Pregnant mothers often suspect that they are carrying more than one baby. Here are some of the most common signs of a twin or multiple pregnancy. You can check your symptoms against the following list to see if you are having twins or more.
Elevated HCG Levels
For different reasons, doctors may monitor HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) levels in pregnant women at various stages. HcG is a hormone detectable in pregnant women’s blood or urine about 10 days post-conception. It increases at a rapid speed, peaking about 10 weeks into the pregnancy. Twins may produce an elevated level of HcG. However, the standard HcG level for twins also falls within the normal range for singletons.
More than one heartbeat may indicate a multiple pregnancy. An experienced physician or midwife can detect more than one heartbeat, indicating a multiple pregnancy. However, the heartbeat sounds can be misleading. What appears to be a second heartbeat may actually be a background noise or, most probably, the mother’s own heartbeat.
Just as a multiple pregnancy may cause a mother to look big, it may also result in an increased weight gain. How much weight a woman gains can vary depending on her height, body type and size in pre-pregnancy state. Generally, mothers of twins only gain about 10 lbs. more than singleton mothers. Increased or rapid weight gain is more due to eating choices rather than twins.
Frequent Fetal Movement
Feeling a baby move inside the womb is one of the most thrilling experiences for pregnant women. Many pregnant women with twins do experience more frequent or earlier fetal movement, but there is considerable disagreement among doctors on the subject. For some moms, recognizable movement occurs quite earlier in subsequent pregnancies, whether there is one baby or twins.
Twin pregnancies tend to show higher HCG levels on a given day of pregnancy. It is better to consult with your healthcare provider about your own HCG levels. In addition, do not try to draw conclusions on the possibility of multiples, unless you have a series of HCG tests done that clearly indicate a pattern diagnosed by your physician.