The twin question comes up quite often in our practice – lots of people are worried or hopeful at the beginning of pregnancy that they may be pregnant with twins. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to reassure people, as the chances of having twins are pretty small at about 3%. That being said, of course twins happen sometimes!
First, people want to know how soon we’ll be able to tell if they are carrying twins. The easiest and earliest way to tell, of course, is to get an early ultrasound. But if you decide against that, the next way we can tell is by how your uterus is measuring. At every prenatal visit, we measure the size of your fundus either with our hands or with a measuring tape. If you are carrying twins, your uterus will most likely be larger that we expect – though it’s worth noting that, most of the time, when your uterus is measuring large, it still turns out not to be twins on further investigation.
The next opportunity to find out is when you get your second trimester ultrasound. Though we have heard legend of twins being missed by ultrasound, it is extremely unlikely that an ultrasound at 20 weeks would miss them, so you can be pretty confident at this point.
So, what if it turns out that you are one of the lucky ones who is carrying twins? Well, in Colorado, it does mean that you will need to change your birth plans, as it is outside the scope of practice for registered midwives to attend the birth of twins at home. As soon as we know you are expecting twins, we will help connect you with a friendly hospital-based provider in the area. If you work with an open-minded provider, you can definitely be optimistic about realizing many of your birth wishes, such as an unmedicated delivery and a vaginal birth, depending on your individual circumstances. Luckily, we have some fantastic obstetric providers in our area.
And then, depending upon your preference, we can often resume care after the birth so that you get all of the postpartum and newborn visits that you would have gotten had you had a home birth with us. We’ll look forward to meeting those two adorable babies!