Laboring With Twins Or More

Jan 22, 2011 1 Comment by

How will your labor differ from the labor of a mother-of-one? Here are a few ways:

  • It could be shorter. Will you have to endure double the pain to end up cuddling double the pleasure? Nope. In fact, when it comes to labor, you’re likely to catch a really nice break (for once). The first stage of labor is often shorter with multiples – which means that it may take less time to get to the point where you can start pushing, if you’ll be delivering vaginally. The catch? You’ll be hitting the harder part of labor sooner.
  • Or it could be longer. Because a multiples mom’s uterus is overstretched, contractions are sometimes weaker. And weaker contractions could mean that it might take longer to become fully dilated.
  • It’ll  be watched more closely. Because your medical team will have to be twice as careful during yourmultiple delivery, you’ll be monitored more during labor than most moms of singletons. Throughout labor, you’ll likely be attached to two (or more) fetal monitors so your practitioner can see how each baby is responding to your contractions. Early on, the babies’ heartbeats may be monitored with external belt monitors; this could allow you to go off the monitors periodically so you can walk around or hit the whirlpool tub to help ease your pain (if you’re so inclined). In the latter stages of labor, Baby A (the one closest to the exit) may be monitored internally with a scalp electrode while Baby B is still monitored externally. This will put an end to any wandering  because you’ll be tethered to a machine (but by this time, you may be well past the point of wanting to move around anyway). Be sure to discuss fetal monitoring and how it will affect your mobility with your practitioner.
  • You’ll be probably have an epidural. If you’ve had your heart set on one anyway, you’ll be happy to hearthat epidurals are strong encouraged – or even required – with multiple deliveries, in case an emergency C-section becomes necessary to deliver one or all of your babies. If you’d like to avoid an epidural, talk to your practitioner and hospital policies differ on this topic.
  • You’ll probably deliver in an operating room. Most hospitals require this, just to be on the safe side (and in case an emergency C-section becomes necessary), so ask ahead. Chances are you’ll be able to labor in one of these comfy rooms with the pretty curtains and relaxing prints, but when it’s time to push, you’ll likely be wheeled into the OR.

Expecting More Than One, From Conception To Delivery, Labor And Delivery
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