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Twin Pregnancy Symptoms – How to Know When You're Expecting Two

Besides a mother’s intuition, there are certain symptoms of pregnancy that might lead you to suspect that you’re having twins. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you might want to talk to your health care provider. The only way to be certain that you’re having twins early in the pregnancy is to see two babies on an ultrasound. Later on, a skilled health care provider can palpate two babies from the outside, although, any time there are multiples, you might just find yourself with a delivery surprise!

One of the first signs that you could be carrying twins or multiples is a pregnancy test that registers high levels of HCG early in the pregnancy. HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone your body produces when you’re pregnant. Urine tests for pregnancy look for the presence of this hormone. If you’re pregnant with twins, your levels of this hormone will climb higher faster than if you’re pregnant with a single baby. This means that instead of getting a faint positive result, your urine pregnancy test may show a definite positive result. If, for some reason, your health care provider orders a blood test that actually measures the amount of HCG present, that too could be an indicator that you’re expecting twins.

Women who are expecting twins also often gain more weight earlier than women who are expecting a single baby. This can be very variable, however, depending on the mother's pre-pregnancy weight and a number of other factors. Women who are expecting twins, however, will usually measure “large for dates,” or “large for gestational age.” This means that the size of her uterus will be larger than expected for each particular stage of pregnancy. Again, only an ultrasound can confirm whether this is because she’s expecting twins or not.

In addition, although morning sickness affects about 80 percent of all pregnant women, women who are pregnant with twins sometimes experience morning sickness earlier and to a larger degree than women who are carrying single babies. This is generally thought to be due to the increased hormone levels that result from two babies. For the same reason, women who are pregnant with twins often experience unusual fatigue during early pregnancy – more so than women with single babies.

Some women who are expecting twins also begin to feel their babies moving earlier than women who are expecting only one baby. Some women believe this is because two babies take up more room in the uterus than one baby and, therefore, their movements are felt earlier. However, other mothers don't feel movement any earlier with twins than with a single baby, although most mothers who are pregnant for the second time will feel movement earlier in the pregnancy simply because they recognize what a baby moving feels like. Again, an ultrasound is the more reliable indicator of twin pregnancies. If you suspect a twin pregnancy, it’s a good idea to have your health care provider test to confirm this, as you may need to make additional arrangements for later in your pregnancy.

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