Every twin pregnancy came with a surprise to parents. It can be overwhelming to think that you will have two babies at once. The responsibilities, care, and nutrition can be different with twin pregnancy than it is with singletons.
Similarly, the signs and symptoms are also different with twin pregnancies. There are a few signs and symptoms you can look out for whether you know you are pregnant or you don’t. It never hurts to know what to expect no matter where you are during your pregnancy duration!
1. Extreme Morning Sickness
Morning sickness in pregnancy is expected. It usually happens in the first 3 months. But with twins mothers suffer from extreme sickness. The reason why it might happen is that the pregnancy hormones work more when you have multiple babies. So it triggers severe nausea.
However, this symptom shouldn’t be ignored as just a sign of twin pregnancy. Severe and prolonged forms of nausea can lead to hyperemesis gravidarum.
One such study found out that twin mothers can experience it more than singletons. It can lead to severe consequences too. But it is also important to note that not everyone feels nauseous while pregnant. If you end up feeling pregnant you can follow a few procedures to avoid or decrease the intensity of it.
Having a balanced diet
Of course, with the baby and new pregnancy, you will definitely eat fresh and healthy. But making it balanced is also important so try to make sure you are able to do that. You need to cut down on carbs, regulate blood sugar, and eat a bit of all vitamins every day. A balanced diet can decrease excessive and unnecessary hormone secretion and reduce nausea.
Nausea might also trigger your digestive issues. Or it might stem from there. You can take some home remedies without taking medicines that might make you more sick. A good one is a ginger or peppermint tea. If any food triggers your stomach issue such as being lactose intolerant you can avoid that for the entire pregnancy.
Taking Care of Your Liver
If you don’t know yet, your liver is responsible for most of the hormones. If you want to control the amount of hormones in your body, having some home remedies for your liver would be better. A lot of people suggest lemon water and apple cider vinegar, but a pregnant mother should be careful before consuming something unusual.
Last but not least, don’t stay empty stomach, especially in the morning. It will only trigger your nausea due to having low blood sugar in the morning or gastrointestinal problems.
2. Extreme Fatigue
Fatigue is also a not-so-fun symptom of pregnancy. Pregnant mothers and even mothers with babies experience fatigue. The reason can be hormonal and the added stress from pregnancy and motherhood.
But once you are pregnant with twins the fatigue becomes almost unbearable. You will be exhausted. The reason behind this is the rise in progesterone in your body that helps with pregnancy.
Another reason is the rate of metabolism that goes up during his time. You can follow some tips to relieve some fatigue that you have been experiencing:
- Follow breathing exercises before sleeping. Make the lights switch off, make the temperature right, and all the other arrangements to make it a comfortable time.
- Add some energetic food sources to your diet. But make sure not to add anything artificial. A good source of protein will work best in this case.
- Dehydration can make you feel worn out. Drink a certain amount of water and see if you still feel bad. This can happen mostly to pregnant women during summer.
- Some pregnant women said that eating food with high vitamin B helped them. You can try bee pollen, yeast flakes, beans, etc.
- Another way to boost your energy can be walking every day for 20 minutes. While it sounds like it will make you more tired but it can also lift up your mood and make your blood circulation better hence making you more energetic. It will also improve your baby’s brain function.
3. Elevated hCG Level
hCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin hormone. The level of which can indicate if you are pregnant with twins or not. There have been cases where women carrying twins have had higher hCG levels. Higher as compared to those carrying singletons.
However, it also varies from woman to woman. Some women might not experience the same symptoms as many women do. So it is still not a definite syndrome. The only way to know for sure if you have it or not is through an ultrasound. If you ask your doctor or nurse, they will be able to conduct the test and tell you.
However, if you do have higher hCG there are also signs to look for. With a rising level of hCG, you will need to urinate more frequently. The rate of rising hCG might also be faster or higher than that of singleton pregnancy. So you need to look out for symptoms like this.
4. Frequent Urination
As we already mentioned that if you have hCG level that is higher or rising faster than singletons, you might also need to urinate more frequently. On top of it, with multiple babies needing more space in your uterus, it would also put more pressure on your bladder.
Think of it as one of those times when you had a swollen uterus due to a heavy period and you could feel the pressure on your bladder. It becomes much harder to hold in pee with increased pressure on your bladder so you will need frequent visits to the toilet. But you can follow some tips to reduce the effects a bit-
- Make sure not to drink anything for at least a couple of hours before bed. Waking up in the middle of the night or having a full bladder while you sleep is very uncomfortable. It also ruins the good night’s sleep mothers need when they are pregnant.
- Some drinks can be diuretics and you need to avoid those. It includes tea, coffee, seltzer, etc. But you can have a drink that is electrolyte or those natural- coconut water, broth, etc.
- Make sure to empty your bladder completely before going to bed. One way to do this is by leaning forward while you pee.
