Table of Contents
Wondering what a twin pregnancy feels like? As you begin your journey of motherhood, you might experience strong pregnancy symptoms. That is when you might start thinking if excessive symptoms of pregnancy are signs of a twin pregnancy? Is it typical to be this nauseous and this exhausted, or does it mean anything worse? The only way to find out if you are pregnant with twins or triplets is through an ultrasound. Let’s check out what are the possible signs of a twin pregnancy.
Signs of Twin Pregnancy
As soon your body detects a pregnancy, it starts producing hormones and starts undergoing physical changes to accommodate the extra human being. These changes could be the first sign of pregnancy, twin or not. These signs may slightly deter from their normal course when you are conceiving more than one baby.
Most people who had a twin pregnancy experience a feeling or a sense of expecting multiples, even before they were sure. On the other hand, the news comes as a surprise to most people. Here are the most common signs of twin pregnancy in most people, right from the earliest weeks of being pregnant.
1. Morning Sickness
The science behind morning sickness is not clear entirely but for most pregnant folks, signs of morning sickness become prominent by the 4th week of pregnancy. This is also the time when you miss your period. Pregnancy hormones like chorionic gonadotropin (hGH0 also contribute to the feeling of nausea. It may happen throughout the day and not just in the morning itself.
Some women with a twin pregnancy experience elevated levels of morning sickness or their nausea will last longer into their pregnancy. It may be difficult to specify a baseline for morning sickness as it varies from person to person and also from pregnancy to pregnancy. If you experience vomiting and nausea even after the 14th week of pregnancy, it could mean that you are pregnant with twins.
However, unfortunately, if you experience prolonged or severe morning sickness, it can also indicate hyperemesis gravidarum. With several bouts of vomiting throughout the day and losing significant weight, it would be better to visit your OB-GYN as soon as possible.
Fatigue is another sign of early pregnancy. In the first few weeks of your pregnancy and even before you miss your period at four weeks, you might start feeling exhausted. Your hormone levels will be elevated and you will experience possible issues like increased urination and sleep interruptions. This may disrupt the routine rest that you have been receiving.
But again, there is no sure way to know if the fatigue you are experiencing means that you will conceive more than one baby. If you feel super tired, do everything to get enough rest and that includes switching your bedtime routine to an early time, taking naps whenever possible, and creating a calming sleep environment.
3. High hCG
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is the hormone produced by a pregnant body that can be detected in a pregnant folk’s urine. You can find out its levels from a simple home pregnancy test. These tests may not be able to tell you the exact level of hCG in your body, but blood tests will.
For women undergoing fertility treatments, their blood will be drawn to check on their hCG numbers. Their OB will be able to establish a baseline and then check out if the numbers doubled as expected. A study in the year 2018 has shown that pregnant women conceiving twins have a higher hCG count than expected.
4. Second Heartbeat
By eight to ten weeks of pregnancy, you will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat using a fetal doppler. Your OB-GYN will be able to tell you if they hear a second heartbeat. This is when they will suggest an ultrasound scan to get a better picture of the situation.
5. Measuring Ahead
Measuring ahead is not an early sign of a twin pregnancy. It is highly unlikely that your healthcare provider will measure your pregnant belly until after the 20th week of pregnancy. But at this stage, it is likely that you have an ultrasound appointment coming up if you have not already had one.
Some pregnant women show earlier when being pregnant with twins but when you begin to show your pregnancy depends on person to person and from pregnancy to pregnancy. Most pregnant folks show earlier during their second pregnancy.
6. Early Movement
Most parents won’t feel their baby’s movements until 18 weeks of pregnancy. So it cannot be ruled as an early sign of pregnancy. Your baby can move inside the womb right from the beginning but you can’t feel those movements until you are into your second trimester.
Of course, with two or more babies inside your womb, you can feel their movements way earlier because of the “more people less space” concept. However, movements due to multiple babies are unlikely to be felt before your second trimester.
7. Increased Weight Gain
The standard weight gain recommendation is 1 to 4 pounds on the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. During the second trimester, you will gain weight rapidly irrespective of whether you are carrying twins or not. If you gain weight faster during your first trimester, you need to visit your doctor to rule out possible concerns or causes.
If you go through morning sickness or other pregnancy-related issues, you might not gain or lose weight in your first trimester. Weight gain guidelines have been issued by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that are based on pre-pregnancy BMI taken from women pregnant with twins:
- BMI less than 18.5: 50 – 62 lbs
- BMI 18.5 – 24.9: 37 – 54 lbs
- BMI 25 – 29.9: 31 – 50 lbs
- BMI greater than or equal to 30: 25 – 42 lbs
Which is The Surest Way to Confirm Twin Pregnancy?
The factors stated above may or may not influence your expectation of conceiving twins but the only sure way to know if those were the signs of a twin pregnancy is by taking an ultrasound. Some OB-GYN will schedule an early ultrasound for you around your 6th or 10th week of pregnancy to confirm any pregnancy-related issues or concerns. With no early ultrasound, you will be scheduled to have an anatomy scan around your 18th to 22nd weeks. Once your OB-GYN sees the sonogram images, you will know how many babies you are conceiving.
What are Your Chances of Having Twins?
CDC says the rate of twins in the year 2018 was 32.6 twins per 1000 total births. There are a number of things that contribute to the number of twins that take birth each year. Factors like fertility treatments, genetics, and age increase your chances of conceiving twins.
The Bottom Line
While a twin pregnancy can be exciting it comes with certain risks. Focus on your health and seek prenatal care as they are crucial for multiple pregnancies. Signs and symptoms of early pregnancy cannot tell you for sure if you are pregnant with multiple babies. With regular prenatal visits and testing, you can know for sure. Discuss all your issues with your OB-GYN and take good care of yourself irrespective of how many babies you are carrying.