Parents-to-be wait with bated breath to hear their babies are full term, and rightfully so! It’s a highly significant milestone, and you’re just about there.
While doctors consider 39 to 40 weeks to be full term for singletons, most doctors consider 37 to 38 weeks full term when it comes to uncomplicated twin pregnancies. This means you may only be one week away!
Many twin pregnancies end in delivery around 37 weeks. Although this benchmark is sooner than doctors prefer to see with singletons, there is some evidence suggesting multiples’ lungs develop more quickly, meaning they can breathe on their own at an earlier gestational age.
Let’s explore what you can expect this week and make sure you have your ducks in a row before bringing your babies home. After all, it’s just around the corner!
How are the babies?
Multiples are undergoing the same developmental changes as singletons during this period of gestation, but most multiples have already been delivered at this stage.
Your babies have most likely reached their full height by now, though they continue to gain about an ounce each day. They have lost most of their lanugo, the fine hair that previously covered their bodies to keep them warm. They’ve also shed most of the vernix caseosa, which is a waxy substance that has been protecting their skin during pregnancy.
They’re practicing using their respiratory systems by breathing amniotic fluid. And their nervous systems have kicked into full gear — they’ve now developed all the reflexes they’ll have when they’re born.
Your babies weigh close to 6 lbs now and are about as long as a head of romaine lettuce!
How are you doing?
Chances are, you’re thinking a lot about delivery these days. You’re also spending a lot of time with your healthcare provider, discussing how your delivery may look. You will probably have already determined whether you’ll be having a scheduled C-section or will be trying for a vaginal delivery.
If you’ve made it this far in your pregnancy without complications, this means your odds of having a successful vaginal delivery are higher. However, this does not rule out the possibility that your doctor may determine a C-section is the safest delivery method for your babies, even if you’re only giving birth to two.
While trudging to your appointments this far into your pregnancy is exhausting, try to remember the reason you’re meeting with your provider so frequently is that it’s essential to ensure the health of both you and your babies. Contact your doctor right away if you notice any changes between appointments that you feel need to be addressed.
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.