The major factor in determining whether or not you will need a cesarean is the position of your babies in your uterus.
Unlike most single babies, who are typically born head-down, multiple babies can be born in various presentation combinations.
This can make vaginal deliveries more complicated, particularly if one or both of the babies is breech or transverse (sideways).
If the first baby is head down, you will likely deliver this baby vaginally, unless you are experiencing other complications. Once the first baby has been born, you and your health care providers will then try to deliver your second baby vaginally, as well.
This is typically possible if the second baby is also head-down, however, it may be impossible if the second baby is breech or transverse. Your health care provider will try to move the baby by pushing on your uterus, but this is not always effective.
If your second baby remains in a breech or transverse position, you will likely require a cesarean section.
If the first baby presents in breech or transverse position, it is unlikely that you will be allowed to proceed with a vaginal delivery.
Most health care providers feel uncomfortable delivering breech babies when caring for a multiple pregnancy. In this case, both babies will be delivered through cesarean section.
Other complications that can arise during labor and delivery may mean that you will have to have a cesarean delivery.
Cesarean deliveries are often performed if:
- you are suffering from preeclampsia
- you experience placental abruption
- labor is not progressing
- one of the babies is too big to fit through the birth canal
- one or both babies is showing signs of distress
Dealing with Twin Labor and Delivery
If you are expecting twins or higher order multiples, there are a few things that you can do to help the process go as smoothly as possible.
- Make your birth plan well ahead of time. This will give you and your health care provider the opportunity to become familiar with the plan of action on delivery day.
- Learn what to expect. Though anything can happen, you will be able to deal with it better if you become familiar with all aspects of birthing twins. Read up on both vaginal and cesarean births, so you will be able to deal with anything that may happen.
- Be flexible. It is difficult to predict the course of a multiple birth, so try to roll with the punches a little and don't worry too much if things don't go as planned. However, if you are concerned or unhappy about what your health care provider is doing, be sure to speak up.
Are you expecting twins? Do you already have your hands full with twins or more? Share your experience with other expectant mothers of twins and multiples at Pregnancy Stories.
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