5. Increased Appetite
Although many women face nausea when they are pregnant, another distinct symptom is having an increased appetite. The reason why this happens is because the mother’s body craves more food and calorie with more than one baby. As opposed to singletons who have less appetite.
You can use this chance to consume more healthy food. Get yourself a healthy acai bowl in the morning, increase your consumption of protein, drink a glass of milk, etc. Instead of binging on carbs all day, you can eat a balanced diet more frequently to meet your cravings. Consuming one type of food isn’t a good idea either.
6. Weight Gain
Since you have an increased appetite and more craving for calories, you will eat more. And as a result, you will gain weight much faster than mothers with a singleton. Also, as you are carrying more than one baby, the weight of both will be more than one.
Therefore, if you see weight increasing faster, don’t be worried and definitely don’t stop eating. If you are too worried, you can always visit the doctor and get checked. In order to be sure of your weight gain, or see the rate you can keep a record of it too.
Then compare it with the average rate of weight gain of mothers with singletons. That way you can be almost sure of an increased rate of weight gain.
Some mothers also suffer from constipation during this time. The reason can be various. One of them is that the hormonal changes are more than those of singletons. More secretion of hormones leads to dehydration or constipation. Another reason is the growing uterus. It puts more pressure on the anus and colon. Which can lead to constipation and pain in the colon part. If you experience these you can follow some tips to relieve the symptoms-
- Make sure to drink plenty of water during the day but avoid drinking at night. Set a certain amount you need to drink throughout the day.
- Eat more fiber. Fibre makes it easier to digest and clean your stomach. As an example, you can eat more fruits as those come with fiber. But fruit juice often doesn’t have as much fiber. So instead of fruit juice, try to eat the fruit itself if you want faster results.
- Avoid beverages or fast food. Any fried items can make your constipation worse.
Mothers of twins experience heartburn quite often. The reason is that their uterus expands more and faster than others. In order to make space it puts pressure on the chest, stomach, lungs, etc. The stomach finds it tougher to digest food within a small space. So heartburn starts.
9. Shortness of Breath
For the same reason as the previous one, an expanded uterus can put pressure on the lungs. While the mother breathes in oxygen there is less room for lungs to expand. As a result, it can’t consume as much oxygen as it wants to. Therefore, mothers experience shortness of breath. It can feel like there isn’t enough oxygen.
10. Swelling or Bloating
The extra fluid and blood in a twin pregnancy can lead to swelling and bloating in the legs, feet, and hands. Although it also happens in a singleton pregnancy, in twin pregnancy it is more reported.
11. Back Pain
The added pain from two babies put extra pressure on the back too. Often times it is seen that pregnant mothers of twins will complain more about back pain. It is not easy to carry two babies at once.
Twin moms are suggested to rest more than singleton moms. They need to relax a lot too. In order to relieve that symptom, you can also get a maternity pillow here!
12. Gestational diabetes
Mothers carrying twins are at higher risk for developing gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It usually happens during the second or trimester and then disappears after birth. It happens due to not producing enough insulin during pregnancy.
13. Varicose Veins
The increased blood volume and pressure from carrying twins can lead to the development of varicose veins, which can be painful. Therefore, if this symptom appears, it is best to consult a doctor and ask for a recommendation.
14. Preterm labor
Twin pregnancies are more likely to result in preterm labor, which can lead to complications for both the mother and babies. What happens is that babies are born before they should.
It happens due to the opening of the cervix before it is time. But the earlier babies are born, the more risk they face. During this time it is very important to be careful and keep constant contact with the doctor. Some people can’t tell when the labor pain started. It is therefore also recommended to ask the doctor what signs to look for.
With the demands of carrying two babies, women carrying twins may be at higher risk for having anemia, a condition in which the body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.
How to Confirm Twin Pregnancy
The best way to find out about twin pregnancy is through technology. With modern medical knowledge, it is very easy to find out if you have twins.
If you feel like your symptoms indicate that you are going to have twins, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can analyze the signs and run some tests.
One of which is AFP test. It measures the certain protein secreted from the fetal liver. Usually, if you have multiple babies, the result will be higher which indicates you have more than one baby. Your obgyn can therefore tell you for sure if you are going to welcome two munchkins at once.
Last but not least, if you want to even have ultrasound pictures of your tins to be absolutely confirmed, you can go for ultrasound. But it needs to be done after 10-12 weeks. Because that is when the babies are big enough to show up in the picture. Also, through the ultrasound, it catches sound waves and creates an image of your fetus.
The excitement parents feel during the pregnancy is understandable. Some symptoms and signs can surely indicate you are having twins. But it is always recommended to confirm through a doctor or technology if it’s true.
However, some parents can’t wait till the ultrasound as it takes about 12 weeks. Parents who found out later about their twins have also shared their experiences on social media. You can watch one such parent here-