A 32-week twin pregnancy is equivalent to a 40-week singleton pregnancy. Do not feel guilty if you complain of morning sickness or tiredness. These are common among twin mothers. Singleton moms can expect to have their babies born at 40 weeks. Twin moms still have several weeks.
You may be wondering if stronger symptoms are a sign that you might have twins. It could signify something more, such as being tired and nauseous.
An ultrasound is the best way to determine singleton and twin pregnancies. However, there may be some signs that indicate something more. Your body starts to make hormones and undergo certain physical signs as soon as you become pregnant. These changes could be the first indication that you are pregnant. These signs can be slightly different if you have more than one baby.
Many pregnant women with twin pregnancies report feeling or having a sense that multiples were coming, even though they didn’t know for certain. For many, however, the news is shocking.
It is important to note that twin pregnancies are associated with greater pregnancy complications and poorer outcomes than singleton.
How do twins grow?
Twins grow in a manner similar to single-born individuals, but may have some unique aspects to their growth due to shared genetics and prenatal environment. Twins start their journey as two separate fertilized eggs.
When pregnancy is between 10 and 14 weeks old, two or three placentas have already formed within the body. With the help of an ultrasound examination device, babies are visible, and their heartbeats are detected. At this stage, their eyes move, and their arms and legs move.
Between 14-18 weeks, hair begins to develop on their heads. When they reach 22 weeks, babies have already begun sucking their thumbs. Around this time, the mother may start sensing their movements, which might appear like butterflies.
At about 26 weeks of age, they can close and lift their eyelids. In normal situations, they respond to their mom’s partner’s voice whenever they speak. Babies are also known to be shaking and less turning and twisting.
At 32 weeks old, they begin becoming like newborns with hair and skin that are plump. At 34 weeks, their growth slows, and their lungs become ready to breathe. They’re already past the point when they could develop breathing problems if they were born early.
Also know that twins may experience slightly slower growth than singletons due to the shared resources in the womb. Twins usually have a lower average birth weight compared to single-born babies.
After birth, the growth of twins follows a pattern similar to single-born children. Proper nutrition, healthcare, and environmental factors play essential roles in their development.
Related article: Can Twins Cause False Negative Pregnancy Test?
Difference between single and twin pregnancy symptoms
The most common and visible differences between single and twin pregnancy symptoms are listed below:
1. Twins Create mom big and uncomfortable
One thing to bear in your head is that Mom will be very big and uncomfortable when she is expecting twins. This may sound intuitive since there will be two babies in her; however, they are not prepared for what was two twins inside Mama’s tummy. Weariness and fatigue are the norms for anyone with most twins.
If you consider the possibility of twins or singleton babies, when a mom gets to 32 weeks in her twin pregnancy, her belly will be bigger than a singleton pregnancy of 40 weeks.
If you have a twin pregnancy or twin belly, your wife will gain 50 percent more weight (35-45 pounds in total) than a singleton pregnancy. Of course, it is best to consult your physician about too much weight gain. It is a fact that when you reach the third trimester, things will begin to be very uncomfortable.
One more thing is that the women carrying twins gain more weight than women carrying singletons.
2. Severe Fatigue
Extreme fatigue is among the most frequently reported complaints by women expecting twins. In the first trimester, you’ll suffer from fatigue, intense lethargy, and sleeplessness as the body is working hard to antenatal care for most twins. But it is important to remember that fatigue could be due to other reasons, like poor nutrition, stress, or having kids to take care of. The level of fatigue differs depending on the person, and certain women tend to feel more exhausted than others.
3. Twins Get Additional Doctor Visits
One thing you might not expect when you have twins is the increase in ultrasounds and visits to the doctor in this twin pregnancy. It’s an opportunity and curse. The frequent doctor’s visits are beneficial since you can see your twins more frequently than many moms who have twins vs. singletons. There will be frequent ultrasounds and visits with your doctor to ensure all is going well because twins are an extremely high risk pregnancy.
