There are a lot of women who suspect that they’re carrying more than one baby—but how can you know for sure? An ultrasound confirmation is the only way to be 100% sure, but here are some common signs and symptoms to watch out for!
Signs of a Multiple Pregnancy
There are a lot of factors that can contribute to excessive weight gain (more than the normal amount expected during pregnancy). The amount of weight a woman should gain while pregnant will vary, depending on her height, body type, and her pre-pregnancy weight. It is common, however, for women carrying multiple babies to gain about 10 more pounds than those carrying a single baby.
Close to 50% of all pregnant women experience some kind of morning sickness while they’re pregnant. Some (not all) mothers notice an increase in the frequency or the severity of their morning sickness when carrying more than one baby.
Extreme fatigue is a common sign of a multiple pregnancy—which makes a lot of sense, because your body is trying to provide enough nutrients for more than one baby! Extreme fatigue, however, can be caused by a lot of other things too, like stress, work, or responsibilities.
Women who are carrying multiple babies tend to have higher levels of hCG, which is the hormone produced during pregnancy. This, like most of these symptoms, doesn’t automatically indicate multiple babies, although it is common with a multiple pregnancy.
An alpha-fetoprotein, AFP, maternal serum screening, or the triple marker test (lots of names for this one!) is performed during the second trimester to detect certain birth defects, as well as to measure the amount of a certain protein that is secreted by your little one’s liver. A positive or high test result could indicate a multiple pregnancy.
Fetal heart sounds can be detected by a Doppler during the first trimester (how exciting!) and multiple heartbeats can mean multiple babies. Experienced doctors and midwives may be able to detect multiple heartbeats, but this can be inaccurate at such an early stage. A single heartbeat can be detected in several areas of the mother’s abdomen, resulting in the appearance of multiple heartbeats.
Being pregnant with multiple babies can actually run in certain families! If you have fraternal twins in your immediate family, your chances of conceiving fraternal twins yourself is doubled. Twins are also thought to occur in a family (with the necessary genes) every other generation.
Contact RMC, No Matter How Many Babies There Are!
Women and their bodies are absolutely amazing, and a lot of women simply have an intuitive feeling that they’re pregnant with multiples—of course, they aren’t always right, but sometimes they are! Remember that a lot of these signs can have other causes as well, and that an ultrasound is the only way to be 100% positive.
For more pregnancy advice, or to set up an appointment, reach out to us!