What Are the Twin Pregnancy Signs?
If a woman is pregnant with twins, she may wonder if she will have double the symptoms associated with pregnancy. While this (hopefully) is not true, mothers who are carrying twins can expect to have different twin pregnancy signs than a woman who is pregnant with one baby only. Some women may know they were more likely to be pregnant with twins. This includes women older than age 30, women who have a family history of twins, or those who used fertility medications or techniques in order to conceive. However, sometimes a woman gets the surprise of a lifetime when her obstetrician tells her “it’s twins!”
From fluctuating hormone levels to extra weight gain, there are several hints that a woman may be carrying twins long before a doctor identifies two fetuses via an ultrasound. Read on for more information about twin pregnancy signs.
Most women can expect to gain between five and seven pounds in the first trimester. However, women who are pregnant with twins usually gain about one pound per week, meaning their weight gain should be anywhere from 8 to 12 pounds. Women pregnant with twins unfortunately may struggle more with morning sickness and nausea in the first trimester, which can sometimes make gaining weight challenging. If a woman has difficulty keeping any foods or fluids down when she’s pregnant, she should call her physician.
Most women with a twins pregnancy will gain somewhere between 35 and 45 pounds during their pregnancy. This all depends upon if the mom was underweight (she may gain more) or overweight (may gain less) prior to getting pregnant. Doctors usually advise moms expecting twins eat about 300 extra calories for each baby a day – that’s about 600 additional calories. The more nutritious the foods the better. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into a woman’s diet will provide much-needed nutrition for her babies to grow. Eating small meals about five times a day can help a twins mom get the nutrition she needs without overloading her stomach.
Nausea and Morning Sickness
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes morning sickness, but they have some theories. These include the rapid rise of estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormones in the body. A woman’s hCG hormone levels are especially known to peak during the first trimester, when morning sickness tends to be the most pronounced. Women pregnant with multiple babies tend to have higher levels of hCG in their body due to supporting growing more than one baby. As a result, women pregnant with twins may have more pronounced and/or severe nausea and vomiting. While not all women expecting twins have morning sickness, a greater percentage than women pregnant with just one baby do.
Also, the term “morning sickness” can be misleading. Some women pregnant with twins are simply nauseous at any time of day, not just in the morning. There are several steps a woman pregnant with twins can take to try and alleviate some of the nausea. This includes eating small, frequent meals throughout the day. High-protein snacks and carbs seem to be a winning combination to reduce pregnancy-related sickness. This includes a half-turkey sandwich on whole wheat or peanut butter and crackers.
Growing a baby adds new demands to a busy mom’s already hardworking body. While all pregnant women can expect some level of fatigue, moms pregnant with twins report higher levels of fatigue, especially early on in a woman’s pregnancy. Doctors often explain this because women pregnant with twins have greater energy demands to support their twins’ development. The best things that a mom-to-be can do include getting enough rest each night, eating a healthy diet, and taking steps to reduce stress whenever possible. These steps can help to promote greater energy levels.
Early Fetal Movement
While babies are frequently moving in the womb, they are too small for many months to feel the babies start moving. However, a mom of twins often reports starting to feel her babies move at an earlier time. This is most likely because there are two babies taking up a relatively small space. Most women can expect to feel their babies move between weeks 18 and 20 of pregnancy. However, some women pregnant with twins report feeling their babies move much sooner, such as 15 to 16 weeks of pregnancy. This movement is often described as “quickening” or “lightening” where they feel as if something is fluttering in their stomach. A woman pregnant with twins is also more likely to notice her babies moving at an earlier time if she has been pregnant before.
If a woman does not feel her babies move by week 16, this does not mean something is wrong with her pregnancy. However, if she is concerned about her baby’s movements after 20 weeks, she should talk to her doctor. Her doctor may recommend fetal monitoring in the office or counting the babies’ kicks at home to ensure the babies are moving at an expected rate.
Conclusions on Twins Pregnancy Signs
Being pregnant with twins is the start to an exciting adventure of a lifetime. Sometimes, women pregnant with twins report their greatest sign they knew they would have twins as personal intuition. They just had a sense that perhaps they were carrying more than one child. However, the only definitive sign that a woman is carrying multiples is through ultrasound confirmation and listening to fetal heart rates with an ultrasound Doppler. Once a woman discovers she is pregnant, a doctor will often recommend she makes her first prenatal appointment at around eight weeks after her missed period (although a doctor may make recommendations for an earlier visit based on a woman’s health history). At this time, a doctor may perform an ultrasound to visualize the baby (or babies).
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