The main reason mothers-to-be are on the lookout for twin pregnancy symptoms is so they can prepare.
Some women may even expect twins, especially when they have twins in their family or their conception was assisted. For others, twin pregnancy symptoms may be shocking.
There is more financial stress as preparations must be made for two babies. Everything needs to double up: diapers, closet space, baby sleeping space, double stroller, double baby car seats.
Also, Mom may just have to spend more time at home than it was initially expected. This means she must hire a nanny or make other arrangements for the best use of all available resources.
Apart from this, there are some pregnancy issues she must know in advance. This implies knowing what to expect as body changes, what happens during the delivery, whether the medical insurance covers the costs of a premature birth – quite common among twin pregnancies etc.
The bottom line is that you must prepare and you must know these things as early as possible.
What are your chances of having a twin pregnancy?
A long time ago, twin pregnancies were only discovered during labor. Imagine the surprise of expecting mothers who had prepared for one and who have to double everything. Adapting to such a situation while caring for the babies is challenging.
Today, we know a little something about the chances of carrying twins even before announcing the actual pregnancy. The family history weighs heavily here, both yours as well as your partner’s.
Your age, the BMI, and your height apparently play a part in this. Women who are tall, who have their pregnancy in their 30s or 40s (as you age, you tend to release more than one egg a month) and who eat fattier foods have more chances of having twins.
Assisted fertilization is another reason to suspect a twin pregnancy. Sometimes, more of the eggs stick resulting in twin or even multiple pregnancies.
Twin pregnancy symptoms
As there are no two pregnancies alike, some women get early twin pregnancy signs while others find this out as late as the first ultrasound. Some of them only “know,” like mothers sometimes just know some things. Then some women say they did not feel anything different from a singleton pregnancy.
There are signs of twin pregnancy to be on the lookout throughout all three trimesters of the pregnancy. But if you are a bit impatient, look at the really early twin pregnancy symptoms first. You could have all of them or none of them.
A. Twin pregnancy symptoms in the first trimester
Trying to detect some twin pregnancy symptoms in the first trimester? Here are some of the things you should be on the lookout for:
- Early pregnancy testing and unyielding positive results. As at the beginning of and clear results from the first pregnancy test and from the first day you have missed your period.
- Exaggerated symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. The bodies of women carrying twins will produce twice as many hormones, hence the intensified nausea and vomiting. Just like with normal pregnancy, the term “morning” is relative. These symptoms can occur at any moment throughout the day.
- Spotting is more likely to happen. Although it can also occur in the case of singleton pregnancies, spotting seems to be more common in twin pregnancies. It is normal as long as it is not bright red, accompanied by cramps, passing clots and it does not occur too often. Either way, it is always wise to see your doctor about it. Some women only discover they are carrying twins when they investigate this symptom.
- Moodiness, even more than in the case of a singleton pregnancy. Highly connected to the large quantity of hormones released, moodiness can be intense in the event of women carrying twins.
- Very high hormone levels of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). This will show up in your blood test. It is a good tell and something that explains most of the above. However, it is not conclusive as some singleton pregnancies can also have high levels of hCG.
These are the earliest twin pregnancy symptoms you could be getting. Later on, as the pregnancy progresses, there are more signs you could watch out for and the tests become more complex, so the news is bound to come out.
B. Twin pregnancy symptoms in the second trimester
The first trimester has already gone, and you did not have any of the signs? Then it is time to look for twin pregnancy symptoms in the second trimester
- Bigger baby bump. Your belly will be bigger than that of a singleton pregnancy and the difference should be noticeable around 4 months.
- Rapid weight gain. Women carrying twins will experience a much faster weight gain on account of the increased blood volume and of the growing uterus. The approximated weight gain is about 5 pounds over the singleton pregnancy.
- Baby movement is different, but it depends on the babies. Opinions are divided on this one, though. Some mothers experience baby change much sooner than the expected 18-20 weeks, while others do not feel it at all. However, because you have two babies sharing womb space, they soon run out of room to wiggle and movement stops. With singleton pregnancies, this tends to happen in the third trimester, when the baby is bigger and does not “dance around” as much. With twins, however, this occurs in the second trimester.
- Movement on one side more than on the other. If you have movement at just about the same time as it is normal as in the case of a singleton pregnancy, but mainly on one side, it may be because there are two babies and one is more active or even bigger. It is common for one of two babies to hog womb space and be more active than the other.
C. Twin pregnancy symptoms in the third trimester
And if you have made it so far and you have yet to experience any of the above, look for twin pregnancy symptoms in the third trimester.
- Swollen ankles are very common. However, if you have a puffy face and hands, it could be a sign of preeclampsia, which is also very common in cases of twin pregnancies.
- Severe back pain. It ‘s okay to feel back pain when you are carrying a baby and even more so in the case of twin pregnancies.
Do twin pregnancy symptoms differ from singleton pregnancy symptoms?
There are no two bodies alike and there are no two identical pregnancies. This being the case, there were women with twin pregnancies who had an easier time than women with singleton pregnancies.
So do twin pregnancy symptoms differ from singleton pregnancies? Yes, they do. They also differ from other twin pregnancies as well.
However, overall, there are some things that make up general rules: women gain more weight during twin pregnancies, some of the early pregnancy symptoms are more intense, the babies may start to move sooner, and they will run out of movement space sooner. The final trimester will be difficult as well, depending on how much the babies grow.
The mother will be short of breath with the twins pressing on the lungs, will experience worse back pain and will have a more difficult time finding a comfortable position to sleep in.
Knowing whether or not you are carrying twins is more than a financial and time management concern. There are thing you should do like take folic acid supplements during the pregnancy or watch out for signs that things are going wrong.
Twin pregnancies are prone to preeclampsia and pre-term labor more than singleton ones. This means that knowing a few of the twin pregnancy symptoms will give you an idea of what is normal and when to react to change.
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