You just found out that you’re pregnant and you can’t wipe that smile off your face! But with the rise in twinning, you also may be wondering, “Am I pregnant with twins?” You could be as these days about one in 30 moms-to-be are.
Twin Pregnancy Symptoms to Look Our For
Yet waiting nine months to get the definitive answer is akin to torture! Luckily, most women find out they’re having twins during their first few weeks of pregnancy, plenty of time to adjust to the news or even more importantly, decorate the nursery!
Having said that, it may be exhilarating to speculate about if particular symptoms or indicators are subtle clues that you or a loved one may be carrying more than one baby. Let’s take a deeper look at these possible signs that there will be several children. Here are ten telltale signs that you may be having more than one. But remember, each one by itself is no guarantee but several clustered together will increase your odds.
The Use of Fertility Drugs.
If you used clomiphene citrate (Clomid), the most common of all ovulating-inducing drugs, to help you conceive you may be in for a double surprise. But depending on why your doctor prescribed the drug could mean the difference between a single or double pregnancy.
For instance, if she recommended taking Clomid because you were not ovulating or ovulating only sometimes, then your chances of twinning increase slightly, maybe by one or two per cent. If you ovulate on your own, however, and Clomid was prescribed for other various reasons, then your chances of having twins jump to nearly 10 per cent. (Although some doctors speculate it’s even higher.)
Fertility treatments have led to a rapid rise in twins pregnancies so be aware if you are going for treatment, you are more likely to have a twin pregnancy or even multiples pregnancy.
Elevated hCG Level.
On a urine pregnancy test, it is impossible to tell the difference between a single pregnancy and twin pregnancies. Having said that, if you are carrying twins, you may get a very early positive pregnancy test.
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone that is produced by trophoblast cells that are surrounding a growing embryo (at first, a syncytiotrophoblast), which eventually forms the placenta after implantation. It is used to alert the mother that she is pregnant. Some pregnancy tests are able to detect the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) (HCG pregnancy strip tests).
That’s how it happened for me. After a positive home pregnancy test that I took on the day of my missed period, I made an appointment to see my OB/GYN. She promptly gave me a blood test to confirm that I was indeed pregnant.
Two days later the phone rang. A nurse told me that my hCG (a pregnancy hormone) level was “elevated” and she wanted me to come in for an ultrasound. Panicked, I asked if I should worry. “Oh, no,” she said. “We just need to see if you miscalculated the date of your last period or if you’re pregnant with twins.”
Nonetheless, it is important to understand that home urine pregnancy tests cannot accurately estimate the amount of hormones present; rather, they can only determine whether or not a minimal amount of hormones is present.
In other words, the likelihood of receiving an early positive or dark test result simply indicates that you had had less water at the time you performed the test is high. While a blood pregnancy test (hCG level) may provide a better, but not conclusive, indication if you are pregnant with twins, it is still not 100% accurate.
My elevated hCG level prompted an ultrasound exam at six weeks where we could see two, tiny flickering heartbeats on the screen. Bingo! Most pregnant women, however, don’t get their first ultrasound until somewhere between Week 16 to 20.
Seeing is believing in this case. The only way to unequivocally confirm a twin or multiple pregnancy is to have it seen through an ultrasound machine. If there is more than one fetus in a pregnancy, an ultrasound scan can confirm this without a doubt. An ultrasound will determine whether or not you have prostate cancer, regardless of any other indications or symptoms you are experiencing.
You should speak with your doctor if you have any worries about the possibility of having more than one kid in your womb. It’s extremely improbable that an ultrasound image would overlook the presence of a second or third baby, especially during the second or third trimester.
There have, on the other hand, been instances of hidden twins. The presence of a “hidden” twin is more likely to be detected during an early ultrasound scan when the babies are identical (monochorionic).
Rapid weight gain during the first trimester.
Due to increased blood volume and uterine size, some women carrying twins have a higher than average weight gain during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy than women carrying singletons.
While mothers of twins gain only about 10 pounds more than mothers of singletons, the amount of weight a woman gains during pregnancy is often determined more by her height, body type, and how much she weighed before becoming pregnant than by the number of babies in her uterus, according to research.
Furthermore, the majority of the weight growth occurs later in the pregnancy, frequently after an ultrasound has either confirmed or excluded the presence of twins or other multiples. Finally, it’s possible that your eating habits are contributing to your weight increase. It’s possible that you’re consuming more calories than you need.
Measuring large for gestational age.
At various points during pregnancy, your doctor or midwife will take a measurement of the height of your uterine fundus (which is measured from the top of your pubic bone to the top of your uterus) to determine the gestational age of your baby as well as the growth of the baby.
