Congratulations, you just found out you're pregnant with twins! Take a deep breath and get ready; you're about to embark on a special and unique journey.
Symptoms of Multiple Pregnancy
Because your body produces more of the pregnancy hormone hCG when you are having twins, you may have more pronounced pregnancy symptoms than if you were pregnant with one baby. These symptoms in and of themselves do not indicate twin pregnancy, but many women who have had twins concur that these symptoms are more pronounced:
Your fatigue may be much more pronounced throughout the entire pregnancy. It's important to give your body the time it needs to rest - take lots of naps, and resist the urge to overdo it! Anticipate getting lots of rest and allow yourself to relax - especially as you get further into your pregnancy.
Larger Abdomen and Weight Gain
Women carrying two babies can expect to grow larger and gain more weight faster. Normal weight gain for a mom of twins is between 35 to 45 pounds. While many women worry about gaining weight - it's an important aspect of carrying twins as proper weight gain reduces the risk of preterm labor. With all this weight gain comes a bigger stomach. As a result, consider getting a maternity support belt to help ease the back burden of carrying two babies.
Feel Fetal Movement Often
One of the great things about being a mom of twins is that you will generally feel your babies move often. Most first time moms feel fetal movement in twins the same as singleton moms do - about 18 to 20 weeks. However, if this is not your first pregnancy or you are especially petite, you may feel your babies earlier. In addition, you will feel movement more often as the babies run out of room faster.
Positive AFP Test
If you decide to have an alpha-fetoprotein test (AFP), (a blood-based pregnancy test typically taken around 24 weeks), you will get a positive result. Some women find out they're carrying twins when they get a positive AFP and their doctor schedules more tests.
Interesting Facts About Twin Pregnancies
There is nothing quite like being pregnant with two babies. From double the diaper duty to double the love, having two babies can be a scary and exciting time for you. Did you know that:
- Most people know about identical and fraternal twins, but there are, in theory at least, several types of twins. The type depends on when the egg splits and how the sperm fertilizes each egg.
- There is no genetic predisposition yet discovered for conceiving identical twins, but fraternal twins can run in families.
You may experience stronger pregnancy symptoms earlier on compared to someone having one child.
Severe morning sickness and rapid weight gain may indicate the first signs of being pregnant with twins.
In the womb, twins have been known to start reacting and interacting with each other as early as 14 weeks.
Your doctor may recommend you eat around 3,000 to 3,500 calories a day if pregnant with twins.
Around 36 percent of twin births occur because of fertility treatments
Twins tend to come early, and on average, are born around 35 weeks.
Expect to have more appointments and tests if you are pregnant with twins. Your doctor will probably want to see you more frequently, especially toward the end of your pregnancy. You may go in:
- For ultrasounds to check on the babies' health, the placental function, the fundal height of your uterus and the amounts of amniotic fluid
- To check in regarding premature labor and birth, as you will be at a higher risk
- To see if you are having any labor symptoms or general discomfort
- For frequent nonstress tests to help assess the babies' general health and monitor the fetal heart rates
- To see if you need to be on bedrest during the last few weeks of pregnancy
If you're writing a detailed birth plan, plan both for a natural birth and for the kind of intervention you want should the birth not progress as naturally as you'd like. Keep in mind that as a twin mom, you are at greater risk for preterm labor and for a cesarean birth. The bottom line is, no one wants to be making decisions about anesthesia mid-birth. Hope for the best, but prepare for potential complications.
Embracing This Moment
You may be feeling a myriad of different emotions right now. Take some time to process this incredible moment in your life and reach out to friends, family, your partner, and your doctor if you have any questions or need some support.