Multiple pregnancies, especially being pregnant with twins, are on the rise thanks to the increased use of fertility treatments and women having children at later ages. Although it is impossible to know for sure whether you are carrying twins or multiples until you have an ultrasound, there are certain symptoms that could indicate you are pregnant with more than one baby:
Elevated HCG Levels
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone typically produced in the placenta. When a woman gets pregnant, hCG can be detected in her urine. It takes about two weeks after conception for hCG levels to be high enough to be detected in urine using a home pregnancy test.
In a multiple pregnancy, hCG levels can be higher than in a single pregnancy; plus, positive pregnancy tests can often be indicated sooner than in a single pregnancy. However, home urine pregnancy tests are not always reliable when it comes to predicting the levels of hCG. They often simply measure whether hCG is present at all, so a home-based pregnancy test isn’t entirely conclusive in answering this question.
Statistically, women who are carrying twins are more likely to experience worse morning sickness than those with a single pregnancy. This is due to the greater level of pregnancy hormones present in the body.
There is research to indicate that women who are pregnant with twins are at a greater risk for hyperemesis gravidarum – a severe form of morning sickness. However, morning sickness does vary from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy, and some with a single pregnancy may experience morning sickness to the same or a greater degree than those carrying twins.
In general, women carrying twins are more likely to “show” sooner than those with a single pregnancy. However, many women show much earlier in subsequent pregnancies than their first, so this isn’t an entirely reliable way to predict a twin pregnancy.
In the early stages of pregnancy, breasts can feel sore and tender. Breast tenderness can be far greater during twin pregnancies due to the elevated level of pregnancy hormone working to support two babies. Breasts may also appear larger than normal.
Pregnancy can cause tiredness, especially during the early stages – but women who are carrying twins often report feelings of total exhaustion. This is due to the sharp rise in the hormone progesterone to support the gestation of both babies, combined with an increased basal metabolic rate (the rate of energy required to keep the body functioning while at rest).
The first trimester is the most taxing on a pregnant woman, as this is when the baby’s bodily systems are developing most. In a multiple pregnancy, this can be even more demanding on the woman’s body.
It is common for a pregnant woman to feel strangely averse to certain foods during the early stages of pregnancy. This is due to the fluctuation in pregnancy hormones.
For women carrying twins, this can be more prominent, especially to foods such as green leafy vegetables, fish/seafood, coffee, and meat. It is also believed that there are changes in taste perception – particularly prominent in twin pregnancies.
Needing to Urinate More Frequently
The rising levels of hCG during pregnancy can make a woman carrying twins need to urinate more often than in a single pregnancy. This is due to the higher level of hCG hormone present.
In a single-fetus pregnancy, it is common to feel the baby’s first movement between 18 and 25 weeks; this is sometimes detected even earlier in twin pregnancies, from as early as 16 weeks. Movement is also usually detected sooner in subsequent pregnancies, so this isn’t always an entirely accurate way to detect a twin pregnancy.
Prenatal Care in North Miami
If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, and you are in or near North Miami, contact our friendly team at Levin’s Women’s Health & Wellness Center for a consultation. Our doctors provide complete prenatal care, from pre-conception to post-delivery, to ensure your pregnancy and delivery goes as smoothly as possible.
We offer a wide range of in-office obstetric services, including pregnancy testing, routine prenatal care, pregnancy screening tests, fetal assessment and monitoring, 3D and 4D ultrasound, high-risk pregnancy care (including multiple births), delivery of your baby, and VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) for qualified candidates.
To learn more about our obstetric services in North Miami, Florida, contact our team by calling us at (305) 981-0231 or you can request an appointment online now. We look forward to partnering with you for optimum health for you and your baby.