Hi there, and welcome to Twin Tip Tuesday. I am Joe Rawlinson, the founder of DadsGuideToTwins.com.
One of the things I need you to do, dad, during the twin pregnancy is go with your wife to the doctor visits. This is going to give you a huge amount of insight into what’s happening with mom and with the babies. I know personally, I loved to go to the doctor with my wife because I could ask questions, and I could hear the answers straight from the doctor. So with that in mind, today, I want to give you several questions that you can ask your doctor when you go with your wife to those checkups.
First question you need to ask your doctor, once you find out you’re having twins, is, “How did this happen?” No, I’m just kidding, not that. You want to ask the question, “Have you delivered twins before?” Now, odds are if your doctor has been in practice any amount of time, he or she will have delivered multiple sets of twins. But you want to judge the reaction of how much experience they’ve had or the reaction of twins or if it’s just like another pregnancy. Or if they understand the nuances and the special needs of a twin pregnancy.
You also need to ask your physician, “Do you need to call in the assistance of a specialist, a perinatologist? A perinatologist is someone who specializes in high risk pregnancies. Now, as you’re expecting twins, by its very nature, you have a high risk pregnancy. So talk to your doctor about their comfort level with caring for you through the twin pregnancy, or do they need to call in extra help. Once you start getting ultrasounds of your babies, it’s a perfect time to talk to your doctor about if your twins share a placenta. When your twins share a placenta, it’s known as monochorionic twins. Now, this puts your twins at a higher risk of twin to twin transfusion syndrome, which is a very serious illness which can affect your twins. Definitely talk to your doctor about twin to twin transfusion syndrome and your babies risk for it.
Keep in mind that many twin pregnancies result in bed rest for mother. This could be a modified form of bed rest where she’s resting just a few hours a day, or it could be complete and total bed rest in the hospital hooked up to machines for monitoring mom and baby. Talk to your doctor about their experience guiding moms through bed rest, and do they proactively recommend anything to help prevent that from happening in the first place.
(NOTE: Still expecting? Get weekly updates on your twin pregnancy here.)
As you prepare for your twins delivery, talk with your doctor about your desires for the delivery. Do you want a vaginal delivery, or do you want a Cesarean section delivery? Ask your doctor, “Do they support having twins vaginally if that is your wish?” What conditions need to be met for that to happen with your doctor and with the hospital? And what happens if things don’t go as planned, and you need to do something else. In this case, a Cesarean section. If you want to just go ahead and plan for a Cesarean section, ask your doctor, “Will they schedule a Cesarean section, and at how many weeks of the pregnancy will they do that?”
In line with that, you need to ask your doctor how long will they let mom go before they induce mom to have her go into labor to deliver the babies or schedule a Cesarean section? Mom needs to have that light at the end of the tunnel of, “I have to make it no more than 38 weeks” if that’s what you agreed upon with the doctor before the babies are going to join the family. Particularly in those later stages of pregnancy, mom is going to be crazy uncomfortable, miserable. And so if she knows she just has to hold in there one more week, it’ll make things a lot more bearable.
If you want more insights into the types of questions to ask your doctor and what to expect during the twin pregnancy, I recommend that you pick up my book, “Dad’s Guide to Twins: How to Survive the Twin Pregnancy and Prepare For Your Twins Arrival“. You can get that book at TwinDadBook.com. Thank you so much for watching, and I’ll see you next time on Twin Tip Tuesday.