Twins On The Way: Do I Have To Have A Cesarean?

Monday, April 22nd, 2013. Filed under: Giving Birth Pregnancy Twins

MedicalIf you are pregnant with twins, your chance of a Cesarean birth is greater than if you were pregnant with a single baby.

A C-section occurs when your babies are delivered through an incision created in your abdomen and uterus. The surgery can be scheduled by your obstetrician or may be unexpected, unplanned, or an emergency. About one-third of pregnancies in the United States in 2009 ended up with a surgical birth or C-section, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Since this is major abdominal surgery, it requires a longer recovery time than a vaginal delivery.

Don’t worry, though, you may still be able to go through with a healthy and safe vaginal birth when carrying twins. There are several factors why you may need a Cesarean, but if you discuss your options with your doctor, he or she may work with you to attempt a vaginal delivery with your babies.

Why You May Need A Cesarean:

Your babies’ growth. Are your babies smaller than they would expect to be at this point in your pregnancy? If so, your doctor may advise you to have a Cesarean because of fewer risks for complications than a vaginal delivery for your twins. Sometimes a vaginal birth can be harder on the second or smaller of the two babies. There may be complications and the placenta may not be able to adequately nourish both your babies.

Your babies’ positions. In about 75 percent of twin pregnancies, the baby on the bottom is head down, allowing you to have your baby vaginally. Many midwives and doctors will attempt delivery of the second baby, even if he or she is breech, or with the bottom down. They will manipulate your second baby to try to get him to change positions. If they can’t, they’ll do what they can to get the baby delivered in a breech position.

Ask about a VBAC. If you’ve already had a C-section with an older child, you still might be able to deliver your twins vaginally. Many obstetricians are willing to try a vaginal delivery after Cesarean, or VBAC. You will likely have to be closely monitored in a hospital. Keep in mind that you might need a C-section anyway, but it’s worth a shot. Many women have successful VBACs every day, even with twins. Look for support from International Cesarean Awareness Network.

We can make a lot of plans for our labor and delivery, and anything could happen. Plan for and expect the best possible scenario. Choose your caregiver wisely, preferably one who practices evidence-based medicine for the safest birth possible. Expect the best and plan even for the unexpected. Even the healthiest pregnancy can result in a surgical delivery. To make it stress free, research family-centered Cesarean birth plans ahead of time, and discuss it in detail with your caregiver.

No matter how your babies are born, your ultimate goal should be to have two sweet, hearty, strong rosy-cheeked babies to hold at the end of this long, beautiful journey.

If you would like more information about evidence-based practices for safe and healthy births, download your free “Healthy Birth Booklet-6 Steps to a Safer Birth,” filled with six simple steps that support and guide your decisions before and during labor. Visit the link below.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader should contact a licensed medical professional regarding their own condition.

Twins On The Way: Do I Have To Have A Cesarean?

By Liza D Janda

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