PUPPP and twin pregnancy

puppp and twins

Author: Samantha Wolfe

Finding out we were pregnant with twins

“How many do you think are in there? One or two?” My wife asked me as we headed for our dating scan. 5 weeks prior to that I had had a double frozen embryo transfer. This was my 4th and final attempt at pregnancy. My wife and I did reciprocal IVF to conceive our children. She carried our first (master 3, biologically mine) and then we swapped. 

“Maybe one?” I replied. Although I had a great HCG level, I didn’t feel pregnant in the slightest, the only symptom I had at that stage was no period. 

As the ultrasound picture hit my uterus my eyes lit up. There sat two tiny little sacks, with a tiny little baby in each. Ecstatic is an understatement. I felt like I had waited a lifetime for this. 

32 weeks pregnant with twins

No gonna lie, I had a textbook pregnancy up to 32 weeks. 

As I laid down in the examination chair for a quick ultrasound in my obstetricians rooms, he looks at my belly just under my belly button “…is that itchy?” Pointing to an itch that had started about a week earlier. “Yes actually, why? What is it?” Thinking it was just itchy stretch marks from my skin stretching. “You’ve got PUPPP, Pruritic-itchy, Urticarial-like mosquito bites, Papules- big lumps, Plaques- really big lumps, of pregnancy” 

I left the rooms that day with my induction date. My obstetrician telling me that it doesn’t harm the baby, however it causes insanity in the mother with the itch. Pfft really? How bad could it be..? Let. Me. Tell. You! 

twin pregancy puppps

PUPPP and twin pregnancy

That itch. My gosh that itch. The itch is like looking at a jar of Nutella and thinking ok, just one tiny bite (scratch) so you have a bit more and a bit more and a bit more until you’re almost crying through guilt because you couldn’t stop and you have to pry your hands away whilst it sits there calling your name. 

As hard as it is. Do! Not!! Scratch!!! It’s very hard to stop. I remember one time after a hot shower (another side note, hot water on it is a big no no!) I started just wiping it with a washer to get a little relief from the itch. The washer turned into my palm. My palm turned into my fingertips which in turn turned into my nails (as soft as possible of course) I scratched and scratched and scratched.

I had to wrap my towel on my belly for a bit of pressure then get my wife to hold my hands as they shook and shook because I had stopped myself mid scratch. I knew it was bad when I was trying desperately not to throw up at the same time.

Once it settled a little, I tried to cover it in moisturiser. Again, to each their own, but I do not recommend moisturiser. Maybe bio-oil of some description. Because the moisturiser was thick, all the tiny little hairs on my belly randomly sprung back to life after being slicked back by moisturiser, starting that vicious cycle all over again. Certain materials would set it off too, but it would be at random. 

twins and puppps

34 weeks with PUPPP and twin pregnancy

I was hospitalised at 34 weeks for threatened preterm labour. In that hospital stint I had the steroids shots to mature the twins lungs incase it was go time. That also very mildly helped the PUPPP. My second threatened preterm labour visit about a week later, I was put on prednisone which helped probably as much as the steroid injection. 

I was induced at 36 weeks and 5 days. Now, I just thought, like gestational diabetes, once the babies were out the itching stopped. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. I think my itching eased about 6-7 weeks postpartum and I was on steroids the whole time. 

I guess my take home message for PUPPP and twin pregnancy is:

•Cold washers will be your best friend. 

•Steroid’s kind of work. 

•Don’t scratch 

I’m now 9 months postpartum and I can’t remember how terrible the itch was! 

twins born early due to puppp


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