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StorkNet.com > Pregnancy Channel > Parenting Channel > Multiples Mania Cubby > Twins' & More Articles
Twins Delivery
by Cynthia Flynn, CNM, Ph.D.
Cynthia FlynnQ. I am worried about birthing twins. Do they deliver the twin and wait for placenta before the next twin? Does the second twin get distressed when the first is being born? What if they both are trying to get out together? What's the average time between them?

A. Oh, how fun! I just love delivering twins. How it usually goes is that since only one head will fit in the pelvis at a time, one of the kids will edge their way into the lead and become "Twin A," the one who is going to be born first. When that child is delivered, the cord will be clamped and cut and kind of held to the side. Then the head of the second twin will be guided into the pelvis. This may take a few contractions, but we do try to move things along, especially if there are separate placentas (often they grow together). We want to get the second twin delivered before either placenta begins to detach (it's never happened for me, but that's why we care!).

Once the second twin is in the pelvis, we break the second bag of waters. Once the second bag is broken, it usually only takes a contraction or two before you can push Twin B out, as the way has already been cleared. The second twin is usually born within about 15-20 minutes of the first. The cord for the second twin is clamped and cut. Then both placentas are delivered together. They can be a bit slower than normal because the uterus has been stretched further and so it takes a bit longer for it to cramp down enough to expel the placentas.

Because I am a nurse-midwife, the hospital rules say there should be an MD in the room for delivery. Usually my wonderful consultant doesn't do a thing, but it's nice to have him there. Once, he was doing a delivery at another hospital when one of my twin moms had a very fast delivery, so he missed twin A. Because we had to wait for him, I did not break the second bag of waters as soon as the second baby was in the pelvis. After he got there, I broke the water and the secoond baby was born right away. So they were 35 minutes apart--the biggest difference I've had so far.

Anyway, I'm VERY excited for you! I hope you have a wonderful pregnancy and safe deliveries. Congratulations!

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