Twins born at 32 weeks: Outlook and special care

Learn about premature twins born at 32 weeks. Know what will happen if you go into preterm labour and read stories about preterm twins and their families.

By Kate Phillipa Clark

Your twins are considered born preterm if you give birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy is completed (37+0 weeks). Twins born at 32 weeks are considered moderate to late preterm, which means that you’ve hit a major milestone. They’re no longer considered born very preterm. This is according to the World Health Organization (WHO), who subcategories preterm birth based on gestational age.

extremely preterm (<28 weeks)
very preterm (28 to <32 weeks)
moderate to late preterm (32 to <37 weeks)

Will my babies survive?

In high-income countries, almost all babies born at 32 weeks survive. In low-income settings, half of the babies born at or below 32 weeks die. This is due to a lack of feasible, cost-effective care, according to the WHO. Note that these statistics relate to mortality regarding prematurity. This means that the outlook may be different for your babies if they in addition are suffering from for instance Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

What happens if I go into preterm labour?

If you go into preterm labour, steroid injections should be given before birth maturing the lungs of your babies. The WHO also recommends that the mother is given antibiotics when her water breaks before the onset of labour, and magnesium sulfate to prevent future neurological impairment of the children. You need to give birth at a medical facility equipped to deal with preterm babies.

What happens to twins born at 32 weeks?

If your twins are born at 32 weeks, they’ll need to spend a few weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Twins born at 32 weeks require assistance to breathe and they’ll need help eating. The staff in the NICU will guide you on how to start breast- or bottle-feeding once your babies have developed sucking reflexes.

Can I do something to help my babies?

Frequent skin-to-skin contact is beneficial. This is called kangaroo care and has also been associated with decreased likelihood of infection, severe illness, and death. Be aware though that your children need to be in stable conditions before you’re able to hold them.

 

Read about women who’ve given birth to preterm twins 

 

About the Author

Kate Phillipa Clark

Kate Phillipa Clark has a bachelor in Journalism and an Executive Master in Corporate Communication. She is an identical twin and so is her father.

 

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