experience long term complications.
Let’s check in on your little ones and talk about what you can expect from this week!
How are the babies?
Since you know babies who are born at this point typically do well from a medical standpoint, you might be wondering exactly what’s going on developmentally this week. For starters, their lungs continue to grow stronger, which means they’ll be less likely to need help breathing with each passing week.
Your babies are also still packing on fat to help regulate their body temperatures at birth. They’re also getting ready to open their eyes and see the world once they’re born (albeit a blurry scene).
Now is the point when multiples start developing a bit differently than singletons at the same stage of pregnancy. Because space is limited, multiples tend to level off in size sooner than singletons, who have more room to grow. This could be why multiples are generally smaller in size than their singleton counterparts and why they’re often born before their due dates.
Your babies weigh over 4 pounds each now — about the size of a napa cabbage!
How are you doing?
Let’s start with the physical symptoms. Everyone’s symptoms are different, but a universal third trimester complaint is an increased need to pee. You may also be experiencing flatulence, constipation, and hemorrhoids.
The increased blood flow during pregnancy can contribute to a myriad of symptoms. Fortunately, you’ve probably reached the peak at this point at about 50% more blood than pre-pregnancy. This added volume provides enough blood to circulate to both you and your babies, and makes up for the blood you will lose during delivery.
How are you doing mentally? It’s perfectly normal to feel various emotions, sometimes simultaneously, as you approach delivery day. Knowing you’ll meet your babies soon is probably exciting and intimidating. You may be feeling ready to be done with being pregnant but also feel unprepared to care for multiples.
Keep asking questions at your medical appointments, which are pretty frequent at this stage. This will help you feel more confident as you approach delivery. Your OB team wants your babies to keep cooking for as long as possible to give them ample time to develop, so remember that if an induction or C-section is scheduled before your due date, it’s in the interest of keeping your babies healthy and safe.
Let’s plan ahead!
You’ve probably gathered up the newborn basics by now, but time flies once you’ve got your hands full. Your babies will be here before you know it, and you’ll be glad you’ve taken the time to prepare once they arrive. So, what else might be beneficial to tackle while you have the chance?
Think about installing baby gates, cabinet locks, and anchoring furniture. While it may seem silly to do this before they’re born, you’ll be scrambling once they’re mobile. Check as many items as you can off that to-do list now, and you will thank yourself later!
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.