Q: I'm pregnant with twins. What can I expect my delivery to be like?
A: Giving birth to twins is definitely a much more dynamic process than delivering a single baby, so it's important to be flexible and work with your doctor to ensure that both children arrive safe and sound. In general, most twins are born a little early, around 36 weeks, and thanks to good prenatal care, usually do very well. These days, twins can be delivered either vaginally or by c-section, but more than half are delivered by cesarean. Regardless of how you plan to give birth, you'll deliver in an operating room in case a c-section needs to be done quickly. The room will likely be crowded with experts there to help you and your babies, with one pediatrician and one nurse for each baby, plus neonatal intensive care docs standing by in case the babies need extra attention.
As your due date approaches, you and your doctor will discuss the best way for your babies to be born based on their weight, their health, and how they're positioned in your belly. If the baby closest to your cervix is head down, you may be able to try for a vaginal delivery. Just remember that giving birth to one twin vaginally doesn't guarantee that your second child will be born that way too. Sometimes the second twin emerges very easily, but in other cases, she may need to be delivered by a c-section -- if the baby turns breech, for example, or umbilical cord issues are disrupting her oxygen supply. It's these types of variables that often prompt doctors to recommend scheduling a c-section in advance.