Here is a question that comes to us from Anthony. He writes, “My twins are in the same sac. I’ve heard that’s bad, and it really scares me. How common is this, and should I be so scared?”
Well, Anthony, having twins in the same amniotic sac in mom’s uterus is a pretty rare event. We’re talking one in several thousand twin pregnancies. Now, twins in this circumstance are called monoamniotic, monochorionic twins, or MoMo twins, for short.
There Will Likely Be Complications
Now, these types of twins are always going to be identical twins, and they do have a higher risk of complications due to this situation. Some of the risks include umbilical cord entanglement or twin to twin transfusion syndrome, known as TTTS.
Now, because of the higher risk of this pregnancy, it is scary. Fortunately, even though these twins have a higher risk of complications, they also have a very high successful birth rate. Due to the wonders of modern medicine, your wife and your babies can get some great prenatal care and help them come safely into the world.
Take Special Care
Odds are, your wife is going be on bed rest and may even be in patient care in the hospital, so that the babies can be carefully monitored, particularly as the pregnancy progresses. And if there’s any situations that arise where the health of the babies or mom are at risk, then those babies are going to be delivered and they could be delivered very early.
And so, these twins are always going to arrive via Caesarian section.
MoMo Twins May Be Misdiagnosed
I have heard that oftentimes normal twins are misdiagnosed in the beginning, so make sure that your medical staff has indeed confirmed that this is the case for you.
Many parents who at first hear they have MoMo twins end up having normal twins later, and the diagnosis changed when further ultrasounds revealed the thin membrane between the twins. We had a very similar circumstance with our twin girls. We had a couple of ultrasounds with our twins before they could clearly see the membrane that divided the two amniotic sacs and made it very clear that our girls were not MoMo twins.
But it took us several ultrasounds and it was not clear in the beginning. Even to the trained eye of the medical staff, it was very hard to see that membrane.
So definitely confirm that this the situation with your twins, but then take heart and confidence in the fact that there’s great medical care available for Mom and for the twins to make it through this pregnancy.
(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)
So Anthony, I wish you all the best with this journey with these twins. It will be challenging but with the marvels and the miracles of medicine today your babies have a great chance of being born healthy and joining your family.
This question was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast episode 18: Twin Taxes, Car Seats in Small Cars, Mo/Mo Twins.
Picture by Jeremy Miles