Having twins can feel like it means double of everything. Besides putting two of everything on your registry, you’ll also notice you are putting more dates with the doctor or midwife on your calendar.
How often will I see my doctor if I’m having twins? If you are having twins, you will see your doctor more often than if you are having one baby. How often will depend on how high risk your pregnancy is and what issues need to be monitored. Prepare to see your doctor more often as the pregnancy progresses.
Making sure both twins are growing at the appropriate rate and getting the nutrients they need means more monitoring.
In the following, you’ll learn when your appointments will increase in frequency and what you can expect as the pregnancy progresses.
Twins: Prenatal Appointment Schedule
How often you see your doctor will depend on your particular pregnancy. Certain twin pregnancies are riskier than others and will require more frequent visits to the doctor.
First Trimester Appointments
During the first trimester, you probably won’t see your doctor much more than you would if you were only carrying one baby.
Most women don’t have their first appointment until they are 8-10 weeks along, and by then, it’s close to the end of the first trimester.
If you happen to start bleeding or having pain during the first trimester, you will need to go in to see your doctor right away.
Second Trimester Appointments
During the second trimester, visits will become more frequent. You will see your regular doctor at least twice a month. There is also the chance that you will see a high-risk maternal specialist in addition to your regular doctor.
These doctors help manage pregnancies in which complications are more common so any problems can be detected and handled early.
Third Trimester Appointments
You might as well bring a cot and move in because you will see your doctor once a week during the third trimester.
Twins are often born early, so doctors will be checking to ensure you’re not having contractions and that the twins are still growing properly.
Since twins can develop twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, doctors will pay close attention at each appointment to make sure neither one is getting more or less of what they need.
High-Risk Twin Pregnancy
Every pregnancy carries risks, but twin pregnancies are often classified as high-risk pregnancies because the risks are even higher.
Gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and premature birth are bigger risks for you when you have two babies on board.
If your twins are sharing a placenta, the risks increase even more since two babies are getting their nutrients from one source.
Twin Pregnancy Ultrasound Schedule
If you like collecting ultrasound pictures of your little ones, you’re in luck! You will definitely get more ultrasounds when pregnant with twins.
Twins who each have their own placenta won’t need ultrasounds as often as twins who are sharing one.
If your twins have their own placentas, expect an ultrasound at around 12 weeks and 20 weeks, which is pretty normal for a singleton pregnancy.
However, after the 20-week ultrasound, you may be offered more during the third trimester. You could end up getting an ultrasound every four weeks until the babies arrive.
If your twins are sharing one placenta, you will see your babies on the ultrasound screen even more often. You will have your first ultrasound around the 10-12 week mark, but after that, your doctor may order them more often.
You will have the normal 20-week scan, but before and after that, you may also have ultrasound checks. These will determine if each twin is growing at a good rate.
In the third trimester, you may require weekly ultrasounds if your twins are sharing a placenta or you are considered high risk.
What Do You Find Out at First Ultrasound?
The first ultrasound is mainly used for dating so that you will know when you got pregnant and receive an estimated due date.
If you’re pregnant with twins, you will find out at this first ultrasound. Your babies will be measured, and doctors will try to determine if they are sharing a placenta or not.
What To Expect at First Prenatal Appointment
Your first prenatal appointment will not be short, especially if you find out you’re having twins. Come prepared to share your family and medical history and to have blood drawn for testing.
Your doctor will likely use a doppler to see if a heartbeat can be detected, though the first appointment might be too early to hear.
Your doctor should tell you what a good prenatal plan will look like and advise you on the best ways to stay healthy throughout your pregnancy.
What To Wear to First Prenatal Appointment
That cute dress or jumper is not the best choice for your first prenatal appointment. Wearing a separate top and bottom will make it easier to lift your shirt for the measurements.
The same is true for ultrasound appointments. Whether they are internal or external, wearing separates means only having to remove one piece of clothing instead of an entire outfit.
Should Your Husband Come First Prenatal Visit?
It’s very exciting to have someone with you at that first prenatal visit, so your husband should be encouraged to join.
While that may not always be possible, it’s good to have support (and another pair of ears) as you receive information about your babies, your pregnancy, and what you can expect in the upcoming months.
First Prenatal Visit Questions
You will be asked a ton of questions at your first prenatal appointment. You should also ask questions of your own to make sure you get all the information you need.
Some good questions include:
- Do I need to stop taking certain medications?
- Is there food I shouldn’t eat?
- What type of twins am I having?
- Are any physical exercises off limits?
- Will I have to go on leave early since I’m having twins?
What Happens at Each Prenatal Visit
You will have your vitals checked at every prenatal appointment, and your doctor will ask how you are feeling and measure your stomach.
If you’re having twins, your prenatal visits may include ultrasounds. Your doctor will weigh you and listen to your babies’ heartbeats.
Is 8-Week Ultrasound Internal or External?
An 8-week ultrasound is internal. It’s called a transvaginal ultrasound and will require your sonographer to view the baby by using a more invasive technique.
This is necessary because of how small the fetus is this early in the pregnancy.
When Is the First Ultrasound for Heartbeat?
A baby’s heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks. However, most doctors won’t schedule your first ultrasound until you are between 10-12 weeks pregnant.
If you’re expecting twins, at that point, you should definitely hear both babies’ heartbeats to confirm that you are having twins.
While you may feel like you live at the doctor’s office while pregnant with twins, it’s worth it to help ensure you and the babies are as safe as possible.
Kristy is the mother of four, including identical twins. With a background in education and research, she is constantly learning more about parenting and raising multiples. When she has spare time, she enjoys hiking into the woods with a great book to take a break.