Your twins are considered born preterm if you give birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy is completed (37+0 weeks). Even though your babies are born very preterm, they’ve reached a major milestone. Twins born at 29 weeks are no longer considered born extremely 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?
The majority of twins born at 29 weeks survive in high-income countries. Proper medical care is essential. The median weight for dichorionic twins at 29 weeks is 1367 grams (3lbs). For monochorionic twins the median weight is 1293 grams (2lbs, 13oz). Look at estimated fetal weight charts to learn more about how twins grow in the second half of pregnancy. Please be aware that monochorionic twins are consistently smaller than dichorionic twins.
What happens to me 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 very preterm babies.
How will my babies be doing?
If your twins are born at 29 weeks, they’ll need to spend a few weeks or months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Twins born at 29 weeks require treatment with oxygen, surfactant, and mechanical assistance to help them breathe. They’ll need help eating. Some will be able to fed through a tube and others will be fed intravenously. The NICU staff will guide you regarding how and when to start breastfeeding, pumping and / or bottle feeding.
Read stories about different mothers who’ve given birth prematurely and at term.