Pregnant with Twins

image001 Finding out you are having twins can be quite a surprise. In some cases twins occur naturally while in other cases specific factors are a part of this conception. Twins are more common in pregnancies with older women because hormonal changes may cause more eggs to be released at once. Reproductive assistance including in vitro fertilization also increases your chance of experiencing a multiple birth. If you have an increased likelihood of conceiving twins, it is important to know the signs that you are having twins and what to expect during this pregnancy.

What Are the Signs of Being Pregnant with Twins?

The only way to definitely tell that you are having twins is to complete an ultrasound, but there are some symptoms which could indicate that you are having a multiple pregnancy before this point. Symptoms of pregnancy vary from woman to woman, but many report early symptoms that are more common with twins. If you are noticing these symptoms, talk to your doctor and schedule an ultrasound to find out for sure.

Signs

Descriptions

Faster weight gain

Those having twins may see more rapid weight gain in their first few weeks due to the larger amount of amniotic fluid. Many find that when they are having twins, they can gain just a pound each week at first and more as their pregnancy continues.

Excessive morning sickness

Your body will be producing higher levels of hormones with twins which can mean that you are more prone to morning sickness. Some having twins say that they felt nauseated constantly while others noted that their symptoms became worse at a particular time of the day.

Early fetal movement

Those having twins have found that they felt the movement of their children sooner than those only having one baby. You may start to feel movement around 16-19 weeks with a normal pregnancy while mothers of twins can feel this sensation as early as 12 weeks because there is less room for their babies to move.

Severe Fatigue

Your body produces progesterone as your baby develops which can make you feel sleepy. You will get even more of this hormone if you are carrying more than one baby which can result in feeling tired more readily. This can also stem from your body working harder to care for multiple babies.

Note: There is no scientific backing for hunches, but there is still something to be said for your intuition. There have been occasions where doctors have only felt one heartbeat but women later found out that they were having more than one child like they initially believed. If you have a feeling something is different with your pregnancy, request an ultrasound to find out for sure.

How to Eat When Pregnant with Twins

1. Take in Enough Calories

Those that were underweight before they got pregnant may be told that they should gain more weight than a normal or overweight person will. All mothers will be told to increase their calorie intake to accommodate their child. For single babies this is around 300 calories a day, but it will double to 600 for those having twins. This is especially important in the last 6 months of your pregnancy. When you are having twins, you may feel like you simply don’t have the room to gain the amount of weight your doctor recommends. It may feel like your babies are pushing against your other organs which can be uncomfortable. Just remember that even if this happens, it is important to keep eating so your babies can get the nourishment they need to grow in a healthy way.

2. Choose High Calorie Foods with Enough Nutrients

Eating certain foods can be helpful for mothers that are trying to gain a certain amount of weight in their pregnancy without jeopardizing their health. You want to choose high calorie foods that have plenty of nutrients as well. Nuts and yogurt are great choices for this because they are high calorie and full of vitamins. These foods are also convenient so you can take them with you and have a snack whenever you feel like you need something.

3. Try Eating More Often Than Usual

Instead of eating three meals a day, start adding in smaller snacks and meals. This will help you take in more calories without worrying about bloating. Getting in extra calories through liquids like milkshakes or smoothies can also be helpful. You can add protein or calcium powder to these to make them even more enriching and there are plenty of fruits and vegetables you can use to get plenty of vitamins. You will need extra calcium (1200mg a day), when you are having twins. Getting fruits and vegetables in and plenty of iron and fiber is also essential to make sure that your children are healthy.

How to Exercise While Pregnant with Twins

Tips

Descriptions

Consult your doctor

Before you start to exercise while pregnant with twins, talk to your doctor about what level of physical activity they recommend. Some doctors do not want their patients exercising after a certain point in their pregnancy because it could cause complications.

Avoid high compact activities

Low to moderate level impact activities are safer for those that are pregnant. Anything that raises your body temperature too much could put excessive pressure on your cervix which could cause preterm labor. Riding a bike, swimming, yoga or light weight training can be helpful choices.

Safety first

If you experience heart palpitations, dizziness or pain while you exercise, stop immediately and contact your doctor. Rest, drink some water and call 911 if you notice contractions that continue for longer than 20 minutes.

What Are the Possible Complications When Pregnant with Twins?

There are a few complications that are more common with twins. You are at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure for mother and baby. You may also be at a higher risk for premature birth which could cause additional complications if your babies are underweight. You are also three times more likely to experience pre-eclampsia if you are having a multiple birth. A placental abruption is also more likely with multiple babies.

You may find that you are able to deliver your first baby vaginally but require a C-section for the second. In many cases doctors recommend a C-section to avoid complications. There is also a higher risk of twin-twin transfusion if a blood vessel in the placenta connects to both children. This could require intervention depending on the nature of this setup. The fetal growth of twins is restricted as they have more room to grow so you will need to be tested more often to avoid potential complications that could increase your risk of difficulties after delivery.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Are the Chances I Will Miscarry with Twins?

Those having a multiple pregnancy are more likely to miscarry than those that are having a single birth. This also increases for identical babies. It is tough to tell the exact risk, but doctors do know that most miscarriages happen in the first 12 weeks. There is a chance; however, that if you lose one baby, you can still carry the other to term.

2. What Danger Signs Should I Watch Out For?

Try not to worry too much and remember that complications are still relatively rare, even for those carrying twins. If you think you are in labor before 37 weeks, call your doctor or go to the hospital. You are at a higher risk for pre-eclampsia, so get urine and blood tests as recommended to watch out for this. If you start to experience vision problems, severe headaches, pain in the upper abdomen, sudden swelling of the hands, feet, ankles or face or vomiting, get help right away. It is common to feel more tired when you are having twins, but if you are extremely fatigued, get this checked to see if you are low on iron.

3. Will I Have Extra Antenatal Care?

Women having twins will need extra antenatal appointments and scans. The number of treatments you need will vary based on whether or not you are having complications or if there is a shared placenta. Scans will check fetal growth and urine or blood pressure tests will be performed to check for pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or anemia.

4. What Else Can I Do to Prevent Serious Problems During Pregnancy with Twins?

  • Get Plenty of Rest

It is important to get plenty of rest when you are having twins. You may need to ask for help with your regular chores or ask someone to look after your other children so you can rest. If you are working you may need to take maternity leave early, especially since most twins are born earlier than single babies.

  • Watch Your Weight Gain

It is important to watch your weight gain and ensure that you are gaining enough, but not too much, weight. Watch your diet to ensure you are getting plenty of fluids and nourishment for your children. Your increased blood flow could put you at risk for anemia so make sure you are getting enough iron as well. If you are worried about this, your doctor can prescribe you iron supplements.

  • Talk to Your Doctor

Talk to your doctor regularly, so you can make the best decisions for your unique situation. You can watch this video and learn more about pregnancy with twins: