Pregnancy is an exciting and life-changing experience for any couple. In a recent video, TV star and Big Boss 14 winner, Rubina Dilaik revealed that she and her husband Abhinav Shukla are expecting twins. She expressed her happiness and said that her husband was overwhelmed upon hearing this news. Dilaik also talked about her pregnancy journey and the complications. She recalled telling her husband that they needed to be very cautious as twin pregnancy is complicated with a high degree of bouts of anger and stress.
We spoke to Dr Yuvakshi Juneja, Senior Consultant- Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Apollo Cradle and Children’s Hospital, Chirag Enclave, New Delhi, who explained the benefits and challenges of twin pregnancy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), twin pregnancies are becoming more common, with the rate of twin births increasing by 79% from 1980-2009. But with double babies come double challenges. Let’s explore the joys and challenges of a twin pregnancy.
The moment a couple finds out they are having twins, they are filled with a mix of emotions. "There is joy, excitement, and even a little bit of shock. Twins bring a unique sense of wonder and amazement that can’t be replicated with a single baby. The bond between twins is incredibly special, and parents are lucky enough to witness it from the moment they are born, said Dr Juneja.
Watch Them Grow
One of the biggest joys of having twins is watching them grow and develop together. They often hit milestones at the same time, which can be both adorable and heartwarming. Seeing them interact with each other and play together is a magical experience that parents of singletons don’t get to enjoy.
Experience Parenthood Twice
Dr Juneja added, "Having two babies also means that parents get to experience the joy of parenthood twice over. They get to cuddle and bond with each baby separately, and watch each baby’s unique personality and traits develop." Twin parents often talk about how much they love watching their babies interact and grow together, and how much they cherish the special moments they get to share as a family.
While there are many joys to having twins, there are also many challenges. Some of them listed by Dr Juneja are as follows:
The first challenge is that twin pregnancies are often considered high-risk pregnancies. "Twins are more likely to be born prematurely or with a low birth weight, which can lead to health complications for both the babies and the mother", informed Dr Juneja.
Pregnancy Symptoms Worsens
Pregnancy symptoms can also be more severe in twin pregnancies. Dr Juneja said, "Nausea, fatigue, and discomfort can all be heightened, which can make it difficult for the mother to manage daily activities and work. Twin pregnancies also mean that the mother’s body's working overtime to support two growing babies, which can lead to more aches and pains, and even complications like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia."
Once the babies are born, the challenges don’t end. Twin parents often find themselves with double the work. Feeding, diaper changes, and getting both babies to sleep at the same time can be incredibly challenging. It can be difficult for one parent to manage both babies alone, so twin parents often need to rely on each other, family, or even hired help to get through the first few months.
Twin parents also face unique challenges when it comes to their babies’ development. Dr Juneja highlighted, "Twins are often compared to each other, which can be unfair and put pressure on each child to meet certain milestones at the same time. Parents need to remember that each child is unique and will develop at their own pace. It’s important to celebrate each child’s accomplishments, no matter how big or small."
Tips For A Twin Pregnancy
If you’re expecting twins, there are a few tips that can help you navigate the joys and challenges of twin pregnancy.
Get Plenty Of Rest
Rest is important during any pregnancy, but it’s especially important during a twin pregnancy. "You should ensure that you’re getting enough sleep and taking breaks when you need to. Taking breaks can also help prevent burnout and exhaustion, said Dr Juneja. It's important to listen to your body and rest when you feel tired or overwhelmed. This can mean taking a nap during the day, delegating tasks to others, or simply taking a few minutes to relax and recharge. Keep in mind that caring for yourself is equally important as caring for your children.
Drinking plenty of water can help with nausea and fatigue, and can also help prevent preterm labor.
Find A Support System
The impact of a support system cannot be overstated. This can include your partner, family, friends, or even a support group for twin parents. Having a support system helps minimise your burden and lower your stress.
Dr Juneja added, "Twins often arrive earlier than singletons, so it’s important to be prepared. Make sure you have a bag packed before you go to the hospital so that you are ready to go. Also, plan about who will take care of any other children or pets while you're in the hospital." It's also a good idea to have a plan for how you will manage the first few weeks after the babies are born, such as arranging for help with household chores or meal preparation. Being prepared can help alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty that comes with having twins.