What are MoMo Twins?

You may have seen the viral photo from a few years ago: two twin newborn girls, holding hands. The adorable picture was rare not only for the love it captured but also for the rare type of sibling it featured. The twins in the photo are monoamniotic or MoMo twins. What is a MoMo twin and why are they such a rare occurrence? Read on to learn more!

Understanding Monoamniotic Twins

What are MoMo Twins?

Monoamniotic twins, as you may guess by the name, share a single amniotic sac in the womb. Twins that are monochorionic and monoamniotic develop from a single egg and sperm combination that is split into two. If the split is delayed a week or two after conception, the fetuses will end up sharing a sac. This is a rarity that takes place in only 1% of twin pregnancies.

How are MoMo Twins Diagnosed?

Doctors usually diagnose this rare situation with an ultrasound. A doctor will look for the presence of a dividing membrane which will tell him or her that the twins are in separate sacs. The lack of a membrane requires further testing.

Risks Faced by MoMo Twins

MoMo twins face a number of risks involving their umbilical cords. The cords can press against one another and restrict the blood supply and nutrients that help the twins grow and develop. If this happens, it is a life-threatening issue that needs immediate attention and action.

Doctors can monitor the situation through a number of different tests and technologies. For example, doctors can view the twins using high-resolution ultrasounds, non-stress tests, and Doppler imaging. They can also give advice to parents with enough time to make decisions regarding cord entanglement and compression.

In some cases, the mother-to-be is hospitalized. There is no treatment or procedure that prevents potential damage to MoMo twins. The only way to successfully deal with the problem at hand is to deliver the babies.

Delivering MoMo Twins

Most MoMo twins are delivered early, ranging between 32 and 36 weeks old at the time of delivery. Doctors have to weigh the consequences of premature delivery with the risks involved with cord entanglement and decide what is the best option for the mother and her children.

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