For the most part, pregnancy symptoms with twins are similar to pregnancy symptoms when there is only one baby. A few things are different, though, and some symptoms may be stronger or more pronounced. These symptoms may also occur earlier in pregnancy than is normally expected, but in some cases, a woman's intuition -- or that of her mother -- can predict twins even before a doctor's diagnosis.
Finding Out if You're Pregnant with Twins
Pregnancy symptoms with twins often aren't pronounced enough, early on, to differentiate a twin pregnancy from a single one, but don't be afraid to ask if you're concerned. WebMD explains that a multiple pregnancy may cause the following:
As the uterine size and blood volume both increase, it is not unusual for a pregnant woman to notice a steady weight gain. On average, this weight gain is five to seven pounds total for the first 12 weeks. By delivery at 40 weeks, a woman carrying a single baby can expect to have gained 25 to 35 pounds. Mothers of twins can expect a five-to-ten pound total gain for the first twelve weeks and 35 to 45 pounds over the term of the pregnancy.
A uterus that is excessively large based on the date of your last period is one of the most prevalent pregnancy symptoms with twins or other multiples. While all women experience some abdomen itching as the skin stretches, it is often more pronounced and felt earlier by moms of twins. If you are experiencing this itching, make sure to mention it to your physician.
Women pregnant with twins tend to retain water and experience swelling in the feet and hands to a greater degree than moms of singletons.
Pregnancy symptoms with twins may include a feeling of heaviness in the vagina or pelvis early in the pregnancy.
Twin pregnancies tend to lead to the relaxation of the walls of blood vessels, or varicose veins, to a greater degree than with single fetus pregnancies.
While all expectant mothers can anticipate feeling tired much of the first trimester, mothers expecting multiples may feel fatigue to a greater degree, and they may not show the reenergizing common during the second trimester.
Mothers of multiples often report feeling movement earlier than singleton moms, and much more movement than might be expected with one baby.
While a family history of twin births and the use of fertility treatments are widely recognized as increasing the odds of conceiving twins, the maternal age factor is not. The chance of becoming pregnant with twins is significantly higher in women between the ages of 35 and 45 who already have children.
If your OB health professional determines you show the symptoms of a twin pregnancy, he will schedule an ultrasound to confirm the results. Pregnancy with twins is often considered a high risk pregnancy, and your OB care provider will want to monitor your progress more closely than if you were pregnant with a single fetus. Ultrasounds and electronic fetal monitoring may be scheduled more frequently during the term of the pregnancy, just to ensure your babies are developing normally.