My best friend is pregnant with twins - she is currently 16 weeks. This is her fourth pgcy - she has three children (all vaginal births) - they have all been at least 1-2 weeks 'early'. This is a spontanous twin pgcy - no fertility treatments.
She was telling me about some reserach she read the other day. It said that essentially twins 'stop growing' at around 30 weeks and that the placenta can stop working around 36 weeks.....She seemed to think that this was true based on her research. Since I know NOTHING about twin pregnancy, I didn't want to say anything....but it seems totally off to me.
Could anyone point me in the direction of some research regarding twin growth during pgcy? Or some reliable statistics reagrading twin growth and placentas for twins? I just would hate if she is getting bad information.
I have no idea where she is getting that information, but I can assure you that my twins did not stop growing at 30 weeks. They are both well over 6lbs now!
I delivered my twins at 39 weeks, weighing 8 pounds each. I had 10 ultrasounds by the time I delivered, and in the last 5 weeks they each gained about 1/2 pound per week - just like singletons. During that time I gained 15 pounds and grew 8 cm - that wasn't because the babies had stopped growing!
If the placenta "stopped working", the babies would die. Many, many healthy, robust twins are born later than 36 weeks.
Your friend's research is not consistent with real life.
Uh, if my twins stopped growing at 30 weeks then they'd have been born at 39 weeks at 2 pounds each. Instead, they were born at 6 pounds 6 ounces and 7 pounds 6 ounces. That just doesn't even make sense. But, of course, there is a TON of bad information on multiple gestation out there. A well researched book is Expecting twins, triplets, and quads by Barbara Luke. I would really encourage your friend to continue her research; looking into nurtrional recommendations and herbal supplements that can help her carry her babies longer. Of course, some twins are just born early and we often do not know why it happens but she can definitely help tip the scales in her favor by caring for her body while it grows her babies.
There is some consideration to placental function if the twins are monochorionic but if they have separate placentas then there should be no real cause for concern in a normal pregnancy.
I have no idea where she's getting her info, but it's ridiculously untrue. Point her in the direction of Barbara Luke's "When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets, or More" for some good info.
One thing that my doctor did tell me (which might be totally wrong) is that after 30 weeks multiples don't grow as fast as singletons. Maybe that's what your friend heard and just misremembered it?
My new favorite peer reviewed paper on optimal twin gestation:http://www.uptodate.com/home/content...=labordel/5122
Don't know what journal this was published in, but it's dated April 2009 and the authors are from Cornell, Yale and Harvard.
This study analyzes the current research: there is not a consensus on when twins should be delivered. There is some research suggesting twin mortality increases after 38 weeks, BUT this research does not separate for complicated v. uncomplicated pregnancies. In an absence of contra-indications, the authors of the above study suggest twin birth between 38 and 40 weeks reduce the significant risk of respiratory problems in late preterm twins.
The study covers a lot of ground, please pass it along to your friend. Her information about twin growth and placentas are dangerously wrong. Yes, she may go into labor early. But she and her babies will be better off in the last few weeks if she plans on a 40 week gestation.
I sure hope not! I'm 30 weeks along right now and the babies are both about 3-3 1/2 lbs. My OB says they'll be between 6 & 7 lbs as long as I keep them happy, healthy, and INSIDE (my largest was 7 lbs 1 oz).
I'm encouraged to get them as close to 40 weeks as possible.
She should read the book by Dr. Luke that was suggested. So many people equate twin pregnancies with bedrest, early delivery, and c-section. I hope to have none of the above!
Mine steadily grew about 1/2 lb per wk from 30 wks to 36 wks. I am 38 wks now, and no one is making me have more u/s, so I don't know how they are continuing to grow. But we have consistently taken belly pictures, and DH assures me that he can see the difference between now and a couple of weeks ago, so I think they are still growing healthily.
I read Dr. Luke's book early on. My MWs think that alot of why I have done so well is that I am paying close attention to what and how much I eat. I don't follow Dr. Luke's recommended diet exactly, but it has been an inspiration throughout this pregnancy.
On the flip side, I've been told by more than one peri and also read through my own research (years ago) that twins tend to develop faster (gaining weight faster, lungs mature quicker, etc.) than singletons. Not always, but sometimes. It's like their/our bodies know they may come earlier vs. a singleton, so the process is sped up a bit. Again, this isn't always true, but it can be for some apparently.
I agree that if she eats well (PROTEIN is so important, but just eating well in general) is vital in any pregnancy but especially a multiple gestation pg.
If I had not had other issues in my pg, my OB (who was pretty mainstream and all for induction and such, sigh..) told me he would have let me go to 41ish weeks before wanting to try induction as long as everything was going well. There's no reason twins (or beyond) would stop growing/maturing unless there was an issue (problem with the placentas or otherwise).
i have heard from OB that they grow like singletons until around 33 weeks or so, then their growth starts to taper off somewhat-- seems to make sense, as you don't often hear of 8-9 lb. twins, even at 40 weeks. I guess there just isn't room enough to grow that big.