A multiple pregnancy is when you are expecting two or more babies at one time. This happens to about 1 in 65 pregnancies. Each year in the UK there are more than 12,000 multiples births.
You will usually find out at the dating scan (approx. 12 weeks) if you are carrying more than one baby. We will also check if the babies are in separate sacs and whether they share a placenta.
Being pregnant with twins or more brings a unique set of challenges. We will give you support and information to help you to prepare.
What to expect
Multiple pregnancies are classed as a ‘high risk’ pregnancy. This is to ensure you have the best possible care for you and your babies. You will have a lot more scans and antenatal check-ups with your obstetrician and midwife.
Please don’t worry about this as most people expecting twins will have an uneventful pregnancy and healthy babies.
At your first appointment with your consultant, we will discuss and agree a care pathway with you. This will include your appointments and the number of scans to assess the growth of your babies. Your care will depend on whether your babies are identical (monochorionic) or non-identical (dichorionic), or if you are carrying more than two babies.
Parent education classes for multiple pregnancies
It is very important to be prepared.
We hold a free antenatal class, designed especially for parents expecting a multiple pregnancy. This is to help you to make choices for birth and prepare for your babies. The class is held by experienced midwives.
Your midwife will discuss this with you when to book your care. You should attend when you are around 28 weeks pregnant.
Options for birth
Whatever birth you choose, we will support you and give you high quality care to ensure you have a positive birthing experience.
More than half of twins are born by caesarean but 4 out of 10 twins are not. Your decision to have a vaginal birth or caesarean will depend upon several factors.
Please refer to the Multiple Birth leaflet to understand the factors that might affect your decision and your obstetrician recommendations.Birthing twins and multiples
You will be prioritised to stay in a side room for on the postnatal ward during your recovery. Your partner or nominated support person can stay with you and your babies in hospital. Our midwives and maternity support staff will make sure that you and your babies are recovering well from the birth. We will also support you with feeding and caring for them.