24 Weeks Pregnant with Twins: What to Expect

If you are carrying twins and do not understand what you are expecting, you are not alone. Many women have gone through the predicament and delivered healthy babies. You will have a belly double the size of that woman carrying one baby since both babies grow at the same rate. When you are 24 weeks pregnant with twins or at the end of the second trimester, the babies by then should have grown major organs and features. You will also experience great changes to your body. Here are some changes you can expect from this stage.

The Twins' Development at 24 Weeks Pregnancy

By the 24th week, each of the twins is close to the normal developing single baby. Their average body size will be about 12.5 inches long and would weight around 1.25 to 1.5 pounds. The babies are getting heavier each day, and they need some weight gain for ultimate maturity. The skin may still appear wrinkled.

During this period, the eyes and the lips of the twins are formed and distinct; however, the colored part of the eyes lacks pigments. The thyroid, pancreas, liver, pituitary, and adrenal glands among other organs continue to grow and mature. The eyelids and eyebrows are visible at this stage.

The baby’s internal ears have begun developing, and they will start hearing internal sounds such as heartbeat, and this could include your voice because it is transmitted via the spine. In addition, they will hear sounds from the external environment through the skin covering the belly.

However, it should be noted that the sounds are distorted because they pass through the fat layers, muscles of the uterine wall and amniotic fluid. Only the voice of the mother will be recognized clearly by the end of your pregnancy. It is recommended that you sing or talk to them, thereby helping them to recognize it once they are born.

By the end of the second trimester, the tooth buds would have formed beneath the babies' gum line and the lungs will continue to develop. They will be making breathing movements although there is no air in their lungs yet. This is an important practice for the future use.

The Mother's Body Changes When 24 Weeks Pregnant With Twins

1.   Weight

The recommended weight gain by twenty-four weeks is 24 pounds, this is essential because it helps to avoid preterm labor. In cases where you have not gained enough weight, then the babies will be smaller than the average size during this point of the pregnancy.

2.   Stretch Marks

One of the main changes during pregnancy is stretch marks on the breasts, hips, and the belly. These are usually characterized by brown or faint red streaks popularly called striae. You are unable to get rid of the stretch marks. However, they will fade once you give birth. It is recommended that you wear a supportive bra. This will help prevent stretch marks from developing on your breasts. Stretch marks are common during pregnancy, and 90% of the women get them.

3.   Uncomfortable Eyes

When you are 24 weeks pregnant with twins, your eyes may feel dry and gritty and in some instances be light sensitive. If you are experiencing these symptoms, then it is perfectly normal, and there is nothing to be worried. It is imperative that you try to rest as much as possible and keep the eyes clean by using clean cotton wool and warm water.

4.   Chloasma

This is a brownish discoloration which appears on the cheeks, forehead, upper lip, and chin. This condition is commonly referred as "mask of pregnancy"; however, it diminishes after pregnancy.

5.   Other Body Changes

  • Edema, a common condition where body fluids accumulate on tissues, which results in swollen feet, hands, and even ankles
  • Cramping of legs and anemia
  • Feeling warmer because of increased metabolic rate

Can the Twins Survive If They Are Born at This Stage?

This is one main concern when you are 24 weeks pregnant with twins. According to research, more than half of the twins are born before 37 weeks. The 24th week is one main milestone. This is the threshold of viability. Babies born during this time will depend on the neonatal intensive care unit and they can stay here for three months and studies shows that a third of them will survive with no long-term problems. Every day spent in the uterus is essential for the growing baby and the chances of survival increases once the baby has reached the 26th week and from the 32nd week, they can grow normally.

How to Prevent Premature Labor in Twin Pregnancy

In a higher percentage, the moms-to-be with twins will end up with a shorter pregnancy period than the regular single baby moms. The pregnant women race with the calendar and try to maintain the pregnancy to full term. While it can be difficult to prevent pre-term birth, you can manage the situation by doing the following:

1.   Get Good Pre-Natal Care Right from the Start

Once you have ascertained that you are pregnant, make an appointment with an obstetrician or a gynecologist, this will help you realize and understand all the challenges of carrying twins and how to maintain the pregnancy.

2.   Eat a Healthy Diet

It is important to note that during pregnancy, you should eat healthy as it helps the babies get the right nutrition. Folic acid, calcium, iron, vitamins, and a proper amount of protein are essential for the growth of the babies.

3.   Avoid Alcohol

It is recommended that you avoid alcohol and cigarettes during pregnancy because they may cause fetal alcohol syndrome and common symptoms are deformities, retardation and in some cases death.

4.   Manage Your Stress

Stress has a negative effect on the body, and it has been proven that a high stress level is not good for the mother and the baby. Relax and unwind to keep your body stress free, which reduces risks of hypertension and other conditions.

5.   Listen to Your Body

If you are not resting in bed, you get some activity by walking around. But don't overdo it. Watch for any signs of fatigue, discomfort, and pain. Listen to your body and don't push yourself too much.

6.   Take Your Prenatal Vitamins

Vitamins and minerals are important for the growth of the babies. Nutritionists recommend that you supplement your diet with enough vitamins and minerals.

7.   Drink Lots of Fluids

Taking plenty of fluids is essential because it will make the uterus less irritable. When the uterus is dehydrated, it will tend to contract. Fluids help to calm down and detox the system. Therefore, the babies will grow in a good environment.

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