If on a routine prenatal visit, your fundal height (tip of the uterus to pelvic bone) seems unusually large for your week of pregnancy (you think you’re six weeks pregnant but the fundal height indicates Week 8 or 10), a doctor may order an ultrasound to confirm or rule out multiples.
Twin or multiple pregnancies have the potential to cause the mother’s uterus to enlarge beyond the normal range of an individual pregnancy. Other circumstances, on the other hand, may contribute to a rise in the measurements. When measuring early in pregnancy, the task is more challenging than when measuring later in pregnancy, when an ultrasound may have already detected the presence of twins.
More than one heartbeat.
Somewhere between Week 10 to 12, an experienced doctor or midwife can pick up the sound of a second heartbeat. A Doppler device, which uses harmless sound waves to amplify fetal heart tones that are normally discernible late in the first trimester, is used to detect pregnancies.
The presence of more than one heartbeat, which indicates a multiple pregnancy, may be detected by an expert physician or midwife. Listening to a baby’s heartbeat early in pregnancy, on the other hand, can be dangerously deceptive.
In most cases, the heartbeat of a woman is not mistaken for the heartbeat of a baby because it is usually just half as fast as the heartbeat of a baby. The mother’s heartbeat, on the other hand, may create background noise that makes it difficult to distinguish between the heartbeats of two or more infants.
Abnormal AFP test results.
The alphafetoprotein blood test (AFP) used to screen for certain birth defects is routinely given sometime during the second trimester. When the results of the test come back “high,” it could mean a neural tube defect or a multiple pregnancy. (Don’t panic if you have a high result but are not pregnant with twins. This test notoriously has “false positive” results.)
Heightened pregnancy symptoms.
Due to the increased production of hormones during a twin pregnancy, you may experience extreme fatigue or constant morning sickness, breast tenderness, a voracious appetite, and even anemia (low iron). More morning sickness can be a key sign.
The old twin pregnancy saying “Twice as sick, three times as tired, and four times the weight gain.” can hold true! Nausea may develop relatively early in the pregnancy of women who are carrying multiples, even before a pregnancy test reveals a positive result. This is not a statement of fact, but rather an observation and you can suffer from severe morning sickness.
Extreme weariness is the most frequently mentioned problem among women who are expecting multiple children. It is possible that sleepiness, lethargy, and weariness will be exacerbated during the first trimester since the body is working overtime to nurture more than one kid.
Other causes (work, stress, bad nutrition, having additional children) can contribute to exhaustion in some circumstances; yet, fatigue can also be a sign of multiples in other cases. The degree of weariness, on the other hand, can be difficult to determine, particularly in the case of twins. We are all aware that weariness is almost unavoidable, especially in singletons’ cases.
Feeling Fetal Movement
One of the most exciting aspects of pregnancy is being able to feel the movement of a baby (or two babies) inside the womb. “Quickening,” or the period at which you first feel your baby, can occur at any point between 18 and 25 weeks of pregnancy, but it is frequently discovered earlier in future pregnancies, possibly as early as 16 weeks in some cases.
When women experience movement in the early stages of pregnancy, it is sometimes uneven and misleading. However, medical specialists are divided on the matter, despite the fact that many moms of multiples report more frequent or earlier fetal movement than other mothers.
Are you over age 30? (As women get older, they produce higher levels of gonadotropins, a hormone that stimulates the ovaries to release more eggs.) Are you slightly overweight? (If your body mass index—BMI—is 30 or above, your chances of twinning is much greater than women with BMI of 20 or less.)
Do you already have fraternal twins? (Women who already have fraternal twins double her chances of having twins again.) Do fraternal twins run in your family? (Some women inherit a gene for hyperovulation, a predisposition to produce multiple eggs in a single cycle.)
An intuitive feeling.
Some women report that they “just knew” that they were pregnant with twins. The strength of a mother’s intuition cannot be ignored, even if the other items on this list allude to some form of observable evidence (exaggerated symptoms, abnormal test findings, greater morning sickness, and so on).
Whatever the fantasies of expecting mothers or the feeling that they can’t explain, those who have cared for pregnant women soon learn to listen to their concerns. Some of the most reliable “hints” that a woman is pregnant with multiple children are not simply explained in medical literature. Sometimes moms just know this is not a singleton pregnancy!
Twins pregnancies can be so much different to singleton pregnancies, even in early pregnancy. If you have had a singleton pregnancy and subsequent pregnancies prove very different, you may know yourself!
If you are expecting twins congratulations! The next thing to consider is whether they are identical twins or not!