What is different about a twin pregnancy?
The main difference between a twin pregnancy and a regular pregnancy is the presence of two foetuses. The experience of a twin pregnancy can also be very different for some women. In some cases, women who are pregnant with twins experience increased pregnancy symptoms, such as nausea, weariness, or swelling. While it's not quite accurate to say that these symptoms are doubled in a twin pregnancy, the increased levels of hormones do aggravate them for some women.
What are the symptoms of twin pregnancy?
Some of the most common indicators of twins or multiples are:
- disproportionate weight gain
- measuring large for gestational age
- severe morning sickness
- early detection of foetal movement
- abnormally high results on an AFP or Triple Screen Test
- unusually extreme fatigue
- elevated HcG levels
Can I have a hidden twin?
The only way to confirm a twin or multiple pregnancy is by visually identifying the multiple foetuses with ultrasound. If your doctor can only see one baby, you don't have twins or multiples. In rare cases, if the ultrasound is done at a very early stage and is not able to detect another foetus, then after twenty weeks, a second foetus would be clearly visible on ultrasound, and the likelihood that there is another baby hidden in the womb is extremely minuscule.
How much weight will I gain due to twin pregnancies?
A woman who is having multiples will see more of an increase in her weight than if she were only having one baby. It's not just that she's eating more. The extra weight can be attributed not just to the babies' combined weights, but also to extra fluid, tissue, uterine growth and the increased blood volume needed to supply the placenta(s) with nourishment for two or more babies. According to recent guidelines, healthy and normal weight mothers can gain 16 kg to 24 kg; overweight mothers can gain 14 kg to 22 kg; and for obese women, 11 kg to 19 kg.
How many placentas will I develop during a twin pregnancy?
Dizygotic or fraternal twins will always have two placentas. Dizygotic twins form from two separate egg/sperm combinations and each embryo will develop a placenta. Sometimes however, placentas that grow in close proximity may overlap or fuse and can appear to be a single organ when viewed by ultrasound. Monozygotic or identical twins can have individual or shared placentas, so the number of placentas can vary. Monozygotic multiples form from a single egg/sperm combination that splits after conception. If the split happens within a few days, they will form much like dizygotic twins, implanting separately in the uterus and developing separate placentas. However, if the split is delayed for a few days, the embryos will develop with a single, shared placenta.
Should I join childbirth classes earlier than the rest?
Most childbirth classes are scheduled late in the pregnancy, usually during the third trimester. However, many moms of multiples may experience preterm labor and may be put on bed rest, or even deliver their babies prior to the third trimester. More than half of all twins and nearly all higher order multiples are born before 37 weeks gestation. For that reason, parents of multiples should schedule any childbirth preparation or education earlier.