If you are an expectant mom with two babies on board, then it is a different ballgame altogether. Twin pregnancy is different from a singleton in many respects. It means double placenta, body resources, and the baby and doubles the fluid to supplement the pregnancy. The weight gain pattern is different, more hormonal fluctuations, bigger belly, and lesser mobility, and the number of tests and scans are also much more to track the growth in the case of dual babies. The twin baby scans will include a transvaginal scan between six and eight weeks to check the embryo inside the uterus. A nuchal translucency scan is done between 11 and 13 weeks. At about 20 weeks you will have to take up an anomaly scan followed by a growth scan between 28 and 32 weeks. A scan to check the position of the baby is done around 38 weeks to find out more details before the birth of the twins.
Twin Pregnancy Scans to Monitor Growth
When you have twin pregnancy, you should follow the clinical guidelines and meet the obstetrician or your healthcare consultant regularly during the antenatal visits to keep a close eye on the twin’s progress. Ultrasound scans are the most effective way to see the beans on screen and monitor the growth of the babies. The essential scans apart from the Dating scan between 10 to 14 weeks and Anomaly scan around 20 weeks and other additional scans during each stage are as follows:
1. Chorionicity Scan
During the 12th to 14th weeks of pregnancy, this scan is done to examine complications associated with the twins. It also determines if the twins have separate placenta or are sharing the same to supply the required nutrition. A schedule for monitoring the babies on a regular basis is prepared based on the results of the tests.
2. Nuchal Translucency Scan
This scan is generally recommended 11 to 14 weeks or post 16 weeks of pregnancy to check the babies for Down’s syndrome. A blood test is also suggested at this stage to acquire accurate results. Twins with separate placenta are checked every 4 weeks, and twins are sharing one placenta are monitored every 2 weeks.
3. Growth Scans
In the third trimester, frequent ultrasound tests are advised to help the mother keep a constant check on the growth and position of the babies in the womb. The sonographer records the data to compare and ensure further development of the twins at each stage.
4. Doppler Scans
The Doppler ultrasound is suggested to monitor the heartbeat of the twin babies. It helps to detect and ensure proper supply of nutrition and oxygen to the babies and also measures the flow of blood through the umbilical cord to the babies.
Ultrasound scans are essential in multiple pregnancies for monitoring the gradual and healthy growth of the babies. It is easy for the healthcare provider to analyse the twin’s interaction, health, and position, any complications or abnormalities associated with the pregnancy. Though too many in number, it ensures the growth of the babies on the right track and helps to avoid any pregnancy complications. Hence it can be safely concluded that more antenatal appointments mean more safety for your babies.