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Mode of delivery in multiple pregnancies

      The mode of delivery in multiple pregnancies has been subject to vigorous debates during the last few decades. Although observational and retrospective data were accumulated, it was not until the publication of the Twin Birth Study that evidence-based recommendations could emerge. However, although some of the most pressing questions were answered by the Twin Birth Study, other questions were left outside the scope of the study. The questions were of great interest and included the following topics: the impact of gestational age, the influence of chorionicity, and the generalizability of the results for women with a previous uterine scar. The current evidence supported a trial of labor in dichorionic-diamniotic or monochorionic-diamniotic twin pregnancies in which the first twin is in cephalic presentation at ≥32 weeks’ gestation. Dichorionic-diamniotic, monochorionic-diamniotic, and monochorionic-monoamniotic twins should be delivered at 37 0/7 to 38 0/7, 36 0/7 to 37 0/7, and 32 0/7 to 34 0/7 weeks’ gestation, respectively. Breech extraction done by a competent healthcare provider seemed to offer a higher chance of successful vaginal delivery of the second twin than the external cephalic version. The current data did not allow for a clear recommendation regarding the mode of delivery in very preterm birth of low birthweight twins, but most studies did not demonstrate a clear benefit of cesarean delivery vs trial of labor. Furthermore, a trial of labor seemed safe in women with a previous cesarean delivery. Cesarean delivery is likely beneficial for twin pregnancies with the first twin in breech presentation, monochorionic-monoamniotic twins, and higher-order multiple pregnancies. In all multiple pregnancies, delivery should be performed by an experienced practitioner competent in multiple pregnancy deliveries.

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