Are you expecting twins or multiple children? Congratulations! However, given the statistics of twins and multiples, this is also a kind of luck. But now you must have many questions about twin pregnancy, whose answers you will find in this article.
How does a Twin Pregnancy Happen?
There are two ways for twin pregnancies; one leading to the birth of identical twins (monozygotic) and the other to fraternal (dizygotic) twins. Identical twins appear to form when a fertilized egg splits in two. Of course, there is still a consensus on what causes identical twins, but the chance of getting pregnant with identical twins is one in 250! In contrast, fraternal twin pregnancies occur when two eggs are fertilized separately and implanted in the uterus.
However, sometimes there may not be a clear reason; everything can depend on your luck! If you've just found out you're pregnant with twins; you might still be shocked. Remember that although having twins or multiples requires more planning, you are rewarded with double the pleasure.
When do you find out you have Twins?
In most cases, your midwife or doctor can diagnose a pregnancy with twins or multiples on an 8-to-14-week ultrasound scan. Once the twin pregnancy is confirmed, your doctor or midwife may recommend prenatal care, more follow-up visits, and multiple ultrasounds to make sure you and your baby are healthy.
What are the Symptoms of a Twin Pregnancy?
Ultrasound is the best way to diagnose twin or multiple pregnancies. But some signs can be regarded as twin pregnancy symptoms. However, the symptoms of a twin pregnancy are not very different from those of a singleton pregnancy, and the difference may be in the severity of these symptoms.
High levels of the hormone hCG
High hCG level in the urine and blood can be an early symptom of a twin pregnancy. hCG is the hormone responsible for zygote implantation and growth and is significantly higher in twin pregnancies. Although ultrasound can confirm twin pregnancies, higher hCG levels in the first two weeks of pregnancy can also indicate twin pregnancies.
Now the question may arise: can twins cause a false negative pregnancy test? Yes, you may be pregnant with twins or triplets, which can cause high levels of hCG that are undetectable for home pregnancy tests.
More severe nausea
Nausea in women pregnant with twins is more severe than in other pregnant women. But sometimes, mothers with singleton pregnancies can also experience severe nausea. Severe varicose veins in pregnancy can also begin in the first trimester of pregnancy, increasing beta hCG levels in the blood.
Women who have twins are more likely to experience nausea and vomiting than pregnant women with singletons, and this condition lasts longer. However, severe symptoms are more likely to go away in the second trimester.
Excessive weight gain
Weight gain is very common in pregnancy, but this weight gain will be greater in multiple pregnancies. However, the rate of weight gain is related to height, body type, and the amount of weight gain in a previous pregnancy. In general, mothers pregnant with twins will gain more weight (about 9 kg). So if you are gaining weight faster than usual in the first trimester of pregnancy, you may be pregnant with twins.
If the size of the abdomen during the menstrual cycle is larger than usual for you, there is a possibility of twin pregnancy. In a twin pregnancy, compared to a singleton pregnancy with the same gestational age, the volume of the uterus and its non-embryonic content will be about 10 liters and its depth will be approximately 5 cm, resulting in a so-called twin pregnancy belly.
But overgrowth of the uterus does not mean that you are pregnant with twins, which is confirmed by a Doppler ultrasound after hearing two heartbeats.
High blood pressure
Women who are pregnant with twins may have high blood pressure. In the early stages of twin pregnancy, diastolic blood pressure is generally low. Still, over time it may increase by up to two and a half times, and gestational hypertension and related complications may increase.
High levels of Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP)
Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) is a blood test performed during the second trimester of pregnancy. This test, also known as maternal serum AFP screening, is used to diagnose birth defects. In a twin pregnancy, the test result may be positive or abnormally high, in which case your doctor may recommend an ultrasound for further examination.
Enlargement of the uterus, overweight, twin pregnancy belly, overeating, and a lot of energy needed to continue a twin pregnancy can also lead to more fatigue.
Early fetal movements
Many pregnant women experience fetal movements from the beginning of their pregnancy, which can sometimes be repetitive beats. Women pregnant with twins or multiples are more likely to feel the fetus shake earlier than 18 weeks of gestation and may experience more kicks from the fetus than in previous pregnancies.
Shortness of breath
In women who have monozygotic or dizygotic twins, large amounts of amniotic fluid accumulate, and the larger uterus takes up more space in the abdomen. As the uterus enlarges, the mother's abdominal organs and lungs become compressed, leading to shortness of breath. Although this is a common complication of pregnancy, pregnant women with twins are more likely to experience it.
This, which is also common in singleton pregnancies, can upset you. In a twin pregnancy, gastrointestinal problems will increase as the uterus enlarges and the pressure on the gastrointestinal tract increases.
Many internal and external factors can deprive you of a good night's sleep. These include discomfort, poor posture, pain, and shortness of breath when lying down.
Severe breast pain
Breast pain (mastalgia) is shared between four and seven weeks of pregnancy and can continue into the following weeks. In a twin pregnancy, the area around the nipple will become darker.
Early in pregnancy, increased blood flow to the kidneys increases urine production. In the later stages of pregnancy, as the uterus gets bigger, more pressure is put on the bladder, causing the bladder to fill up sooner, and you need to go to the bathroom more often.
Abdominal muscle cramps
By implanting the embryo in the inner layer, during menstruation, you will experience cramps in your abdominal muscles. In twin pregnancies with double embryo implantation, the pain from abdominal cramps may be greater.
If you find out that you are pregnant with twins, do not worry unnecessarily. Most twin pregnancies lead to the birth of two happy and healthy babies, and the doctor and midwife take good care of you and your children. However, it is good to know about some possible risks and side effects. In twin or multiple pregnancies, you are also at higher risk for pregnancy complications, but by taking good care, it can result in double happiness.