How Far Apart Are Twins Born? Averages and Extremes

When a woman is pregnant with twins, she is carrying two babies at the same time. As the due date approaches, many mothers wonder about the duration of labor and the interval between the birth of each baby.

Are twins born at the same time?

No, twins are not born at the exact same time. Whether delivered vaginally or by C-section, twins come out of the womb separately. Though baby B may follow baby A closely when it’s time to exit and they could even have the same birth minute, they will each be born separately.

When it comes to how far apart twins can be born from each other, there is a lot of variation. Each circumstance presents its own possibilities.

Time Between Twin Births

How long it takes for the second twin to arrive after the first has left the womb varies. There are a variety of circumstances that impact the time between twin births.

What Is the Average Time Between Twins Being Born?

Though it’s a range, vaginal delivery of twins usually results in the second twin being born anywhere from 19-30 minutes after the first twin. 

What Is the Longest Delivery Time Between Twins?

Well outside of the typical range are the West twins born in 1996. Though they were born in the same year, they arrived in the world 90 days apart.

Molly was born three months early, but the doctors were able to stop her mom’s contractions before her brother emerged from the womb. This allowed him 90 more days to grow and mature in utero before his arrival.

What Is the Shortest Time Between Twins?

Elodie and Emmanuelle rushed into the world 22.976 seconds apart in 2017. Though labor took nine hours, once Emmanuelle was out of the womb, it only took her sister seconds to follow. 

Can Twins Be Born a Month Apart?

In very rare cases, twins can be born a month apart. There are several reasons this can occur.

Uterus didelphys is when a woman has more than one uterus. If she gets pregnant with twins and they gestate in different wombs, one can be born at one time and the other days or months later.

Like the West twins in 1996, it’s also possible for one twin to leave the womb prematurely, but doctors are able to stop labor before the second twin arrives. This can mean months between births. 

Do Twins Take Longer To Deliver?

Labor with twins could be shorter or longer depending on your unique circumstances.

The position of your twins and a variety of other factors means guessing how long labor will be is impossible. You could even end up with one twin born vaginally and the other having to be taken by C-section.

Giving Birth To Twins Naturally

When giving birth to twins vaginally, you will need to prepare for a couple of possibilities. You may have baby A followed quickly by baby B, but you will still have to go through two pushing phases.

It’s also possible that baby A will make it out vaginally but baby B will turn. In this case, a C-section may be needed for baby B, and this will increase the amount of time between the birth of your twins.

Vaginal births can also result in twins being born on different days, especially if you go into labor at night.

Newborn twins sleeping together under a white crochet blanket.

C-Section With Twins

Having a C-section with twins means your babies will likely be born one right after the other. Doctors try not to delay when they have mom open, so once the first baby is out, they take the second quickly. 

If there are any health problems with one baby, that one may be taken first so he can receive immediate medical care.

Twin Pregnancy Delivery Time

Most women go into labor early with twins, but that still doesn’t predict how long labor will last. The twins’ position and mom’s labor experience will determine how long labor lasts.

With the possibility of a C-section on the table, doctors will monitor what is happening closely and decide how long to wait.

What To Expect When Delivery Twins

No two deliveries are exactly the same, but there are a couple of things to know about birthing twins. Your delivery will be closely monitored to ensure the position of both twins is known.

If both are delivered vaginally, you will have two pushing phases. Though you can choose a medication-free delivery, many women go with an epidural to help them manage the pain.

How To Give Birth To Twins Naturally

If you want a natural, medication-free delivery, talk to your doctor before going into labor.

You can write up a birth plan detailing your wishes, but know that every birth can offer surprises. This is especially true with twins.

If one of your babies changes positions during labor, you may not be able to have the birth you originally planned.

When Is the Placenta Delivered With Twins?

Ideally, the placenta is not delivered until the second twin is out of the womb. If the placenta makes it out before the second baby, the potential for dangerous issues is high. 

Related Questions:

What Are Twins Born on Different Days Called?

There is no specific name for twins born on different days. 

Is Giving Birth To Twins More Painful?

The pain you experience giving birth to twins is your own. There is no universal rule that says having twins will be more painful. If you give birth vaginally, you will have to go through the pushing phase twice, and this can be exhausting.

Final Thoughts

Your twins may be born seconds apart or in different months. Either way, the birth story will be one you look back on for years to come.