In a rare instance, a woman in the United States had consecutive pregnancies that resulted in the birth of two pairs of identical twins. Britney Alba found out she was expecting twins again about six months after giving birth to her first set of twins called Luka and Levi, according to a press release by University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
These kinds of twins are known as 'MoMo', an abbreviation for monoamniotic-monochorionic. The shared the same placenta, amniotic sac and fluid. As per the university, MoMo twins are some of the rarest types of twins, making up less than one percent of all births in the United States. It is to be noted that MoMo twin pregnancies have a high risk of fetal complications.
Ms Alba was admitted to UAB's High-Risk Obstetrics Unit when she was 25 weeks pregnant. She stayed there for more than 50 days as a result of the complications. Considering the high risk of stillbirth associated with MoMo births, doctors stated that their aim was to deliver the twins via caesarean section, as per the country's standard, at 32 to 34 weeks.
The couple welcomed the twins Lydia and Lynlee Alba on October 25, 2022.
"The team conducted ongoing prenatal care, including fetal monitoring several times a day to ensure the twins remained well. Given the rarity of her pregnancy, Alba was also visited by medical students, residents and fellows," the hospital said in a statement.
Since the twins were born during 32nd week, they received care in the newborn unit of the hospital for months before they were discharged on December 7, 2022.
"It was nerve-wracking to think about the journey ahead of me and being away from my boys for several weeks. But I knew I had a village at home and would be in great hands at UAB, which calmed my worries," Ms Alba said in a press release.
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Rachel Sinkey, an assistant professor in the UAB's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said in a statement, "While extremely rare, MoMo twin pregnancies have a high risk of fetal complications. They share everything except umbilical cords, which can easily become entangled in a single sac. Unfortunately, there is a high rate of stillbirths associated with MoMo twins."
She further added, "From beginning to end, Britney and the girls have defied all odds."