Q: Will twins or triplets need to go right to the NICU after delivery? What kind of complications might they face?
A: That depends on their gestational age and birth weight. Many twins born close to term can go to the regular newborn nursery. Only about 20 percent of twin babies go to intensive care, but that goes to 80 percent with triplets, and even higher for quads. How long they stay in the hospital varies. For twins, the average stay is nine to 25 days. For triplets it's 11 days to up to three months. And for quads or more, it's longer. Because the lungs and liver are some of the last organs to mature, preterm babies are at greater risk for respiratory distress syndrome and jaundice. While just one out of 20 singleton babies will have jaundice, one out of five twins, one out of two triplets, and three out of four quads will have it. --Donna Christiano