February 24, 2013
Here are the pictures I took of a gorgeous twin placenta I encapsulated. They are posted with permission from Jenny, the mama who birthed it. The babies were determined prenatally to be mono-chorionic, di-amniotic twins, which is the most common type of identical twins. This means that the original zygote started the process of creating a single placenta, and then split so each of the twins creates a separate amniotic sac. Twins who divide sooner can have separate placentas and those who divide later can share an amniotic sac or even a forked umbilical cord!
Here you can see the chorionic membrane, the outer of the two membrane layers, which is considered part of the placenta. Because Oscar and Atticus were mono-chorionic, this membrane surrounded both of them and their separate amniotic sacs. Note the two cords curled up inside: it’s common for the first baby out to have a single clamp on the cord, and the second baby to have two clamps.
This is the amniotic membrane, or rather, the septum formed by both amniotic membranes pressing together. Because they are di-amniotic, Oscar and Atticus each had his own amniotic sac. So these membranes were between them until they were born, though many twins have been seen on ultrasound touching and interacting with one another through the membranes.
This is the (rinsed-clean) maternal side of the placenta, where it attached to the uterus. From the maternal side, looks like a (large) singleton placenta! It’s not uncommon for two placentas to grow together, but because they were mono-chorionic, these guys always shared their placenta.
Thank you for letting me share, Jenny!
Perinatal care specialist. Spouse and parent. Vegan; drinks a lot of tea. Hosted three fetuses: our big kid, a surrogacy, and now our second, due around Halloween. Board game (and generally) geeky. Goat hugger extraordinaire.
Read more about Jay here.