36 Weeks Pregnant with Twins
If you've made it this far, holy cow! You are doing great! You only have 1-2 weeks before meeting your babies! Most doctors will make sure twins are delivered by 38 weeks to avoid medical complications.
What can you expect at 36 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 twin pregnancy. Enjoy!
What's going on with those twinnies?
Median weight for dichorionic twins: 5lbs, 14oz
Median weight for monochorionic twins: 5lbs, 10oz
Your twinnies are gaining weight rapidly, about an ounce a day. They are also losing most of the fine down that covered their bodies, along with the vernix casosa, a waxy substance that was protecting their skin until now.
36 Weeks Pregnant with Twins
Put a waterproof cover on your mattress, just in case your water breaks while you’re in bed. This will also come in handy throughout the years of having kids. They always manage to spill random things (and sometimes leak a diaper) on YOUR bed, so invest the $25 and get a cover today.
Wash any remaining baby clothes and put them away. They're almost here! A quick note that they will probably be in “Newborn” size clothes for a while — don't be surprised if they aren't able to fit into size 0-3 months for a good month or two. Truth be told, most twins spend 99% of their first few months in zip-up jammies so invest in those if you're low. Don't bother with buttons or snaps — they take too long when you're dressing two babies. Some companies offer magnet closures which are a nice alternative.
5 tips for a better 36th week of your twin pregnancy
If you can’t sleep, buy a second-hand recliner and sleep in that.
Get in one last date night (if you’re able to leave the house!)
Eat smaller portions throughout the day and avoid foods that cause heartburn.
Let your partner help you. it's OK to not do it all!
Don’t overdo it — remember to rest.
Advice from other Twiniversity moms when they were 36 weeks pregnant with twins
If possible, take time off! Working at this point is brutal. – Danielle H., Romeoville, IL
Try to keep your focus on the good things about your current life rather than dwelling on the discomfort or anxiety about the babies arrival. Life is about to change forever! – Melanie
Have your hospital bag ready and family notified if you have other children who need to be watched while you're in the hospital. – Anonymous
You are so close! You've done an amazing job growing your babies. Double check that you have everything ready then sit back and relax and enjoy these last few days even though you are so uncomfortable. Your sweet babies will be here before you know it! – Cortney H., Austin, TX
Hang in there! It’s so hard but it’s up to us to protect these little babies and get them out as strong and safe as possible! You’re are almost there!!!! – Angela, Baton Rouge, LA
Hang in there. Eat small portions. Keep chugging the water. – Jacklyn R., Oldsmar, FL
Concerns other Twiniversity moms had when they were 36 weeks pregnant with twins
If I can make it to my scheduled c-section
Getting my shoes on my feet!
Worrying every night whether if I went into labor we would be truly ready.
If my babies are developed enough if they come now; how they are growing and doing.
Nervous about my c-section and making sure our boys are okay.
Babies’ size/weight and keeping them out of the NICU
Questions Twiniversity moms had for their doctors when they were 36 weeks pregnant with twins
How long will my recovery be?
Why can’t I have a c-section now?
When is my c-section or induction going to be?
What intervals of contractions mean we should head to the hospital? What should I look for to know that labor is starting?
What’s the difference between a spinal block and an epidural?
What should my cervix length be?
What is the likelihood of hemorrhage during a c-section?
If I pay you extra, will you take them out early??? (my doctor said no!)
Is sex still ok?
Should I continue to take prenatal vitamins if I’m breastfeeding? Is there another vitamin combination that would be better?
Typical tests that are done
It is common to have weekly nonstress testing (NST) with fluid assessments starting at 32 weeks in an uncomplicated twin gestation. As your pregnancy progresses you will likely be scheduled more and more frequently, building to every 1-2 days as you get closer to full term. A nonstress test is used to evaluate your babies’ health before birth. The goal of a nonstress test is to provide useful information about your babies’ oxygen supply by checking their heart rates and how it responds to your babies’ movements. The test might indicate the need for further monitoring, testing, treatment or delivery. A nonstress test typically requires no special preparation. During the nonstress test, you'll lie on a reclining chair. You'll have your blood pressure taken at regular intervals during the test and each baby will be monitored while you relax in a recliner for 20 minutes, playing on your phone or reading a book.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended routine screening for vaginal strep B for all pregnant women. This screening is performed between the 35th and 37th week of pregnancy. Studies show that testing done within 5 weeks of delivery is the most accurate at predicting the GBS status at birth. Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacterial infection that can be found in a pregnant woman’s vagina or rectum. This bacteria is normally found in the vagina and/or rectum of about 25% of all healthy, adult women. Women who test positive for GBS are said to be colonized. A mother can pass GBS to her baby during delivery. GBS affects about 1 in every 2,000 babies in the United States. Not every baby who is born to a mother who tests positive for GBS will become ill. Although GBS is rare in pregnant women, the outcome can be severe. As such, physicians include testing as a routine part of prenatal care.
If you are having a c-section you may be tested for MRSA. MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is a type of staph infection. Even if a pregnant woman contracts MRSA in her pregnancy, it’s easy to treat. Antibiotics will cure most cases, and they’re safe for a developing baby to be exposed to. A baby will only get the infection if he comes into contact with it through vaginal delivery. Many women must be screened for MRSA when they need a C-section because hospitals must screen every surgery patient for the infection prior to the operation. To perform the screening, a nasal swab is collected by rotating a swab inside each nostril. Occasionally, a swab of a wound infection site or skin lesion is collected.
36 Weeks Pregnant with Twins
An excerpt from Twiniversity founder Natalie Diaz's book, “What To Do When You're Having Two“
Once it is time to push, listen to your doctor and push when he or she tells you to. The doctor will assess whether or not you need an episiotomy. This is a cut that enlarges your vaginal opening, making it easier for the babies to come out. Once Baby A’s head is out, the doctor will ask you to pause while they assess the baby and tend to any cord or entanglement issues. Once the doctor gives you the green light, start pushing again, and the baby will be delivered. Directly after the baby is out, you will hear a gush of fluid that was behind him/her. That's normal. The doctor will either hand the baby to a nurse for closer examination or lay the baby upon your chest. The doctor will perhaps ask you to help stimulate the baby by rubbing their back. The baby will still be attached and you may choose for your partner to cut the cord. Hooray, you’re a parent!
REMINDER: Don't forget to take a belly shot!
36 Weeks Pregnant with Twins
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AAFP. 2011c. Your baby’s development: The third trimester. American Academy of Family Physicians. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/pregnancy-newborns/fetal-health/your-babys-development-the-third-trimester.html
Mayo Clinic. 2014b. Fetal development: The third trimester. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/fetal-development/art-20045997
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