Congratulations – it’s twins! These are the words you may hear when your obstetrician identifies not one, but two babies growing. However, many moms experience early signs of twins in the first trimester, sometimes before a doctor may even “deliver” the news that twins are on the way.
First, it’s important to understand how twins are conceived and how they grow. Sometimes, a mom may release more than one egg in an ovulation cycle. A man releases many sperms when he ejaculates, which means this sperm can fertilize not one, but two (or more) eggs, resulting in a twins’ pregnancy. This is the case for fraternal twins. However, sometimes a single egg is fertilized. After this, the embryo may split into two and twins are the result. This is the case for identical twins. Having double the babies doesn’t necessarily mean double the symptoms, but it does mean that a woman may experience enhanced symptoms compared to moms of single pregnancies. This can be due to the higher hormone levels she is experiencing to grow not one but two babies. Read on for more examples of symptoms that are early signs of twins in the first trimester.
Greater Than Expected Weight Gains
Often, many women do not start to “show” they are pregnant until the second trimester, usually around 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, women who are pregnant with twins may begin to show much sooner because they are pregnant with twins. While most women pregnant with a single baby will gain somewhere between 25 and 35 pounds, women who are pregnant with twins will usually gain anywhere from 35 to 45 pounds due to the presence of the additional baby.
At each checkup, your doctor will measure your weight as well as the growth of your uterus. However, many doctors do not recommend a prenatal checkup until a woman is about eight weeks’ along. A woman who has gained more weight than is expected or whose uterus is already starting to measure as being larger than expected could potentially be carrying twins. However, it’s possible a woman may be experiencing these symptoms due to other factors. Examples include an incorrect due date or excess amniotic fluid.
Unfortunately, morning sickness is most likely to occur during a woman’s first trimester. This is because the high amount of hormones circulating through her body may greater contribute to nausea and possible vomiting. Usually, the vomiting is worse in the morning, then improves as the day goes on due to the natural fluctuations of her hormones. Often, women pregnant with multiples experience greater bouts of morning sickness. This is because women will have higher levels of hormones, which may cause her to have greater nausea. If this is the case, it’s important that she contact her physician if she has a hard time keeping down food and water because these are very important to pregnant women wishing to nourish a baby.
High Hormone Blood Test Results
A doctor may recommend blood testing during pregnancy for a variety of reasons. One example is for alpha-fetoprotein, a protein that can indicate the presence of twins as well as some congenital disabilities, such as neural tube defects and genetic defects. The fetal liver secretes this hormone. If two babies are growing, the AFP results will be higher. Sometimes the presence of the excess hormones can indicate to a doctor that a twins pregnancy is in the works.
Another hormone that a woman may have in greater than expected amounts due to a twins’ pregnancy is human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG. This hormone is responsible for fostering fetal growth during pregnancy. If a woman has abnormally high hCG levels, one of the potential explanations is that she is pregnant with twins.
Early Fetal Movements
Toward the end of the first trimester, a woman may experience a surprise – fluttering in her belly! While most women don’t start feeling their baby move until they are in the second trimester, some women pregnant with twins may begin to feel their babies much earlier. This can be because the babies have less room to maneuver in the uterus. As a result, their movements may be easier to detect and feel at an earlier time. However, moms of twins shouldn’t worry if they don’t feel their babies move in the first trimester yet.
Growing a baby is hard work for mom. Growing two babies can be even physically harder on a woman. As a result, a woman is also more likely to experience high levels of fatigue in the first trimester. Some of the reasons for this increased fatigue include more time spent increasing a woman’s blood volume and delivering nutrients and oxygen to two babies. Increased amounts of the hormone progesterone can also lead to greater incidences of fatigue. Sometimes, even if a woman wanted to get pregnant and wanted to carry twins, knowing that she is carrying two babies can be the source of a great deal of anxiety. This can make a woman feel physically tired in the first trimester. These emotions are completely normal.
The good news is, moms of twins usually report greater energy levels in the second and third trimesters as their hormones regulate out and their bodies are more accustomed to the growing energy demands. Taking time to get plenty of rest can always help a mom feel her best.
Conclusions on the Early Signs of Twins in the First Trimester
Many women report experiencing a sense of intuition that they are carrying more than one baby. However, this hunch can be confirmed with a trip to their physician for ultrasound viewing of their fetus. A doctor may also use Doppler ultrasound technology to listen for baby’s heartbeat. When a woman is pregnant with twins, she will hear not one, but two pulses coming through the Doppler. These are just some of the exciting signs of what is to come as she continues to grow not one but two babies to welcome into the world.
American Pregnancy Association: Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Pregnancy
Huggies: Twin Pregnancy Symptoms
KidSpot: Twins or More: Signs of a Multiple Pregnancy
Mayo Clinic: Twin Pregnancy: What Multiples Mean for Mom
Pregnancy Week by Week: Twin Pregnancy Symptoms