A twins pregnancy is such an amazing experience – albeit an interesting and sometimes terrifying one. But, many things are different in a twin pregnancy when compared to a single baby, especially when it comes to the third trimester with twins.
Ultimately having two babies all at once is just incredible. In this post you will find your ultimate guide on how to get through that difficult third trimester of twins pregnancy before you meet your newborn babies on the other side of it all.
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When Does the Third Trimester With Twins Start?
With a single baby you will be in your third trimester from around weeks 29 or 30 through the end of your pregnancy. When it comes to a twin pregnancy, you will want to adjust this by about 2-3 weeks.
This means that technically the third trimester with twins starts around about 27-28 weeks. Many changes will take place during this trimester with twins, just the same as it would with one baby.
At this point in your twin pregnancy, although your babies are growing well and within a few weeks they could come into the world, it is best that they stay safe and warm in the womb as long as possible.
The following topics look at the various changes your twins will go through in the third trimester before they are ready to enter the world.
How Much Will My Twins Grow During the Third Trimester?
By the third trimester in your twin pregnancy your babies would have grown quite substantially. But of course they will continue to grow even more. Twins growth during the third trimester is slower than that of their singleton counterparts.
Your twin babies organs will continue to develop and their bones will start to harden. During this third trimester of your pregnancy you may experience much higher levels of indigestion and discomfort.
You can expect to have an increase in the following symptoms due to your two babies growing more and more each week.
- Pelvic pain
- Back pain
- Struggling to eat (with two little growing bodies in your belly there is not much room left for food)
At the start of the third trimester the average weight of twins is roughly 2.2 pounds each – so just take that into consideration when you are looking at your own weight gain. The length of each of your twins by 30 weeks is roughly 10.5 inches from crown to rump.
Will I Still Feel the Twins Moving During Third Trimester Pregnancy?
One of the biggest differences between a singleton pregnancy and a twin pregnancy is how quickly your twins will run out of room as they grow. This means that although you will still feel the twins moving during the early part of the third trimester, these movements will become less as the third trimester goes on.
Additionally, you will definitely feel a lot less pronounced movements than that of a singleton pregnancy. On the other hand, you may feel more pressure pushing down on your abdomen – and of course your bladder, but the kicks and elbow jabs will be felt less often.
Many pregnant twin moms wonder if they will be able to tell the difference between each baby’s movement. The truth is that unless you know for certain who is laying where, you won’t really be able to tell who is delivering the kicks and jabs – especially not in the third trimester.
How Big Will My Belly Be With Twins?
We can say with all certainty that your belly will be a lot bigger than if you were just having one baby. Remember with twins, your body has to adjust and make room for two babies both trying to grow at the same speed (although it is very rare that both babies will grow at exactly the same rate throughout the pregnancy).
This will mean you will pick up a lot more weight during a twin pregnancy, as well as, have a belly that measures bigger. For example, at 21 weeks of twin pregnancy your belly size is about the same as a single pregnant belly would be at 25-26 weeks.
You can keep track of the measurement of your belly at home if you want. But, rest assured your physician will do this too at every checkup.
How Much Weight Should I Gain in the Third Trimester of Twin Pregnancy?
When you are pregnant it is normal to pick up weight and in fact it is healthy to do so, but in moderation. With a twin pregnancy the amount of weight you gain will be considerably more, I mean you are having two babies, so this is to be expected.
But how much weight should you gain in the third trimester? Here is a guideline:
- Underweight (starting BMI) – aim to gain approximately 21 – 26 pounds
- Normal to overweight – aim to gain approximately 14 – 22 pounds
The next question is how much should you be gaining on a weekly basis. Again, this will depend on your unique circumstances, but a good rule of thumb is that you will gain about 1.5 pounds per week in the third trimester of twins pregnancy.
How Many Calories Should I Eat During the Third Trimester?
Now that you know how much weight you should be gaining, it’s time to figure out how you are going to do this. There is actually a formula to ensure you and your babies gain weight in a healthy way.
- First Trimester – Increase calorie intake by 300 calories per baby
- Second Trimester – Increase calorie intake by 340 calories per baby
- Third Trimester – Increase by a whopping 452 calories per baby
The key to taking in a good amount of calories per day is to eat a variety of foods. Make sure you include lots of healthy fats, leafy green vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates (you need the energy afterall).
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Surviving The Third Trimester With Twins
Once the third trimester hits, you have come so far! But, you may be feeling like you cannot take another minute of it.
Below is our guide to help you when it comes to surviving the third trimester with twins.
Twin Pregnancy Sleep Tips
“Get as much sleep as you can before the babies arrive.” Ha! That’s easier said than done. By the time you hit the third trimester you may find yourself struggling more and more with sleep.
