By 35 weeks pregnant, when a woman is carrying twins, the big day can arrive any time. A twin pregnancy is considered full term at the 37-week mark; however, many twins are born prior to that time. At 35 weeks pregnant, mom and babies are gearing up for the big day.
Considerations: Mom at 35 Weeks
By 35 weeks pregnant with twins, mom is carrying close to 9 lbs. of babies, not to mention the rest of the tissues and fluids that go along with pregnancy. This can be as much as 35 to 40 lbs. in all. Most pregnant women at 35 weeks are already slowing down. Those who have an extra baby to nourish and carry may have to take it extra slow. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, women who are pregnant with twins should take frequent rest breaks.
Features of Babies at 35 Weeks
So what are those babies doing in there to make Mom so tired? Growing and developing at an incredible pace. By 35 weeks, both babies have full muscle, bone and nerve development and are working to finish up their lungs. What to Expect reports that lung development is usually complete by 37 weeks; however, they may mature as early as week 33. By 35 weeks, both babies can open and close their eyes, and respond to light. They have eyelashes and fingernails. At the 35-week mark, both babies are covered in a protective wax-like substance called vernix.
Time Frame for Twin Pregnancy
At 35 weeks, most babies are fit for survival outside the womb if born pre-term. According to What to Expect, even if the babies' lungs are not fully mature at this stage, most twins have a good chance of being healthy and free from long-term medical problems by the time they pass the 32-week mark. They may, however, still have to spend some time in a neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU.
Identification: Birth Plan at 35 Weeks
Many practitioners do not like women pregnant with twins to go too far past the 37-week mark. In fact, What to Expect reports that many OB doctors induce around the 37- to 38-week mark, or schedule a cesarean section. According to the ACOG, whether a woman will deliver twins vaginally or by scheduled C-section depends on her health and that of the babies, as well as the babies' position in the womb. Sometimes, a planned vaginal twin birth can turn into an emergency C-section, depending on how it is progressing. At 35 weeks pregnant with twins, now is a good time for the mother to have a discussion with the OB.
Special Testing at 35 Weeks
At 35 weeks pregnant with twins, Mom can expect one or two OB visits per week. These include the usual prenatal monitoring in addition to some specialty tests. She may have additional ultrasounds as well as non-stress testing, which measures the babies' movements and heart rates. Some doctors also perform a late-term amniocentesis to check on the maturity of the babies' lungs.