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The Truth About C-Sections with Twins

Truths about c-sections with twins.

When you find out that you’re having twins, you generally also find out you’re having a C-section. It’s something that is always on the table because twin pregnancy is very unpredictable, and that might be scary.

But the truth about C-sections?

Well, I have a handful to share. But the big truth is that no matter how prepared you think you might be; you aren’t.

I had countless people walk in and out of my hospital room over the following days performing various tests and instructing me on what might come at any moment. Luckily, my doctors got me well enough to keep baking those babies for another four weeks before I stopped responding to medication and needed an emergency C-section.

Even with those four weeks of prep time, knowing I was going to have a C-section, I wasn’t ready.

I learned a lot from my emergency C-section and a lot of them you don’t get the chance to read about until you’ve already had the C-section and went through them yourself.

picture of twin mom with her newborn twins

Here are 15 Truths about C-sections with Twins

1. You’ll never truly be prepared for what will happen.

Even me, destined for one from the start of pregnancy, was not expecting what ended up happening. The cold room, tiny table you give birth on, how many doctors and techs are in the room with you, the recovery, all of it.

2. An emergency C-section is different from a standard C-section.

I didn’t realize this until well after my emergency C-section, but they are in fact different.

3. It’s not like the movies.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but your hubby might not be able to be in the room for a while. Mine couldn’t come in until the moment before they started cutting. I had to get my spinal block, prepped and ready all with him outside the door. And let me tell you, that was NOT expected or fun at all.

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4. You might get the shakes.

This can come from the different assortment of meds, but I wasn’t expecting to feel so much shaking both during and after my surgery.

5. Or not be able to hold your baby.

This was the hardest truth for me. Between having preemies and such bad reactions to the meds, I wasn’t able to hold or even see my babies before they were whisked away to the NICU.

6. It takes a LONG time to feel your legs again.

I don’t know why I expected to feel them right away, but it took I think 6-8 hours to be able to actually feel my legs again after surgery. So much longer than I expected!

7. Learning to walk is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.

After you can feel your legs is right about the time I was urged to try and stand up. And I couldn’t. I struggled for a long time, had to take breaks, and it hurt like nothing I could even explain. Fighting to see my babies in the NICU was the only reason I tried so hard over and over again to stand and walk.

picture of a mom with her newborn twins and text: 15 Honest Truths about having a C-Section with Twins

8. Using a pillow is actually a must.

I figured this was a joke, but nope. You seriously need that pillow. Especially if air itself makes you laugh. Just breathing even was too much pain sometimes.

9. You’ll be screwed if you don’t take your meds.

I fought taking my meds. I didn’t like how they made me feel while trying to see my twins in the NICU and opted out of them until I was legitimately doubled over in pain. You can reject the hard stuff, but at a minimum please take the Tylenol. You will need it. No one is that strong. 

10. Not pumping soon after birth might lead to engorgement.

Again, not sure if this happens to everyone but it happened to me. None of the nurses had me pump at all. They told me to SLEEP! This led to extreme engorgement that even the lactation nurses were surprised by!

11. Walking, as hard as it is, is what is best.

You’re going to hate every second of it, but it is your best bet to a smooth recovery. Period. You have to get moving and I really think that is why I healed so smoothly.

12. Trying to poop, on the other hand, is not.

On the other hand, do NOT try and poop! It is not easy, hurts like a mofo and you thought walking hurt?? Oh, don’t even try this one girl.

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13. Being uncomfortable with your incision is totally normal.

It took me a long time to get comfortable with my incision. I wouldn’t even look at it at first. My husband had to change my dressings because I simply could not bear the thought of seeing it. And that is totally OK!

14. Accepting your C-section might be rough.

Even though birth is birth, it can be hard to accept that you had to have a C-section. It’s something I am still working through over 20 months after the fact. Sometimes I wish I could have experienced a “normal” birth. But I am also so thankful that modern medicine helped deliver my twins safely when my body was so sick.

15. Nonetheless, you are a BadA$$.

You are one STRONG mama. No matter which way you give birth, you GAVE birth. You grew one or a few tiny humans in you and that makes you so, so strong.

I hope these tips help you walk into your C-section, scheduled or not, with your head held high and you know a bit of what to expect.

Keep in mind that these are my truths, and yours might be spun a little differently.

Picture of Lynneah, Author of Twins and Coffee

Written by Lynneah of Twins and Coffee

Hi there! I’m Lynneah, and I am here to share real, relatable tips and guidance for navigating life with twins! I have fraternal twins, Kendall and Caeden, and I bake cakes for fun. Check me out over on the blog or find me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more!

C-Section with Twins FAQ

Having a c-section is something that should be discussed in any birth plan. You never know what will happen at birth, so it is best to discuss options before your due date. But when you are expecting twins that conversation is even more important. It is a very real possibility with a multiple birth.

Here are 5 of the frequently asked questions involving c-sections with twins.

What percent of twins are delivered by C section?

40% of twins are delivered by c-section and 56% are vaginal delivery. The remaining 4% involve both. That is the first baby is delivered as a vaginal birth and the second twin as a c-section.

Is C section safer for twins?

Generally speaking, a planned c section with twins isn’t automatically safer than vaginal birth. Studies have shown that women who planned on having a c-section as opposed to a natural birth did not lower their risks.

This is good news because it means that women can have more options. Birth plans should be discussed with your medical team before labor begins. The health of the babies should be the deciding factor in a twin delivery.

How long does a cesarean section take for twins?

The actual length of time for the surgery varies. The hospital stay after giving birth to twins varies as well, but it usually starts at 3-4 days. The stay can be longer if there were complications before or after birthing twins.

It is important to remember that a c-section is major surgery. (It happens in an operating room and everything.) So it will take at least 6 weeks to recover. It is best to give yourself plenty of time to recover. Recovering from birth takes time when you have one baby to care for, as a twin parent you have a second baby too.

Can you deliver twins without C section?

Absolutely! As someone who has given birth to twins vaginally, I can confidently say it is possible to deliver twins without a c-section. There are several factors at play. How your babies are positioned will play a major role when you are delivering twins.

The most important thing is to talk to your doctor and follow their recommendations. You can read more about a natural twin birth here: A Vaginal No Epidural Twin Delivery.

How long does it take for a cesarean to heal internally?

Having a baby is a medical event, and having a c-section is major surgery. It takes up to 6 weeks to heal from it. It is important to remember that your body has gone through a trauma. It needs time to rest and heal.

You can get tips on how to make the recovery process go more smoothly here: Tips on Recovering From a C-Section

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Thursday 9th of July 2020

This was a great article! I've had 2 c-sections (one with a singleton and one with twins) and I totally forgot about some of this (especially the shaking - how could I forget that?)


Thursday 9th of July 2020

It's amazing what we forget about labor and delivery once we have the baby. :)

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