More and more women are becoming pregnant with twins. Whether multiple birth runs in your family, you had fertility treatment or it’s totally out of the blue, finding out you are pregnant with twins will always be an exciting moment. But what early signs of twin pregnancy can we look out for?
3 Reasons Twins Are Becoming More Common
If you feel like you see more twins than you used to, you’re probably right. The occurrence of twins has nearly doubled since 1980. The chances of having identical twins has not increased, but fraternal twins are booming for a number of reasons:
- More women are choosing to have babies later in life (women closer to menopause release multiple eggs more often);
- An increase in IVF treatment (40% of IVF babies are multiples);
- An increase in the use of fertility drugs such as Clomid to stimulate ovulation;
33 sets of twins are born per each 1,000 births in the United States. The likelihood of twins has increased steadily since 1980, when 18 sets of twins were born per 1,000 births.
Mina Radman, Unraveling the Mystery of Twins. new.health.afl.edu
5 Early Signs of Twin Pregnancy
Increased Pregnancy Symptoms
If you have not been pregnant before you may not have much to compare to, but as someone who was already a parent, it was quickly clear my symptoms were more severe. Increased nausea, breast tenderness and plenty of bathroom stops… pregnancy likes to make itself known when you’re carrying multiples.
My daughter was born in the UK, where there is no routine ultrasound before 12wks of pregnancy. They do however feel for the height of your uterus because if it is unusually enlarged you could be carrying twins. That uterus is going to need to house two babies, so it gets busy growing straight away!
The speed at which a uterus grows during twin pregnancy can mean Mom experiences natural cramping more than a singleton pregnancy. Although cramping can be totally normal if it becomes severe or you are experiencing bleeding you should always seek advice from your doctor or midwife.
High Levels of HCG
Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin Hormone (HCG) is only produced during pregnancy and is what your at home test is looking for to give you a positive result. I confess… I’ve peed on a lot of sticks, and when I saw an instant bold positive 4 days before my period was even due it was a good indicator I was pregnant with twins.
If your hCG levels at 4 weeks is higher than 8000 miu/l then it’s likely you’r having twins, or if the levels are 5 times higher than your previous singleton baby.
HCG Levels Twins (bloodtestresults.com)
There are other medical reasons for unusually high levels of HCG and only an ultrasound can confirm you are carrying twins. Every pregnancy is different and readings will vary hugely from mother to mother.
There’s being tired, there’s being pregnant tired, and then there’s being pregnant with twins tired. Growing two babies at the same time is tiring stuff and very quickly you will notice you are unusually fatigued. Similarly to other pregnancy symptoms, this may not be something you pick up on unless you have been pregnant before and have something to compare to.
The Twin Mom Sixth Sense
Sometimes you just know. This may sound ridiculous but I had already Googled twin pregnancy symptoms way before I found out. At this point, I knew nothing about my early pregnancy test being an indicator… I just had a feeling. It turns out this is a common occurrence… the twin mom sixth sense is real. Admittedly, there is not much science to back it up, but many twin moms have reported they ‘just knew’.
What Happens Next?
If you think you may be pregnant with twins you will require an ultrasound to confirm. I found out I was carrying twins at 8wks. Once the shock has passed I had a lot of questions, so check out my post answering common questions asked when pregnant with twins.
Your babies will be growing fast… for a little snapshot of what is to come, check out this month by month infographic shared with us by TwinStuff.com.