Many women suspect that they may be carrying more than one baby, but how do you know for sure? Look out for these 10 twin pregnancy symptoms.
Many women wonder if they could be expecting twins in the earlier stage of their pregnancy. Although it differs from woman to woman, these 10 twin pregnancy symptoms could indicate that you’re having more than one baby.
1. Larger, faster weight gain
You may gain up to 5kg in the first trimester due to increased blood volume and uterine size. By the end of the second trimester, most moms-to-be of twins have gained between 7kg and 12kg – whereas moms expecting one baby usually only gain between 5kg and 10kg.
2. A large-for-date uterus
If your uterus seems to be growing more rapidly than expected for your due date, a multiple pregnancy may be suspected. Other possible causes of a larger uterus for your stage of pregnancy include a miscalculated due date, an excessive amount of amniotic fluid, or the presence of uterine fibroids.
3. Looking bigger earlier
Increased uterus size can be a strong indicator of multiple pregnancies. However, most women measure larger and show earlier with subsequent pregnancies, so don’t be alarmed if you can’t fit into your jeans after six weeks of pregnancy with your second child, even if you didn’t wear maternity clothes until 20 weeks with your first baby.
4. Severe morning sickness
More than 50% of moms expecting multiples have morning sickness that tends to be more severe than for a singleton pregnancy.
5. Foetal movement early in the pregnancy
There is considerable disagreement among medical professionals as to whether a woman carrying twins is more likely to feel movement earlier. But, many moms claim that those early flutters and flips were their first clue that they might be having more than one baby.
6. Your doctor hears two or more heartbeats as early as 10 to 12 weeks
Depending on the position of the babies, a practitioner may be able to hear two or more separate heartbeats. However, since the heartbeat of a single foetus may be heard at several locations, a diagnosis of multiple pregnancy is only made when the heartbeat rates are different.
7. Abnormally high results from an AFP test
For many moms-to-be who don’t experience any unusual symptoms, high results in an AFP test is the first sign that there may be multiples. The AFP test measures a protein secreted by the foetal liver. More than one baby increases the amount of this protein in the mother’s blood, and will produce a high result. However, a high result can also suggest abnormalities with a single baby, so your doctor will usually schedule an ultrasound to investigate further.
8. Extreme fatigue
Nurturing one baby already drains your energy, but carrying two, three or more can be even more exhausting. If you’ve never had a baby before, you might be surprised by your lack of energy, but not realise it’s out of the ordinary. If you have had previous pregnancies, you might attribute the tiredness to being older or maintaining the responsibilities of family and work. However, fatigue is probably the most common complaint of moms-to-be of multiples.
9. Water retention
Moms-to-be often retain more water in a twin pregnancy than during a singleton pregnancy.
10. Predisposition to having twins
There are several factors that make a woman more likely to have twins, including twins in the mother’s family, advanced age, the use of fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation and invitro fertilisation.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.