Your twins are considered born preterm if you give birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy is completed (37+0 weeks). Twins born at 30 weeks are 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?
The vast majority of twins born at 30 weeks survive in high-income countries. In low-income countries about half of babies born at or below 32 weeks die. Twins born at 30 weeks need to be born in a medical facility equipped to deal with preterm babies. Proper medical care is essential. Your babies will need to spend a few weeks or months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). They will need help breathing as well as eating. The NICU staff will guide you on how to start breast- or bottle feeding once your babies have developed their sucking reflexes. They’ll also let you know when you’re able to hold your children. They need to be in stable conditions first. It’s very likely that you’ll be able to touch them, before being allowed to hold them.
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.
Can I do something to help my babies?
Frequent skin-to-skin contact is good for your babies. This is also called kangaroo care. Studies show that babies subjected to frequent skin-to-skin contact are more likely to maintain a healthy body temperature, and show increased cardio-respiratory stability. Frequent skin-to-skin contact has also been associated with decreased likelihood of infection and severe illness.
Read stories about different mothers who’ve given birth prematurely and at term.