Finding out you’re pregnant with twins
One of the most terrifying yet exhilarating things you’ll ever hear are the words ‘Congratulations you’re expecting twins!’ Even if you’re semi-expecting to find that that is the case, it may still throw you into a deep state of terror. You might feel any one of a range of emotions from joy and elation to worries how you’ll cope financially, emotionally and physically!
You’ll probably find you have lots of questions about how a twin pregnancy is going to be different from a single one, or wondering what the birth is going to be like. You might be worrying if your house is big enough to cope with two more people or suffering from symptoms of pregnancy which can be worse when you’re having twins! Or you might be feeling sick and exhausted, two of the most common symptoms of a twin pregnancy. Don’t panic, this website will hopefully answer some of your questions and soothe some of your fears!
How can I tell if I’m having twins?
Normally people find out they’re having twins when they go for a scan or when an extra heartbeat is discovered via a doppler.
However, there are some other signs which may point to you having twins. Having a high HcG level, feeling very sick (or being very sick or having hyperemesis gravidarum) or being completely exhausted are all common signs of being pregnant with twins. You might also find that your breasts are very sore or you have very severe symptoms of PMT. You may also look big for your dates as twins grow at the same rate as single babies for the first 28 weeks.
How long does a twin pregnancy last?
Twins are considered to be ‘term’ at 37 weeks gestation. This is slightly shorter than the 40 weeks for singletons. It is thought that around 50% of twins will be born before 36 weeks gestation.
About the different types of twins
There are two different types of twins. Monozygotic (identical) twins and dizygotic (non-identical) twins. Monozygotic twins are formed when one egg is fertilized by one sperm and this then splits to form two babies. Dizygotic twins come from two eggs and two sperm which form two babies. Identical or monozygotic twins generally look very alike (identical!) yet non-identical twins can look as different as any other siblings.
Around 1/3 of twins are identical and 2/3 non-identical. Out of the non-identical twins 1/2 are boy/girl and the other 1/2 are same sex.
How can I tell if my twins are identical or not?
Click here to read more about how to tell if your twins are identical or not