During these visits, your doctor might identify some possible health issues that pregnant women or twins might be suffering. Twins will be at bigger risk of preterm labor, preeclampsia, or even hypertension induced by pregnancy. Talk to your doctor when you’re pregnant with twins, and ensure that you’re taking all the steps you’ll need to ensure that mom and the twins are healthy.
4. Extreme exhaustion
Anyone pregnant is bound to feel tired. Many pregnant women with twins report feeling completely exhausted. The dramatic increase in progesterone levels to help support the birth of two babies and a greater base metabolic rate (the rate at which the body utilizes energy) could cause severe fatigue. In addition, during the initial trimester, it is most important for the development of the infant’s body systems that are foundational to its development (and it’s for two infants!)
If you’re pregnant with twins and feeling exhausted, here’s the solution:
- If you’re working, you can take breaks during lunch.
- Be sure to get up early each evening (before 9:00 p.m.!).
- Practice deep breathing if you’re unable to sleep.
- A balanced diet and excellent prenatal care can help boost a child’s energy levels in pregnant women.
- Certain pregnant women have found foods rich in B vitamins, such as nutritional yeast flake and bee pollen, can help.
- Take plenty of water. You may be surprised, but dehydration is the biggest cause of fatigue.
- Also, take a walk every day for 20 minutes. While it may appear like a lot of work, but it can help boost your energy!
- You have to eat a healthy diet in your every meal. so you can regulate blood sugar and nourish your babies.
- You can opt for caesarean birth after consulting with your doctor.
5. Higher Beta-HCG Levels
It is difficult to identify twins from pregnancy by urine pregnancy test. But, if you are having twins you may get a positive pregnancy test very early.
If you are using a standard pregnancy test (not a sensitive one) and get an immediate positive (especially one with a darker indicator of positive) within a few days of your period, it may be an increased possibility. That you are carrying twins.
However, keep in mind that a home pregnancy test does not provide reliable information for predicting how much hCG is present; They only determine the presence of a minimal amount of hCG. A high level of HCG in early pregnancy does not mean you are having twins.
An early positive or darker result may mean that you drank less water when you took the test. But, a blood pregnancy test (hCG level) may provide a more accurate but not conclusive proof that you are having twins.
Beta-hCG is a hormone found in women’s blood or urine ten days after conception. It usually increases by two or three days and peaks between eight and eleven weeks of pregnancy.
However, high beta levels of hCG in the early stages of pregnancy are not the best method of identifying twins. This is because these levels are not often checked unless you are taking fertility drugs under fertility treatment.
Another problem is that the normal range of hCG levels can vary significantly between women. But it may increase in the first few weeks. For example, levels between 18 mIU/ml and 7,340 mIU/ml are considered “normal” at five weeks’ gestation. Apart from multiples, there may be other reasons for an increase in beta-hCG levels, for example, the possibility of pregnancy with molars.
This assumes that your expected due date is exact, which is usually not the case. It is possible that you have miscalculated your missed period or the time you first ovulated.
Related article: Midwives Brew: The Ultimate Guide for Induce Labor
6. Doppler Heartbeat Count
By using harmless sound waves, a Doppler system that uses sound waves to create harmless sound waves, a Doppler can amplify the sounds of the fetal heart, which are typically discernible into the second trimester. An experienced pregnant woman or doctor might be able to recognize multiple heartbeats, which could indicate the presence of multiple pregnancy. Monitoring a baby’s heartbeat at the beginning of pregnancy can be deceiving.
What seems to be a second heartbeat might be the baby’s heartbeat that was heard from a different perspective (or by echo).
A mother’s heartbeat can’t be often mistaken for that of a baby since it’s typically half of the baby’s heartbeat. But the mother’s beat can create background noise that could make it difficult to differentiate the heartbeats of two or more infants.
