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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Signs & Symptoms of Twin or Multiple Pregnancy
Signs & Symptoms of Twin or Multiple Pregnancy
Many women wonder in the early stages of pregnancy if they could be having twins or more. If there has been a previous pregnancy. it's common to compare pregnancies. and if abdominal size or weight gain seems to be more than a previous pregnancy. the thoughts of twins can really make some people quite anxious.

However. in the case of a subsequent pregnancy. it's important to remember that the pregnancy may show faster because the uterus and ligaments have been stretched by the previous pregnancies.

Although it differs from woman to woman. some of the more common signs and symptoms of twins and multiple pregnancy include:

Larger. faster weight gain
Early weight gain of up to ten pounds in the first trimester can result due to increased blood volume and uterine size. By the end of the second trimester. most mothers of twins have gained fifteen to twenty-five pounds. whereas singleton pregnancies usually produce gains of ten to twenty pounds.

A large for date uterus.
If your uterus seems to be growing more rapidly than expected for your due date. a multiple pregnancy may be suspected. Other possible causes of a larger than expected uterus include: a miscalculated due date. an excessive amount of amniotic flued. or the presence of uterine fibroids.

Measuring large for gestational age
Increased uterus size can be a strong indicator of multiple pregnancies. However. most women measure larger and show earlier with subsequent pregnancies. so don't be alarmed if you can't fit into your jeans after six weeks of pregnancy with your second child even if you didn't wear maternity clothes until twenty weeks with your first baby.

Severe morning sickness
More than half of multiples mums have morning sickness which tends to be more severe than for a singleton pregnancy

Fetal movement early in the pregnancy
There is considerable disagreement among medical professionals as to whether a woman carrying twins is more likely to feel movement earlier. But many moms do claim that those early flutters and flips were their first clue that they might be having more than one.

Two or more heartbeats detected as early as ten to 12 weeks.
Depending on the position of the babies. a practitioner may be able to hear two or more separate heartbeats. However. since the heartbeat of a single fetus may be heard at several locations. only if the heartbeats are different in rate is a diagnosis of multiple pregnancy made.

Abnormally high results from an AFP test
For many mothers who do not experience any other extraordinary symptoms. this is the first thing that raises suspicions for them and their physicians. The AFP test measures a protein secreted by the fetal liver. More than one baby increases the amount of this protein in the mother's blood. and will produce a "high" result. Because a high result can also suggest abnormalities with a single baby. a doctor will usually schedule an ultrasound for further determination of the situation.

Extreme fatigue
Nurturing one baby drains a body's energy. but carrying around two. three or more can be even more exhausting. It's easy to dismiss the increased fatigue. If you've never had a baby before. you might be surprised by your lack of energy. but not realize it is out of the ordinary. If you have had previous singleton pregnancies. you might attribute the tiredness to being older or maintaining the responsibilities of family and work. However. fatigue is probably the most common complaint of mothers of multiples.

Water retention
Mothers of twin find that they retain more water than with singleton pregnancy

Exaggerated pregnancy symptoms.
With twins. the typical signs and symptoms of pregnancy can be magnified.

Predisposition to having twins.
There are several factors that make a woman more likely to have twins including: twins in the mother"s family. advanced age. the use of fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation. and in vitro fertilization.

If one or more of the above factors lead the practitioner to believe that there is a possibility of more than one fetus. an ultrasound exam will be ordered. This will accurately diagnose a multiple pregnancy.

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