Here are some twin pregnancy sleep tips to help you through it:
- Sleep on your left side – this will be more comfortable for you and be more nourishing for your babies
- Get yourself a body pillow
- Develop a relaxing pregnancy bedtime routine – and stick to it
- Eat a balanced diet – avoid heavy meals too close to bed time
- Rope your spouse in for a back massage as you drift off to sleep
- Try some pregnancy yoga before you climb into bed
- Nap as much as you can
How To Deal with Exhaustion During Pregnancy
You’re so tired! It is expected at this point during your pregnancy, but how can you deal with the exhaustion in a healthy way?
We have listed some tips that should help you during your last stretch of twin pregnancy.
- Limit caffeine – this should be a given, but caffeine can cause spikes of adrenalin and then cause a crash which is definitely something you want to avoid
- Exercise daily – even in your last trimester, as long as you are healthy and it is approved by your physician, continue to do mild exercises daily
- Take naps
- Eat a balanced diet to keep your energy levels boosted and sustained
- Pamper yourself often
- Relax whenever you get the chance
- Put your feet up
- Ask for help
Dealing with Pain in Third Trimester Pregnancy
As your baby bump grows in your third trimester, you will start to experience discomfort, aches, and pains that are more prevalent.
Below is a list of third trimester pregnancy pains you may feel.
- Braxton Hicks – these are abdominal pains that are similar to labor pains. Braxton Hicks are likened to practice contractions. The way to get through them – breathe deeply and calm your body.
- Back & Hip Pain – Your posture will change according to your growing bump, which will contribute to this pain. The fact that there is an increase in progesterone which softens the muscles and ligaments can also increase pain. To ease this discomfort you can use a support belt under your belly.
- Round Ligament Pain – This is probably the most common pain. It is a sharp pain felt in the lower belly and groin area. The round ligament is stretched and strained as your belly grows. The way to deal with this pain is to do lots of exercise to keep your stomach muscles strong. Do not make sudden movements and flex your hip muscles for support.
- Pelvic Pain – This will often be felt in the pubic bone and also causes a pressure build up on your vaginal muscles. Pelvic floor exercises to strengthen muscles can help with the pain. A prenatal massage, warm bath or shower, and rest can also help cope with this pain.
As with any pain that is persistent, if you feel that it is not easing no matter what you do, please make sure you see your physician as soon as possible to rule out any other complications.
Bed Rest With Twins
Bed rest is often recommended for high risk pregnancies or for pregnancies where a complication has been detected. In twin pregnancy bed rest is more common, purely because carrying around two babies is higher risk and comes with more complications.
If you are put on bed rest the way to cope with it is to just take it in your stride. Ask for help and accept help that is offered.
Pregnancy is tough, rewarding, and amazing, but it is especially a struggle towards the end, so take all the help you can get.
Final Preparations For Arrival of Two Newborns
You are in your final weeks before your babies arrive. So, what should you have in place in preparation for twins?
Here is a basic checklist to help you on your way.
- Hospital bag for babies, mom, and dad packed
- Bassinets / co-sleepers ready
- Birthing plan (if applicable)
- Stock up on toiletries, medical items etc.
- Meal preparation for at least the first 4 weeks
- Wash all baby clothes and blankets
You can also do prenatal classes during this time, choose a pediatrician, tour the hospital, and most importantly – take care of yourself!
Preparing For Labor & Delivery With Twins
I highly recommend taking a prenatal class (or even two) during your pregnancy because they will help make labor and delivery of your twins that much easier and less stressful.
Learn from my innocent mistake. When I was a pregnant with my twins, there was a twins class offered at the local hospital. My husband and I signed up and loved it.
We were able to meet others in our area who were expecting twins. However, this class was not a Lamaze or prenatal class, which I thought would be part of it.
My labor and delivery was very difficult and I think if I had also taken a formal prenatal class I would have been in much better shape. This is why I have quite a few options I promote for pregnant mamas.
The number one reason I recommend these courses are that they are taught by labor and delivery nurses who are also moms. So, they know their stuff!
Below is a list of options for you if you are looking for a prenatal or labor and delivery course to meet your needs. For those that want to take one catered to the type of delivery you will be having I recommend the Mommy Labor Nurse courses.
I find these courses especially useful for moms pregnant with twins because often you might know well ahead of time the type of delivery you are going to have. For example, the way twins are laying in your uterus will be a determining factor in how they will be born – vaginal or C-section.
Here is the list to choose from for the online Mommy Labor Nurse Birthing Classes:
Another option is to sign up for the prenatal class for couples offered by Pulling Curls. If you want the full prenatal class experience that is built for both you and your partner, this is the class for you!
Pregnancy during the third trimester with twins is both an exciting and scary time. If you are struggling hang in there, it’s not that much longer until you will be meeting your beautiful twin babies!
Remember that you need to take care of yourself during this time as well. Some of the main points to take away from this article are:
- Rest as much as possible
- Preparation is key
- Eat well
- Do everything in moderation
- Accept help when it is offered
- Take a birthing class
- ENJOY your pregnancy