7. Changes in sleep pattern
When pregnant with more than one baby, your body is subject to emotional and physical stress, leading to morning sickness. This is why you may notice that your sleep pattern has changed. You may feel sleepy at times even when you least anticipate it and feel tired while you should sleep. We suggest you try to get to bed early and get enough amount of sleep.
While carrying twins, you’ll feel exhausted throughout the first trimesters to last trimester. In the same way that you are instructed to eat for two, it is also recommended to take two nights off to rest. If you don’t get enough rest, you’ll be very tired, drastically affecting your work. Try to go to bed earlier so that you can get an amount of rest before becoming pregnant.
8. More Morning Sickness
Although it’s not clear why certain people feel morning sickness, many pregnant women experience it as early as the fourth week of their pregnancy. This is around the time that you have missed your period. Feeling nausea can be caused by increased human chorionic Gonadotropin (hGH), a pregnancy hormones. Morning sickness does not occur only in the morning sometimes you feel whole days.
Women with multiple pregnancy report feeling more severe morning sickness or experiencing morning sickness that lasts for longer periods. It can be difficult for a person to establish a baseline level of morning sickness. This can also may vary from one person to another.
If nausea or vomiting persists past the 14th week, it could signify that you have multiple pregnancy. Having severe or prolonged morning nausea can signify hyperemesis gravid arum. Talking to your OB-GYN is smart if you experience nausea, vomiting, or weight loss.
9. Fetal Movement
One of the most exciting aspects of pregnancy is feeling your baby move in the womb. The moment you feel your baby’s first time, or “Quickening,” can happen anytime between 18 and 25. Still, it is more common in subsequent or previous pregnancies. It may be detected as early as 16 weeks. Pregnant women often feel the movement during pregnancy, but it can sometimes be inconsistent and deceiving. Moms carrying multiples may experience more frequent or earlier fetus movement. However, medical professionals are not unanimous on this issue.
Some women feel recognizable movements earlier in their subsequent pregnancies. This is true regardless of whether they have one or multiple babies. Be aware that even though it may appear like fetal movement during early pregnancy, gas or upset stomach could be the cause.
Related article: When To Take Maternity Photos? Quick Tips
10. Frequent urination
As with singleton mothers, twins can lead to frequent urination from rising levels of HCG. The increased urge to use the toilet may be more apparent in twin pregnancies where hCG levels are higher than in singleton pregnancies.
Here are some options:
- Drink fluids earlier in your day, and stop 2 to 3 hours before bed.
- Avoid diuretic beverages. These could include seltzer, tea, and espresso. Keep it simple with hydrating electrolyte beverages like coconut water, broth, or plain filtered water.
- Many mothers can empty their bladder by leaning forward after each pee. To ensure your bladder is empty, you can wait a while before using the toilet.
11. Exercise is less important
Your doctor should always be consulted about your personal medical needs. A twin pregnancy can pose different risks. Your body may be working hard to make fraternal twins instead of one. Exercise and rest are more important than trying to do too much. However, sometimes, exercise can make things worse for twins. While exercise can be a positive thing in a singleton pregnancy, it can pose a danger to twin mothers.
Keep your exercise moderate for as long as possible, and then reduce the intensity if it becomes too strenuous. Even if you have been active for a while, don’t let yourself down or think you aren’t tough enough. A singleton pregnancy mother might be able to walk miles each day, but for twin mothers, things can be quite a challenge!
12. Gut Feelings and Hunches
While the other items in this list refer to some visible exaggerated symptoms, abnormal test results, increased sickness, and more we can’t disregard the power of a mother’s intuition. No matter if mothers-to-be dream of twins or have a gut feeling they don’t understand, women who have been pregnant quickly learn to listen. Medical textbooks do not easily explain the best indicators of multiple pregnancies.
13. Confirmation by Ultrasound
It is easier to see than to believe. An ultrasound is the only way to confirm singleton and twin pregnancies. An ultrasound scan can show if there is more than one fetus.
With early ultrasound, the doctor determines the types of twins and exact locations of membranes, after that many more ultrasounds are required.
