Vaginal deliveries take place in over 40 per cent of twin births and can be induced medically if spontaneous labour has not occurred.
Delivering vaginally is not advisable for all twin pregnancies, and so you and your doctors will consider your particular situation in detail and assess the risks and benefits of each method of delivery for you.
Depending on individual circumstances and hospital policy, a vaginal delivery would be considered if:
- both babies are in a cephalic (head down) presentation
- the presenting baby is cephalic, the second baby is breech, and both babies are of a good and similar size (over 1,500g each) and dichorionic (non-identical)
- in some monochorionic (identical twins) pregnancies, both babies are cephalic. Because of the potential for and increased risks of unexpected complications during labour, your obstetrician will often discuss epidural anaesthesia with you. This is not just to provide relief from the pain of contractions but so there is anaesthesia already in place if an assisted delivery or a Caesarean section is required.This is also why all twins should be delivered by midwives and obstetricians used to managing and monitoring such pregnancies, and in a delivery suite with immediate access to epidural and general anaesthesia and operating theatres.This is an edited extract from One Born Every Minute: Expecting a Twins? by Professor Mark Kilby and Jane Denton (Quadrille, £25).Text © 2013 Mark Kilby and Jane Denton.More on Multiple Births