In this article…
- How does recovery after birthing twins compare to a singleton pregnancy?
- If you have a C-section, what’s the best way to help it heal?
- What can you expect with a vaginal twin delivery?What are special recovery issues that twin moms face?
If you’re expecting multiples, you already know that your pregnancy is a bit different from singleton moms, but what about the postpartum recovery period? Moms of twins face some special challenges when it comes to healing and today we’ll give you the 411 on what to expect.
TIP: After birthing twins, it will take longer for your breasts and belly to return to normal size. Want more information about postpartum care and recovery after twins? Listen to our podcast episode or read our transcript!
How does recovery after twins compare to a singleton pregnancy?
Twin moms generally have postpartum symptoms that are similar to singleton moms, but these issues can be exacerbated due to a number of factors:
- Twins = twice as much baby and therefore more weight gain during pregnancy. This added weight may increase the chance of a C-section.
- Twins = twice as much placenta, so twin moms will often have more lochia (bleeding) as the detachment site heals.
- Increased blood loss because the uterus is more stretched out and therefore sheds more blood as it contracts down.
- Higher blood volume, so potentially more anemia
- More fluid retention and swelling
- Potentially more breast engorgement after you stop breastfeeding due to extra use
If you have a C-section, what’s the best way to help it heal?
Keeping the incision site clean and dry can help promote healing. Usually, you can remove the dressing 12-24 hours after surgery and expose it to the air. Around the 4-6 week mark, you can ask your doctor about using silicone treatments to minimize scarring.
What can you expect with a vaginal twin delivery?
Depending on your previous delivery history and how the babies are positioned (first baby is usually head down, second baby sometimes isn’t), you may experience some tearing. To mitigate discomfort, use a spray bottle when urinating, try a sitz bath, and avoid sexual activity until you’re fully healed. Vaginal deliveries generally mean a faster healing time (1-3 weeks), whereas C-section healing can take between 6-12 weeks.
What are special recovery issues that twin moms face?
Twin moms often have higher rates of diastasis recti, which is the separation of ab muscles. This may be because twin moms often carry more weight during pregnancy and are more likely to need a C-section. If the doctor knows about the diastasis recti in advance, he or she could put a stitch in the ab muscles at the time of delivery. If that’s not an option, postpartum physical therapy can be very effective for healing diastasis recti.
Twin moms also face a greater risk of fatigue due to lack of sleep, anemia, and the need for more calories (especially if breastfeeding).