18 Weeks Pregnant with Twins

If you are in all sorts of doubts with your twin pregnancy, you are certainly not alone. Many women pregnant with twins do not know what to expect. And it's no big deal, you can easily learn how it feels and what to expect at different stages of pregnancy when pregnant with twins. The fact that you are pregnant with twins becomes more noticeable when you are 18 weeks pregnant. Let's find out what to expect at this stage in pregnancy.

Fetal Development of 18 Weeks Pregnant with Twins

The overall fetal length at this stage is 5 to 5 ½ inches, from crown to rump, with weight up to 5 ¼ ounces. Your babies' senses begin to grow by 18 weeks. At this stage, the facial features are in their proper position, fat tissue starts developing and fetal movement becomes more noticeable.

Your babies' eyes can also detect light at this stage and they become more sensitive to sounds. The facial features continue to change though and become more refined with time. Your babies' vocal cords also form. If you go for an ultrasound exam at this time, your babies' heart features are usually fully detectable. In fact, an ultrasound technician can also detect certain heart abnormalities at this stage.

By the time you become 18 weeks pregnant, your babies' lungs are developed enough to exhale amniotic fluid. It is important for you to take more rest starting from this stage if you have dealt with an amniocentesis.

Here is a video to help you gather more details about 18 weeks pregnant with twins:

What a Sonographer Looks For

When you are 18 weeks pregnant, you should also schedule an anatomy scan. This helps find out any problems and ensures the health of both your babies. It does not take long (30-45 minutes), but tells a lot about your babies. For instance:

  • Fetal measurements of the abdomen, head, and femur: These measurements are especially beneficial if this is your first ultrasound. Your doctor will consider these measurements on follow-up ultrasounds as well.
  • Fetal heart rate and rhythm: The ultrasound will check your babies' heart rate and ensure that it is between 120 and 160 beats per minute.
  • Fetal chest, head, and abdomen: These structures are evaluated to ensure they are in the right locations and are functioning normally.

The sonographer will also see and evaluate fetal face, fetal spine, amniotic fluid, placenta appearance, and uterus along with surrounding areas to identify any abnormalities. You can also ask your sonographer to help confirm the gender of your unborn twins. The accuracy usually depends on how much your baby moves during the ultrasound.

Things You Can Expect

You may have so many questions on your mind and it is natural to feel concerned. The truth is that it's harder to carry twins and it will be a test of your nerves. Here are certain things you may expect at 18 weeks pregnant with twins.

1. Reduced Morning Sickness

By the time you reach 18-week mark, you will notice a considerable reduction in morning sickness. With morning sickness out of the way, you will find it easier to move around. Just keep in mind that things will change again in a few weeks' time, so be sure to enjoy this time.

2. Forgetfulness

You are going to become absentminded when you hit this mark in your pregnancy. It is not unusual to forget even the most important meets, appointments, and tasks. The condition is referred to as "pregnancy brain". It could be annoying but is quite natural and common in the second and third trimesters. The best thing is to write everything down to avoid forgetting your important tasks and appointments.

3. Increased Appetite

You are more likely to feel hungry all the time when you are 18 weeks pregnant with twins. It is actually a good thing because it allows you to eat healthy stuff and put on those pounds that ensure you deliver healthy babies at the end of your term. Include protein-rich food in your diet – this means more of fish and lean meats because your body needs amino acids to build new cells and develop feat brain, heart, muscle and tissue.

4. Dizziness

You may also feel dizzy when you are 18 weeks into your pregnancy. Dizziness is usually severe every time you get up from your bed or chair too quickly. You do not need to worry because this happens due to certain changes in your cardiovascular system, which now has to pump more blood. Expect your blood pressure to be on the lower side throughout your pregnancy.

5. Back Pain

Something that is going to annoy you the most is back pain. Some women find it crippling, while others find it quite manageable. You experience this pain mainly because of your heavy uterus – there will be a shift in your center of gravity that is going to put more pressure on your back muscles, causing serious back discomfort. Applying hot or cold compresses may help loosen up your muscles and relieve back pain.

Things You Should Know about Twin Pregnancy

Apart from the abovementioned facts about 18 weeks pregnant with twins, there're certain misconceptions women have when they are expecting twins. The truth is certain things do not change whether you are having twins or not.

  • Babies may not start kicking earlier. Some women think that because they have twins they should be feeling the babies kicking earlier than usual. Just like singleton pregnancies, you are going to notice fetal movement from week 18 through 20 of pregnancy.
  • Twin pregnancies may require more monitoring. You have to understand that because you are carrying twins you are going to spend more time at the obstetrician. While your healthcare provider may do ultrasounds more frequently in case of twins, this does not mean you will always have to deal with complications. Still, you need more attention, especially because the risk of miscarriage after amniocentesis is much higher in women carrying multiples.
  • Twin pregnancies lead to more weight gain. Expect putting on more weight as compared to women who do not carry twins. It is actually a good thing because your growing babies need more nutrition and that comes from the food you eat. You need more calories at the same time to ensure your babies are healthy. Experts believe you should consider gaining 37-54 pounds more if you are of normal weight and are carrying twins. Overweight women should gain 31-50 pounds, whereas obese women should aim for 25-42 pounds for a healthy pregnancy.

What's more, you should keep in mind that women pregnant with twins are more likely to experience early labor and delivery. For most women carrying twins, it happens by the time they are 36-37 weeks pregnant. Keep in touch with your healthcare provider to know when you need to go to the hospital.

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