Signs That You’re Pregnant With Twins

It must cross the mind of every pregnant couple that they may have more than one child. While there is more likelihood of this happening when there is a family history of twins it can also happen to couples who do not. Each family history has to start somewhere and there has to be a first couple who become the parents of twins.

The obvious way to be sure is when you first see the ultrasound pictures. Even if you cannot work it out it is likely that the nurse will have realized fairly quickly that there is more than one baby there. In this day and age at least this means you get a good amount of advanced warning but before this machinery was invented the only time many women would know they were carrying twins was at the birth. As twins can often be smaller than a child on its own, there may not have been a great deal of difference in the birth weight or the size of the mother. If you feel that later on in your pregnancy there is more than one child you should check with the hospital. It is very unlikely that the ultrasound would not pick up something as obvious as this.

Tests Carried Out

When there are tests carried out to hear how strong the baby’s heartbeat is, a nurse will have an idea if they are listening to the sound of more than one child. This system is called the Doppler heartbeat count and is less likely to be accurate than the ultrasound. There can be a couple of reasons why there seems to be two heartbeats when there is actually only one. It could quite simply be background noise that is coming through and being mistaken for a heartbeat. In certain cases it could be the mother’s heartbeat that is being picked up. Even the most experienced nurse or doctor can make this mistake so this should not be the only method used to determine how many babies there are.

Human chorionic gonadotropin will be found in the mother’s blood and if there is more than one child this level will raise more quickly than if there is a single baby present. This should be discovered at about 10 weeks into the pregnancy so again there is plenty of time to carry out other tests and also prepare for a multiple birth. Again this is not an exact science and there could be a reason why this is raised for just one child but it is still a good indicator.

Alpha-fetoprotein tests will be carried out in the second trimester and it is during this test that any birth defects will be picked up. The fact that there is a second child there can act to elevate the results and will result in another ultrasound being carried out. It will be strange if the previous one failed to pick that up, but it has been known to happen. The idea of twins will clearly be a relief as it will mean that the child does not have a defect.

When the doctor measures the uterine fundus which is the area from the pubic bone up to the uterus they may find that the uterus has expanded more than they would expect for the presence of just one child. This will not be a definite sign and if there is no sign of a second child on the ultrasound it could be either that the one child is quite large or that there is a lot of amniotic fluid present.

Most women will put on weight during their pregnancy regardless of how many babies they are carrying. It is not easy to work out how much each woman will put on as they all treat their pregnancies in a different way. Some will see the gestation period as an excuse to enjoy themselves and not worry about weight gain as they can always blame the baby. Others will be more concerned about how quickly they will get their figure back afterwards and will not eat as much. They may actually not eat as much as they should. For these reasons it is not a totally accurate amount but it is guessed that a woman who is carrying twins will put on about 10lbs more than she would if she was expecting just one child.

Morning sickness is an inconvenience that most pregnant women realize that they will have to endure. It may not last as long as they expect but it is unpleasant while it does last. For a woman pregnant with twins there may be the concern that they will be twice as sick or have to endure it for twice as long. It is thought that only about 15% of woman carrying twins suffer more morning sickness than those carrying one. Even then it does not equate to a double dose so there is no more illness connected to one child.

There is still some uncertainty as to whether twins move earlier than a single baby. It may be that in a second or future pregnancy the baby will move earlier but this is normally the case. In a first pregnancy you will normally feel the baby move after 18 weeks whereas in late pregnancies it can be 15 weeks. This will be the case regardless of whether or not you are carrying twins.

As is to be expected the main way of knowing you are carrying twins is if you feel excessively tired. There are two children taking the nutrients from your body and if you have not been allowing for this you will be eating the same amount as you would for one. Quite often this will be put down to just being pregnant or because you are trying to get so much done before the arrival of the baby, but it is a good indicator that you will give birth to twins.

A Woman Knows

Finally a mother’s intuition should always be listened to in cases like this. If you have had twins before you will know what it feels like to carry them. In the same way if you have had a single pregnancy you will know that something is different this time. Many people will mock at this idea and insist that the only way to know is by medical tests. They will quite clearly be the most important way to find out if you are carrying twins, but it is surprising how often the mother to be is right and knows that she is having twins before the first tests begin.

While finding out there will be twins may be disconcerting for a number of reasons the hospital staff will be able to help you every step of the way. There should be no more danger in carrying and giving birth to twins, than just one baby. The idea of having two people so close to each other will be nice and you could be starting a tradition that your family will carry on for generations. The same will apply to more than two babies, but quite clearly the more that are there the more heartbeats will be detected.



1 Comment

  1. A niece write up. so educating. thank you!

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