Twin Pregnancy Symptoms: Could it Be Twins?

1. Increased nausea

The frequency and severity of morning sickness varies greatly from woman to woman, and sometimes on each subsequent pregnancy. However, a higher intensity of vomiting or nausea could be a sign of multiples. Some moms of multiples claim they knew they were carrying more than one simply because they were twice as sick. Higher hormone levels come with multiple babies, so it could be a contributing factor.

2. Abdomen Growth

You guessed it. If you are expecting double the babies, you will need double the space. Your abdomen growth may or may not be more evident from the outside, and again, varies by woman and child. An abdomen that shows more doesn’t automatically mean twins, despite what your mother-in-law may be insisting, but it could be a sign.

3. Elevated HcG Levels

HcG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone detectable in pregnant women's blood or urine about 10 days post-conception. HcG increases at a high rate, reaching your zenith at around 10 weeks. Twins may produce an elevated level of HcG. Keep in mind, however, that the standard HcG level for twins also falls within the normal range for just one baby, so it’s not a for sure standard or method.

4. Feeling fetal movement early in the pregnancy

If you’re feeling what must be the work of four arms and four legs, relax! It’s not an octopus. You could just be having twins! While there is substantial disagreement in the medical field amongst professionals as to whether a woman carrying twins is more likely to feel movement earlier, mothers intuition can’t be ruled out. Many moms assert that those early flutters and flips were their first sign that they were carrying more than one baby.

5. Abnormally high AFP test

AFP (Alphafetoprotein) screening is a blood test performed on pregnant mothers during the second trimester. For many mothers who do not experience any other extraordinary symptoms, this is the first sign that triggers it for them and their doctors. This test measures a protein secreted by the fetal liver and is used to identify increased risks of certain birth defects. A twin pregnancy can produce an unusually high result. Your physician will usually respond by scheduling an ultrasound for further assessment.

6. Extreme fatigue

All pregnant women battle fatigue. Your body is growing another human being. Nurturing one baby drains a body's energy, but carrying around two, three or more is absolutely exhausting! There are many contributing factors to increased fatigue, therefore, it is easy to dismiss it or attribute it to something else. But fatigue is probably the most common complaint of mothers of multiples.

7. More than one Heartbeat!

Listening to the heartbeat(s) of the baby or babies with a Doppler heartbeat monitor can help identify if you’re carrying twins. Using sound waves, a Doppler system amplifies fetal heart sounds. An experienced OB or midwife may be able to detect more than one heartbeat, indicating a multiple pregnancy. Listening for dual heartbeats is tricky even with Doppler technology and isn't always accurate or conclusive.

8. Raised Heart Rate

Carrying twins could also lead your own heart rate to increase. Many women who had twins experienced a noticeable elevation in their heart rate, even while resting. Since your body is trying to pump up its blood supply to support two or more babies, a raised heart rate could be a sign of multiples. However, it also could be a sign of something else, like a complication. Make sure you talk to your doctor about it right away, and seek help immediately if you experience any shortness of breath, pain or discomfort in your chest.

9. Ultrasound

Seeing is believing! An ultrasound image really is the only way to indubitably confirm a twin or multiple pregnancies, beyond the shadow of a doubt. Regardless of your other symptoms, the only way to settle it for sure is to have an ultrasound. It is highly unlikely that an ultrasound image would miss an extra baby. Not to discount the rare cases of hidden twins, as well as higher multiples, such as quintuplets, which may not always provide an accurate count of babies, but it is extremely rare to miss with twins, especially the further along you are.

10. Intuition

Beyond all medical technology and expert opinions, rests the mother’s sacred intuition. Don't discount that inkling you have. You know your body and your baby (or babies!) better than anyone. Yes, you could be guessing or attributing incorrectly, but by and large, a mother’s gut instinct goes a lot further than you think. If you find that you're dreaming of twins, or have a mysterious feeling that you're carrying twins, you could be absolutely right.