Twins referred to by the term “MoMo,” a scientific abbreviation for monoamniotic-monochorionic, are the rarest of the rare. These twins constitute even less than one percent of the total births in the U.S., as per the media report. Furthermore, Dr. Shobha Gupta, a renowned gynecologist and medical director, proposes that MoMo twins make up less than 0.1 percent of all pregnancies and one percent of identical twins.
As per the press statement from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, identical “MoMo” twins are an unusual occurrence. Interestingly, the U.S. woman gave birth to two identical twins within a six-month timeframe.
The medical conditions leading to “MoMo” twins
A MoMo twin is born when a single fertilized egg or ovum further grows into identical twins who share the same placenta and amniotic sac. Also, they are usually identified by ultrasound in the early months of pregnancy itself.
In a MoMo pregnancy, the twins share the same placenta, amniotic sac, and fluid. However, they have different umbilical cords. The doctors taking cognizance of the high risk of fetal complications mention the chances of getting umbilical cords entangled in a single sac, which heightens the chances of stillbirths related to MoMo twins. Dr. Shobha Gupta in agreement with this, mentions how the umbilical cords can be intertwined because of the common amniotic environment shared by the twins.
As per Dr. Shobha, the entanglement can even lead to severe impairment in children, especially affecting the circulation of blood to the fetus, leading to the death of one or both twins. Some of the other risks might also involve fetal abnormalities. Consequently, a strict monitoring system is essential for “MoMo” twins.
Specific details about the “MoMo” twins’ case in the U.S.
The mother, Britney Alba, works as an elementary school teacher in Alabama, U.S. She states that she was expecting to have another set of twins, six months after getting pregnant with twins named Luka and Levi. Consequently, she was admitted to the university’s high-risk obstetrics unit after a 25-week pregnancy.
Taking into account the high risk of stillbirth, she was kept under close observation for another 50 days. The doctors said that they aim to deliver the baby through a caesarian section within a standard period of 32 to 34 weeks.
Alba delivered the second set of identical twins, namely Lydia and Lynlee, on October 25, 2022. The doctor’s team kept the case under scrutiny, thus conducting proper prenatal care and a timely check-up involving fetal monitoring. The hospital also said that Alba was continually visited by medical students and residents due to the rarity of her pregnancy.
The twins were looked after for months, as they were born in the 32nd week. They were taken care of by the newborn unit of the hospital before they were discharged on December 7, 2022. However, Alba states that it was an extremely painful period for her to stay away from her kids and to think of their journey ahead.
However, after the birth of her baby, Britney says that finally seeing her baby was surreal and unreal after such difficult times. Alba’s husband too, expressing his joy, says that this entire period was too challenging for their family and even their marriage. But he believed putting everything at risk was completely worth it. He further mentions that “we love it; we love the time with our family, and we cherish every moment.”