Do you think you may be pregnant with twins?
Do you suspect that you might be pregnant with twins? Sometimes mums get an inkling that they might be carrying more than one baby. The easiest way to find out for sure is to have an ultrasound scan in which you will be able to see for certain what is really going on. However not everyone is offered an early scan so here is a list of symptoms that some mums find they suffer from when expecting twins. Of course not all mums of twins experience severe early pregnancy symptoms and some mums of singletons get a harsher deal than their twin carrying counterparts so this list is just a guide. Hopefully you’ll be one of the lucky ones who get away with very little in the way of pregnancy symptoms. The best way to tell for sure if you’re having twins or not is to have a scan.
What signs should I look out for if I think I’m pregnant with twins?
Signs that you might be pregnant with twins include:
- Very bad morning sickness,
- Having very sore heavy breasts,
- Feeling very emotional, irritable or very weepy.
- The biggest clue (no pun intended) is looking big for your dates. If you look like you’re further on in your pregnancy than you’d expect to be for your dates you could well be expecting twins. This is because for the first 26 weeks twins grow at the same rate as singletons, it’s only after 26 weeks when their growth rate tends to slow down. If you look big for your dates it could well be because you’ve got two babies on board.
Will there be any other symptoms of pregnancy?
For a longer list of twin pregnancy symptoms click here
My twin pregnancy has been confirmed. Now what?
When you find out you’re expecting twins you can find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster ~ one minute feeling high and happy and looking forward to the experience and the next in the depths of despair wondering how you’ll cope with one (more) child let alone two! This is perfectly normal and understandable. Even if you were planning on having another child at some point it can be quite a shock to find out you’re having two imminently. If they’re your first children it can seem doubly daunting. But never fear hopefully you’ll be guided through the whole experience by this website and other parents on the Facebook page. There are also numerous books and articles available on the internet these days too.
Booking in Appointment
Once you reach around 10-12 weeks you will be invited to a booking in appointment with your midwife. As your pregnancy progresses you will be given scans to check the growth and development of your babies and some blood tests. You will be invited to bring with you a sample of urine to your appointments so this too can be checked. Invest in some zip lock freezer bags to put the sample securely in whilst you’re transporting it.
Things to do now you’re pregnant with twins
Find out what there is available to parents-to-be of twins
In the first few weeks after finding out you’re expecting twins it’s a great idea to do some research as to what is available in your area for parents to be of twins. Often there is a local twins club which you should be able to join before your babies are born. These are a great place to pick up some second hand baby gear and to get advice about coping with twins directly from people already with twins in your area. You might find that there is a la leche league branch which is useful if you’re planning on breastfeeding twins. There may also be a NCT branch in your area and these can be useful places which may offer courses or workshops to parents to be. Also put your names down for antenatal classes ~ these are normally offered towards the end of your pregnancy but as a twin pregnancy lasts for less time than a singleton one you’d be as well to get your name down early so that you can hopefully get yourself enrolled into an antenatal class in good time for your twins arrival.
Take folic acid (unless directed otherwise)
If you haven’t already started doing so (and your doctor has no objections to you doing so) start taking folic acid tablets and do so until you’re 12 weeks gestation.
Figure out where they’re going to sleep
Figure out where you’re going to put your twins when they arrive. It’s usual to put the twins in your room for the first six months where this is practical as it is thought that there is a link between parents being in the bedroom with their babies and a reduction in the incidence of cot death. However it’s not always practical for twins to sleep in the same room as their parents if the parents have a small bedroom, and in this instance you’ll need to find somewhere else for your twins to sleep.
Gather up baby equipment
As the weeks progress you can start to gather up baby equipment such as cots and buggies and moses baskets. Whilst many babies go into moses baskets when they come home from hospital there are other options that can work equally well so don’t feel that you have to buy them especially if you’re on a limited budget. Babies tend to outgrow moses baskets quite quickly so that might be useful to note.
If you are thinking of breast feeding your babies you might need to buy a supportive cushion or think about what chair you’re going to use to feed them in, you need plenty of space to move but have supportive arms so that you can get your babies heads at the right height so that they can latch on and be supported whilst they feed. If you’re thinking of bottle feeding on the other hand you will need to gather up equipment to feed them with such as bottles, sterilizers, bottle brushes, formula milks etc.
Sign up for online banking and shopping
Whilst you’ve still got energy make sure you’ve got your bills on direct debit and sign up for internet banking (if you haven’t already done so) and get an account with an online supermarket. These are such great inventions that will save you so much time and effort as your pregnancy progresses and when your twins are newborn.
How much weight should I gain during my twin pregnancy? Should I be eating for three?
Sadly no you should not be eating for three during your twin pregnancy. Aim to gain about 24 lb in the first 24 weeks then 1.25-1.5lbs per week for the rest of your pregnancy.
Eating healthily with lots of fruit and vegetables and eating regularly is really important during a multiple pregnancy.
What foods should I avoid when pregnant?
The current guidelines for food safety in pregnancy can be found via this link http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/foods-to-avoid-pregnant.aspx
When should I tell my friends and family that I am having twins?
It’s usual to wait until 12 weeks to tell people that you’re pregnant as by 12 weeks it’s possible to see if the pregnancy is likely to be viable or not. If you’re suffering from very bad morning sickness you might want to tell them before the 12 week point so that they can support you. There’s also a more recent line of thinking that if you tell people right from the start they can support you throughout your pregnancy and should (heaven forbid) something go wrong they can be there to offer comfort and support. Basically it’s up to you when you tell your family. Do it whenever it feels comfortable for you.
When should I tell my boss that I’m pregnant with twins?
See this useful booklet if you’re based in the UK https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32174/10-1168-pregnancy-and-work-employee.pdf
What should I pack in my hospital bag if I’m expecting twins?
Here’s a list of things to pack in your hospital bag. It’s a good idea to have it packed by about 32 weeks just in case you go into labour early or you have any reason to be taken in for monitoring etc.