A new study from Australia says that mothers should opt for an early delivery at about 37 weeks rather than a late delivery to avoid complications.
"Infants of a twin pregnancy are recognised to be at risk of problems during pregnancy, particularly from a slowing of the rate of growth in one or both twins," lead researcher Professor Jodie Dodd from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute and the Women's & Children's Hospital, said in a press release.
"This slowing of the growth rate can result in low birth weight, which is associated with an increased need for care in the neonatal nursery in the short term and increased risk of health problems in later life, including heart disease and diabetes. There is also the risk of one or both twins being stillborn," Dodd said. "This is why we've taken such a great interest in the optimal time for twins' birth."
The study was based on the analysis of data obtained from some 233 twin births in 3 countries.
Researchers say that twins born after 37 weeks had lower chances of complications than twins who were born at 38 weeks or later.
According to them, twins born early will be less likely to be small according to their gestational age than single babies who were born after 38 weeks.
"We found that at 37 weeks, elective birth is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of serious morbidity for infants, without increasing complications related to immaturity or induction of labour," Dodd said.
The researchers say that this study might make twin deliveries less complicated in the future.
"We hope this study will help clinicians to make recommendations to women with healthy twin pregnancies that lead to less complications at birth, and therefore lead to happier, healthier lives for their babies," Dodd said.
"While this is the biggest study of its kind so far, our research supports the evidence shown in previous studies, and it also supports the guidelines of care released by the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists in September 2011. These guidelines recommend that women who have uncomplicated twin pregnancies should elect to give birth at 37 weeks," Professor Dodd concluded.