Talk to your doctor if you suspect there might be more than one child. An ultrasound view of a baby is unlikely to miss another baby, especially in the second and third trimesters. However, hidden twins have been reported. A hidden twin is especially likely to be seen on an ultrasound if the babies are identical twins.
14. Mood Changes
High mood swings are a common difference between single and twin pregnancy symptoms. Due to the increased hormone levels, intense feelings will occur that quickly fade due to fluctuating hormones.
Twins can make you anxious. Many mothers worry about premature birth labor, how to finance two children, and the joy of having two children. These feelings are not all present at once, so the mother experiences mood swings.
Don’t be harsh with yourself. Instead, validate yourself and allow yourself to recognize and accept that your body is going through major changes. You might consider journaling your journey or finding pregnant women with multiple pregnancy to share their experiences.
15. Travel Limitations
A major difference between singleton and twin pregnancies is how restricted you can travel. Your doctor might not allow Mom to travel after 25 weeks because twins are more likely to arrive early. You don’t want Mom to enter preterm labor while you’re away from home or on a plane. Before making travel plans during twin pregnancy, consult your doctor.
16. Physical differences between singleton and twin pregnancy
Even if the difference isn’t apparent to those carrying the baby, the foremost thing that will be seen is the size as well as the shape of the stomach. After some time, the belly of a woman carrying one child will enlarge. Twins will upsurge the size of the belly, but not in an overstated way.
Some physical signs include:
- A twin pregnancy belly is 20% bigger than one.
- Sometimes, twins are invisible to mothers, regardless of how big their bellies may be.
- The bellies of twin mothers will be slightly heavier than those of singletons mothers compared to their normal weight gain.
- A heavier stomach means more stretch for the mother and the womb.
Related article: Vitamin C Serum For Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
17. The internal difference in twin pregnancy symptoms
External appearances don’t always differentiate between twin and singleton pregnancies.
These are the most common.
- Twins can make you tired quicker. You won’t be performing any types of heavy physical tasks while you are pregnant.
- The changes in hormones can also cause fatigue.
- You will notice that you eat more. You will consume more food when you are pregnant. This is because you are eating for yourself and your unborn baby, and women pregnant with twin girls or twin boys are eating for three.
FAQs on single and twin pregnancy symptoms
1. What is the major difference between twin and single pregnancy symptoms?
Each woman might experience distinct twin pregnancy symptoms. The most common symptoms of twins that could be identical twins being born include increased morning sickness. Vomiting and nausea can be more severe during a twin pregnancy due to the higher levels of the hormone hCG circulating in your body.
2. What are the symptoms of twins in the first trimester?
The symptoms of twins during the first trimester are:
- Have nausea or vomiting.
- Breast tenderness and swollen.
- Notice darker skin on your nipples.
- Feeling bloated.
- Begin to feel hungry.
- Note an increased sensation of smell.
- Feel tired.
3. How do I know I am carrying twins?
The only method of determining if you’re pregnant with twins or more than one is to undergo an early ultrasound scan. The ideal time to get the ultrasound is between 10 and 12 pregnancy weeks. This is when your healthcare professional can determine the number of placentas, fetuses, and amniotic sacs present.
4. Single pregnancies or multiple pregnancies which have a risk of babies being born earlier?
As per the statistics, many women (around 60%) have experienced premature birth, birth defects, and high blood pressure as compared to mothers carrying one baby. If you are carrying more than one baby, there is a higher risk of early birth.
5. How many babies can a women’s womb hold at a time?
There is no scientific back for this, but as per the world record, the largest number of babies that a woman had in her womb was 15.
6. Are there special car seats for twin babies?
No, there are no special car seats for twin babies. You will have to buy two different car seats to hold your babies.
So, we hope that now you have learned much about the precise difference between single and twin pregnancy symptoms. If you discover that you have twins, you may experience emotions ranging from panic to excitement. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and any questions you may have.