19 Weeks Pregnant with Twins
Your anatomy scan is coming up soon and you will be able to learn the sex(es) of your babies! If you're on the fence about finding out or being surprised, check out this article to help you decide.
What can you expect at 19 weeks pregnant with twins? We’ve compiled a list of common symptoms, to-do’s this week, pregnancy tips, pregnancy concerns, questions to ask your doctor, advice from other pregnant moms of twins, and tons of other info below to help you through this week in your twins pregnancy. Enjoy!
What's going on with those twinnies?
Your twins each weigh about 8.5 oz, which is about the size of a mango.
Your twins' senses – smell, vision, touch, taste, and hearing – are developing and they may be able to hear your voice. Talk, sing or read out loud to them. You never know when they might be listening!
19 Weeks Pregnant with Twins
- Speak with a professional about your life insurance needs. The life insurance policy that may be provided by your employer will probably not be enough to cover your family if something were to happen to you. Meet with a life insurance agent to get a better picture of what you'll need to make sure your family is ready in the event that the unthinkable occurs.
- Update or create your will. Another gruesome topic, but one that we all need to deal with. Now that you'll have children, in the event that something happens to you and your spouse, you will want your wishes for guardianship (and backup guardianship) of your twins to be known. Don't leave this hanging. You can create your will with an estate planning attorney even before your children are born and fill in their names later. Once your babies are born life will be chaotic, so take care of this now while things are relatively calm.
- Schedule a prenatal massage. Ahhhhh, finally, a to-do list item that you'll be more than happy to fulfill. CHECK!
5 tips for a better 19th week of your twin pregnancy
- Cut yourself some slack. You have a different body right now so it makes sense that you have different capabilities. Your body is creating TWO humans — no wonder you're exhausted, scatterbrained, out of breath, somewhat confused, and definitely hungry! Give yourself LOTS of grace.
- Buy yourself a reusable water bottle. It will make you want to drink more water which is really necessary these days. Remember, you need to get n one gallon (128 oz) of water a day. This water bottle holds 40 oz and you only need to drink 3 of these a day. That may be easier to wrap your mind around than sixteen 8 oz glasses.
- Eat smaller meals. Even though you may be really hungry, that one really big meal won’t be worth the discomfort later. Eat at least every 2 hours to keep your hunger satiated and your heartburn at a minimum.
- Wear a support belt to help ease the pain from the weight of your growing belly. It will really make a difference in your back pain.
- Keep up a light exercise routine, including walking and stretching. This will help you to feel less sore and help you to sleep better at night.
Advice from other Twiniversity moms when they were 19 weeks pregnant with twins
- Breathe. You're halfway there (maybe more than halfway for some of us.) – Sarah O., Jackson, MI
- Keep on trucking! Almost halfway there! – Chelsea L., Sao Paolo, Brazil
- Take it easy! – Zara Williams, Fforestfach, Wales
Concerns other Twiniversity moms had when they were 19 weeks pregnant with twins
- Having some belly pain/heaviness by the end of the day. I’m not sure how to tell the difference between muscle tiredness and cause for concern.
- I took a fall this week and I’m really concerned about how unbalanced I feel. I keep reminding myself better safe than sorry and it’s ok to move a little slower and ask for help to do whatever it is you need. Mama’s and babies’ health are most important so don’t feel silly asking for help out of the bath or wherever!
- How much bigger will I get?
- What position is Baby B in?
- Should I be lifting my toddler?
- How long I will carry my twins? (Praying for 37+ weeks.)
- I’m worried that my swelling is the first sign of preeclampsia.
- Not feeling constant movement and not able to determine which baby is moving.
Questions Twiniversity moms had for their doctors when they were 19 weeks pregnant with twins
- What do Braxton Hicks feel like compared to heaviness/ flutters?
- How much pelvic pressure is cause for worry?
- Should I have a flu shot?
- Questions about birth and delivery expectations
- Is there anything extra I can do to help with the added lower back pain?
- Is my OB always on call (unless for being out of town) or is there a specific schedule where the other doctors in the group are the only ones available?
Typical tests that are done
Between weeks 18-22 you'll have a level 2 anatomy scan. This is when you can typically find out the sex(es) of your babies. Don't be surprised, however, if it's too difficult to see one or both babies' genitalia to determine the sex, most often because of the position the babies are in. During this scan, your medical team will be assessing the development of each baby's brain, face, heart, spine, and other major organs, as well as the placement of the placenta(s), umbilical cords, and amniotic fluid levels. Do not be surprised if you are asked to come back for a follow-up scan. This is very common with multiple birth pregnancies because it's often difficult for the technician to get a good picture if your babies are not cooperating.
If you’ve chosen to do a Multiple Marker Screen (MMS, a.k.a. Triple or Quad Screen Test), you’ll have blood drawn between week 15 pregnancy and week 20. This screening measures levels of certain proteins and hormones in a mom-to-be’s blood to give her a more accurate assessment of baby’s risk of neural tube defects than the first-trimester screening offers.
Amniocentesis is another elective test—it happens between weeks 15 and 20. This invasive test can diagnose neural tube defects, chromosomal abnormalities, and other genetic disorders. It’s considered safe overall but does pose some risks, so talk it over with your doctor to decide whether or not you’ll have the procedure. You may choose amnio if you have an abnormal triple or quad test or if your baby has a higher risk of genetic abnormalities.
For the amniocentesis, the doctor will use the ultrasound to see inside your pregnant belly and will guide a needle into the amniotic sac to gather a sample of fluid to be tested.
19 Weeks Pregnant with Twins
An excerpt from Twiniversity founder Natalie Diaz's book, “What To Do When You're Having Two“
I asked OB/GYN and twin mom Barbara Deli for her expert recommendations about how much weight a twin mama should gain throughout her pregnancy. Here's what she had to say:
“The reality is that the right amount of weight to gain is different for everyone and everyone gains weight at a different pace.” The Institute of Medicine has come up with weight gain recommendations based on your starting weight. Use these only as general guidelines.
- Normal-weight woman – 37 to 54 pounds
- Overweight women – 31 to 50 pounds
- Obese women – 25 to 42 pounds
If you're eating comfortably and at times don't gain much weight, don't stress about it. Remember that the babies are very efficient at taking all the nutrition they need from you. Many women struggle to eat well and gain very little (or lose weight) in the first trimester. This is temporary and your body will make up for it later when nausea subsides. If you go week after week without gaining weight, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about your day to day diet.
Gaining more than you (or your doctor) expects can very slightly increase your chance of pregnancy complications like diabetes and high blood pressure. Studies of twin pregnancies have shown that upper limits of weight gain in pregnancy are less important to worry about in twins than in singleton pregnancies. The more weight women gain in pregnancy, even above the recommendations, the bigger the babies are at birth. Higher birth weights are a good thing in most twins, especially premature ones!”
REMINDER: Don't forget to take a belly shot!
19 Weeks Pregnant with Twins
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AAFP. 2011b. Your baby’s development: The second trimester. American Academy of Family Physicians. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/pregnancy-newborns/fetal-health/your-babys-development-the-second-trimester.html
Mayo Clinic. 2015. Fetal development: The 2nd trimester. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/fetal-development/art-20046151
MedlinePlus (ADAM). 2015. Fetal development. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002398.htm
OWH. 2010. Stages of pregnancy. U.S. Office on Women’s Health. http://www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/you-are-pregnant/stages-of-pregnancy.html
ACOG. 2015. FAQ156. Prenatal development: How your baby grows during pregnancy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Prenatal-Development-How-Your-Baby-Grows-During-Pregnancy#one
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