You’ve made it to the end of the road — congratulations! Most twins and almost all multiples pregnancies are over by this stage, but if your babies are still gestating, rest assured this only means they’re continuing to grow stronger in preparation for delivery.
We know you’re ready to meet your babies by now. Delivery day is just around the corner. Here are some tips for getting through this last stretch!
Signs of labor
It’s well-known that many multiples are typically delivered via C-section. However, if you’ve reached this point of your pregnancy without scheduling a C-section, you should start keeping an eye out for signs of labor.
Labor with multiples begins the same way as with singletons. You may feel contractions that increase in frequency or intensity, or your water might spontaneously break. Unlike in the movies, your water probably won’t gush out all at once out of the blue. Instead, you may feel a trickle of fluid that leaks continuously or repeatedly and doesn’t smell like urine. If it’s hard to tell whether there’s amniotic fluid or vaginal discharge coming out, you can always wear a pantyliner or pad and look at what’s absorbed.
If you’ve been experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions during pregnancy, differentiating them from real contractions can be complicated. While Braxton-Hicks contractions taper off with rest, fluids, or position changes, true contractions increase with intensity and follow a rhythmic pattern.
Vaginal bleeding or a sudden drop in your babies’ kicks may also be signs of labor. However, these symptoms can also indicate other issues, so contact your provider about whether you should be examined if you notice either of them.
Let’s plan ahead
Does preparing for multiples feel like double, triple, or quadruple the work? You bet it can! It may ease your mind to remember your babies will share certain things, like clothes and toys, meaning you don’t necessarily have to buy the same item for each baby. Loading up on diapers and wipes will be a better bet than multiple copies of the same outfit or toy.
Even if your multiples aren’t identical, differentiating them might be challenging early on until they become easier to tell apart. Like older children, babies have their own temperaments, which will eventually become apparent. Until then, you may need to get a system in place — especially if one of your babies has unique medical needs requiring specialized care once you’re discharged. Take home a hospital bracelet or mark a toenail if it helps simplify those early days.
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.