Signs of a Multiple Pregnancy
Do you think you may be pregnant with twins—or more? Are you looking for a way to confirm whether your hunch might be correct? Here are some indications that you may have more than one little bundle of joy on the way!
One of the most common indications of twins is elevated production levels of the hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is produced during any pregnancy. Unfortunately the levels vary so much for singletons and twins that elevated levels may or may not actually signal that you have twins.
Another indication may be your size and weight. Twins typically will cause you to measure larger since your uterus has to expand more to carry both fetuses. More substantial weight gain may also indicate twins, but again, these are both unreliable methods of determining whether you are carrying twins.
Increased levels of fatigue or morning sickness may also be indicative of twins, but there is again a great deal of variation here, and neither guarantees you are carrying twins. Many mothers of twins also report that they experienced more fetal movement than they did with singletons.
There are several tests which may indicate twins more clearly. A Doppler heartbeat count test will amplify the sounds of fetal heartbeats. A physician may be able to interpret from the sounds if multiple fetal heartbeats are present, but other factors can confound the results (like your own heartbeat). A blood test called an AFP (Alphafetoprotein) screening which is typically and routinely administered to test for the risk of birth defects can sometimes read high if you have twins.
The best way to figure out if you’re carrying twins is an ultrasound! If you can afford to get an ultrasound, you can get visual confirmation of whether you have twins or not. This is the closest thing to a foolproof method you’re going to find, but even this comes with imperfections. Sometimes a clear view still isn’t provided, and even though you may only see one fetus on the screen, there could be a hidden one, and you may still be pregnant with twins. Also, if you are carrying multiples of higher numbers, the ultrasound may not present a clear picture of how many you have, whether it be four, five, or six, for example.
As you can see, medical tests are much more reliable than other indications when it comes to determining whether you may be pregnant with more than one fetus. Don’t underestimate the importance of your own intuition though. If you are convinced you have a multiple pregnancy, you very well might have one—your body is intelligent, and can sometimes inform your brain of things like this. You should speak to a physician if you have a hunch that you are pregnant with multiples. Just remember not to get overly excited or concerned at little signs like subtle variations in your own size or weight, or even elevated HCG levels. If possible, get an ultrasound to confirm your suspicions before you start planning for multiples!