Pregnancy Stages With Twins

Submitted by Pregnancy and Baby Care team on January 17, 2012

A twin pregnancy is very different from that of a single child and the development of twins is an almost copy of the development of a single child with a minor alteration in the womb. This entirely depends on whether the twins are fraternal or identical. However, it is the sharing of the same uterus that makes the birth of twins more distinct. Fraternal twins’ development begins with two separate eggs whereas the development in identical twins begins with one egg and then separates into two. A full term pregnancy in the case of twins is the 37th week which is shorter than that of a single birth.

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Twins normally would have fully developed lungs; however, they will weigh less and be smaller in size at birth.Pregnancies with twins are divided into trimesters, where each trimester lasts for about three months. The initial two stages are very similar to single child pregnancies as the twins develop at the same rate as single babies. Most of the parents find out that they are having multiple babies only once the mother is in her 16th to 20th week of pregnancy through a process called an ‘ultrasound’ examination. At the end of the 6th week, each twin is about 1/10 of an inch long which is almost as big as a grain of rice. By the end of the first trimester the twins’ organs and brains begin to develop. In the fifth month, each twin is about 7-10 inches in length which is about the size of a big banana. As the 2nd trimester ends, the bones of the twins start to develop, fat starts accumulating, organs continue developing and hearing is now possible. During this trimester the twin fetuses weigh about two pounds. See also twin pregnancy week by week

In the final trimester, there are more variations in the twin pregnancies which differentiate it from single pregnancies. Twins’ growth is slightly more rapid in the seventh month, where they weigh three pounds each. Then as a complete turnaround, their growth rapidly slows down in the eighth month as compared to a single child. Due to this early slowing down the size of the twins are typically smaller. On an average, healthy twins inside a healthy mother are normally delivered around 37 weeks. This delivery is 3 weeks before that of a single baby, and is considered to be full term for a twin birth. This is a reason why most of the twins are typically lesser in weight at birth.

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