How long your twins will stay in the hospital after birth depends on your twins’ health at their time of birth.
Let’s talk about a couple scenarios.
Expect around nine to 25 days after birth if your twins need to spend some time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). But remember, that not all twins need time in the NICU.
Let’s talk about the first ideal situation, which is when your twins are born, they’re super healthy and they’re ready to go home.
If your twins are born close to your due date or the average for twins, that’s 36 weeks of the pregnancy, the odds are pretty good that they will not need any time in the NICU and they can go home with mom.
Your stay in the hospital in this case is going to be very short, and it’s often dictated by how long mom needs to stay in the hospital to recover from delivery. This could be as little as two or three days or maybe three or four days if mom has had a c-section.
This was the case with our twin girls. My wife had a c-section delivery for our twin girls and she was in the hospital for about four days.
Our girls were healthy, and so when mom was ready to come home from the hospital, the babies and mom were all released at the same time. Now that’s really the ideal scenario for you and your twins a few days after birth. Everybody’s looking great and you head home.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, your twins may be born very early, which is a possibility with twins, but it doesn’t always happen that way. In case of premature birth, they may have some serious complications that require an extended stay in the hospital.
(RELATED: Your twins will need a lot of gear. Here's the complete twins baby registry checklist to get ready for your twins' arrival.
Twins have been known to stay in the hospital for months so they can have the needed surgeries and give them time to grow and develop enough to leave all the machines of the NICU.
It’s likely that your twins will fall somewhere in the middle of these extremes.
Make sure you discuss potential risks with your doctor during ultrasounds as you get closer and closer to the twins’ birth.
Sometimes things can be identified during the pregnancy, so you, during the ultrasound or visits with a doctor, you may get a heads up that there may be potential complications at birth, which could indicate your twins may need to spend more time in the hospital. Otherwise, you just need to wait until they’re born to see how they check out and whether they’re ready to come home with you in a few days, or if they need a little extra time in the hospital.
Your exact scenario and situation with your twins will be different than mine and from other twin parents you know.
I’ve interviewed dozens and dozens of twin dads on my podcast, The Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast so checkout their stories to get a hint at all the different variations of what could be possible with the birth of your twins.
There are many possibilities of how long your twins will be in the hospital after birth. For example:
- Twins go home right away once mom is ready to leave
- Twins are in the hospital for months while they get the treatment that they need to survive in the real world
- One twin needs to stay in the hospital while the other twin comes home with you
- Twins stay in the hospital just for a few days or weeks. Sometimes twins are born early and they just need to grow and develop a little bit. There’s really nothing wrong with them other than that.
While all of these are possibilities, I don’t want you to worry about some of these extreme scenarios because that may not happen to your twins.
(RELATED: Still expecting twins? Will you be having two boys, two girls, or boy/girl twins? Answer these quick questions to see what several old wives’ tales claim you’ll be having….)
Discuss those possibilities with your doctors, but don’t stress out about them, and when new information comes your way from your doctor, that’s when you can deep dive into the research on that and talk about options with your doctors.
So if you’re packing your bag to go to the hospital, I would plan for a stay of three to four days, and then you might just be coming home with the twins at the end of that time.
If they’re going to stay a little bit longer, you can come home with mom and then go and check on the twins as they progress through the NICU.