by Virginia B. Hargrove
Some women go through the first weeks of their pregnancy without a signal sign that they're pregnant.
Then there are up to 70 percent of women who notice early clues that a baby or even babies are on the way.
How do you know if you're pregnant with twins? You can expect to have the same symptoms as with a singleton pregnancy, however, the signs and symptoms of twins happen earlier and can be more intense.
Since 1980, twin births have increased 70 percent. In 2009, three of every one hundred babies born in the United States were multiples. These factors can increase the chances that you'll get pregnant with twins:
Even before your ultrasound, these factors can alert you and your caregivers that more than one baby is on the way.
Jill was expecting her first baby. She headed in for a routine ultrasound in her early second trimester. She'd been joking about having twins for years.
When the technician said, "Here's baby A and here is baby B..." Jill thought she was kidding. She whipped her eyes to the screen and there they were -- two tiny bodies and two tiny heartbeats.
Seeing is believing. For many women, the first hint of twins comes at that ultrasound appointment.
Toward the end of the first trimester, your baby's heartbeat can be detected with a Doppler system. An experienced doctor or midwife might be able to detect more than one heartbeat.
If the heartbeats appear to be coming from different locations and have different rates, your provider will probably schedule an ultrasound to confirm twins.
Women carrying multiples of have higher levels of hCG. Since other factors can cause elevated levels, you won't know for sure if you're having twins, yet.
During the early second trimester, your midwife or doctor will offer an alphafetoprotein screening. If your screening test comes back positive, you might not have an issue. The test measures a protein made by the fetal liver. If two babies contribute this protein, the test often reports a high reading, but both babies are okay, more than likely. However, always go with what your healthcare provider discusses with you.
Some multiple moms experience more nausea than moms carrying one baby -- others don't. If you're feeling extra icky sooner you could be baking a double batch. Midwife Cynthia Flynn says that she has noticed when moms report extreme queasiness in early pregnancy, they discover there's more than one baby on the way.