Pregnancy is an incredible journey, and there are all sorts of amazing things that can happen along the way. One of these things is the rare and unique occurrence of twins who share the same placenta and amniotic sac. Known as momo twins or mono mono twins, this rare twin pregnancy requires extra care and attention. It can also be incredibly exciting and rewarding for parents-to-be! So let’s dive into everything you need to know about momo twins…how they happen to what to expect during pregnancy and delivery.
What Are MoMo Twins?
Momo twins, also known as monochorionic monoamniotic twins or mono mono twins, occur when a single fertilized egg splits into two embryos. Each embryo shares the same placenta and amniotic sac. This means that the two fetuses have no membrane separating them.
MoMo twins are rare, accounting for only 1% of identical twins.
Unlike twins with individual sacs and placentas, OR a membrane that separates them, these identical twins share the same space. As a result, momo twins are at a higher risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
What Causes MoMo Twins?
Momo twins occur when a single fertilized egg divides into two within the first two weeks after conception. This results in two embryos with the same sex, genetic makeup, and physical characteristics. As the embryos grow, they share the same amniotic fluid and placenta, which can lead to risks during pregnancy.
Risks Associated With MoMo Twins
Speaking of complications during pregnancy, there are some added risks to having momo twins. Here are some of the most common risks to know.
This is one of the most common risks associated with mono mono twins. With only one placenta to share, these cords can quickly become wrapped around each other, cutting off the blood flow and oxygen supply to one or both babies.
This was the case with the birth of our momo girls. Their umbilical cords were wrapped together in several knots when they were born.
Twin To Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS).
Though rare, TTTS is a condition that can happen in identical twin pregnancies. It happens when the blood supply between the twins is unevenly shared, causing one twin to receive too much blood flow, while the other twin receives too little. If left untreated, this can lead to serious health complications for one or both babies, like heart failure, growth problems, and even death.
But the good news is there are treatment options available to help.
- Laser Surgery is used to seal off the abnormal blood vessels causing TTTS.
- Amniotic Fluid Reduction is when excess fluid is drained from the amniotic sac of the recipient twin.
- Septostomy is a procedure that involves making a small hole in the membrane that separates the amniotic sacs of the twins. This hole allows fluid to flow between the sacs, which can help balance the amniotic fluid levels and relieve pressure on the babies.
Preterm labor and birth.
Preterm labor and birth become more likely because the twins have less space to move and grow comfortably as they get bigger. Additionally, the placenta may not be able to provide enough nutrients and oxygen for both babies as they compete for resources.
Due to these risks, moms carrying mono mono twins often require more intensive monitoring from their healthcare providers. They will likely need more frequent ultrasounds and fetal heart rate monitoring to ensure both babies develop healthily.
What To Expect With A MoMo Twin Pregnancy
Because of the unique nature of a momo twin pregnancy, it’s important to receive careful and frequent prenatal care. You may go through the following:
Additional ultrasound scans.
More ultrasounds are done to monitor the development of the babies, including the mother’s health.
My husband and I discovered we had momo twins at 18 weeks. From that point forward, we had an ultrasound every other week to monitor our twin girls’ blood flow, oxygen, and development.
Checking into the hospital for continuous monitoring between 24 to 28 weeks.
In the United States, you are given the “option” to check into high-risk for continuous monitoring anywhere from 24 to 28 weeks.
The reason this time is crucial during a momo twin pregnancy is that it’s considered the “danger zone”; the babies are getting bigger, and the chances of a cord accident become greater.
My husband and I decided to check in RIGHT at 24 weeks. Thank goodness we made that decision because a cord accident was caught on the monitor the day our girls turned 27 weeks. Had we waited to check into high-risk after 27 weeks, we would have lost at least one or both of our baby girls.
CRUCIAL TIP: If you’re reading this and are pregnant with momo twins, I can’t stress this enough…please check into the hospital to be monitored as EARLY as possible. The time you are in the hospital is such a short “blip” to have a lifetime with your precious angels. It’s the BEST way to keep you and your babies safe!
Preterm delivery at or around 32 weeks.
You most likely will be recommended for preterm delivery by induction or c-section to reduce the risks of complications later in pregnancy at or around 32 weeks. My c-section was scheduled for 32 weeks, but our girls had a different plan in mind and came at 27 weeks. 🙂
Most momo twins are born healthy despite the potential risks involved during pregnancy. With close monitoring and early medical intervention in case of potential complications, many moms give birth to two healthy babies!
MoMo Twin Birth And Delivery
Because of the risks associated with mono mono twins, preparing for the possibility of preterm delivery is essential. This may mean talking to your doctor about your options for induction or c-section and discussing ways to manage any complications during delivery.
After birth, your babies may require extra care and attention in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to ensure they thrive and monitor them for any potential health complications.
MoMo Twins Care After Birth
Momo twins born preterm are often kept in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for monitoring and observation. The risk of complications is high, and the babies may require specialized medical attention, feeding tubes, and medications.
Our girls were in the NICU for over four months. It was an emotional journey, to say the least, so I wrote a post on how to stay strong if you have a baby in the NICU!
Suggested Reading: 7 Tips To Really Help A NICU Parent Stay Strong (#3 and #7 Are Essential)
MoMo Twins Support Groups
Some excellent groups are on Facebook if you’re looking for support throughout and after your momo twin pregnancy. Here are some groups that I am a part of and recommend.
- MoMo Twins Support
- NICU Mom’s and Family Support Group
- Parents of Preemies/Premature Babies
- Preemie/NICU Moms
Personally, I did not dive into the support groups while I was pregnant because I did not want to read ONE negative thing. Instead, I focused on positive affirmations, meditation, and ways to keep my mind right for myself and my babies. That worked best for me, but you must do what works best for you.
Support groups offer a TON of value, but negative conversations happen too. With that said, I hope these groups can help you along your journey.
SHOCKING FACT: This Is How Conjoined Twins CAN Happen…
Due to the twin’s unique sharing of the same amniotic sac and placenta, which occurs in only about 1% of twin pregnancies, this close physical connection during gestation can sometimes lead to the astonishing development of conjoined twins.
Conjoined twins occur when a single fertilized egg, a zygote, begins to divide into two embryos during the early stages of pregnancy.
However, the separation process isn’t complete, and the embryos remain partially connected, resulting in the birth of conjoined twins.
The extent and location of their connection can vary widely, leading to a diverse range of conjoined twin configurations. Conjoined twins are incredibly rare, happening in about 1 in 200,000 births.
While the specific causes behind MoMo pregnancies remain a subject of ongoing research, these rare miracle babies continue to become a source of wonder and inspiration for all who encounter their unique journey through life.
To Wrap It Up
Pregnancy with momo twins can certainly be a wild ride, but it’s also filled with AMAZING rewards. While they require extra care and monitoring, momo twins offer an unforgettable experience many parents cherish forever.
Being informed will help you navigate all that comes with this type of rare pregnancy. KUDOS to you for taking that step to read this post! Learning about momo twins and planning for the proper medical care will help you make the BEST decisions for yourself and your sweet babies.
I’m sending you all my love and blessings on your journey with your beautiful momo twins!
If I can support you in any way along your journey, please reach out, OR if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below!
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