Some people find that they experience a lot of symptoms of pregnancy when they’re expecting twins. Others, however, are lucky and get through relatively unscathed!
The most common symptoms of Twin Pregnancy
- Feeling extremely tired and exhausted
- Feeling or being very sick
- Feeling very weepy or irritable
- Mood Swings
- Having extremely sore breasts
- Pelvic Girdle Pain
- Increase in vaginal discharge (which should NOT have a strong odour)
Extreme tiredness and fatigue in twin pregnancy
It is fairly common to feel absolutely exhausted whilst pregnant with twins. Your body is preparing not one but two babies and you will benefit from all the rest you can get.
Eating regular, healthy meals, drinking plenty of water, having early nights when you can will all help with this. If you possibly can, delegate anything you don’t need to do yourself.
Pregnancy Sickness (Morning Sickness)
Morning sickness isn’t particularly aptly named given that it can occur morning, noon and night!
The best way to cope with pregnancy sickness is to ensure you have regular meals. If you’re able to have a snack either before you get up, or in the first few minutes after you get up, this should help keep pregnancy sickness at bay.
Good things to eat include either toast or a banana first thing (I found a cereal that didn’t involve much chewing to be helpful, so a smooth porridge or wheat biscuits that are fairly mushy can be helpful) If you can get your partner to bring them to you before you get up then this would be very helpful, but if not, try taking a banana upstairs when you go to bed so it is to hand for the morning. Or a cereal bar or packet of crackers.
There seems to be a link between low blood sugar/ hunger and pregnancy sickness, so if you start to feel sick try having a cereal bar or snack. A sandwich is also fine. It may sound counter-intuiative to eat when you feel nauseous but it really works!
Sipping ginger and lemon tea can also help calm pregnancy sickness. Non-alcoholic ginger beer or ginger biscuits can also help.
It can help to avoid, greasy, spicy, garlicky food and caffeine
What to do if you have severe or prolonged pregnancy sickness
If your pregnancy sickness is severe, speak to your GP or midwife as there is a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum which can cause, low blood pressure, fainting and dehydration. In some cases medical treatment or hospitalisation may be necessary.
Useful Hyperemesis Gravidarum resources include https://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk/
Initial Stretching Pains
You may experience some pains similar to period pains in the early stages of pregnancy. This could be the uterus stretching to make room for the twins. If you have any bleeding, or the pains are severe or if you’re at all worried, please call your GP or midwife for reassurance.
Weepy, Irritable, Mood Swings
Hormones can cause you to experience a whole catalogue of symptoms from weepiness, irritability, mood swings and low mood. It’s understandable to feel a range of emotions when you first find out you’re having twins and having the hormones surging around your system isn’t helpful. It can help to look after yourself as best you can, to be gentle on yourself and to allow yourself plenty of time to rest whenever possible.
Surround yourself with people who will support you through your twin pregancy and beyond. This could be friends, family or your local twins club if you have one. Just knowing you have someone to turn to when things feel tough can be so reassuring.
Breast pain in twin pregnancy
You may find that your breasts are very painful. It can help to wear either a maternity bra or a supportive vest or sports bra top. Maternity bras should NOT have wires. You may find that your breast size changes during pregnancy so it would be helpful to measure yourself regularly and buy bras to fit your new size and shape
Heartburn in Twin Pregnancy
Heartburn is common in twin pregnancy, it’s caused by stomach acid up the food pipe. It can be helped by drinking milk, avoiding spicy food, sleeping sitting propped up a little bit, and by over the counter heartburn medications (Always consult the pharmacist for one that is suitable for pregnancy)
Constipation in Twin Pregnancy
Ensure you have a diet which contains plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and water. Dehydration can make constipation worse. Taking gentle exercise can also help get things moving again. If you have severe constipation please consult your GP
Backache in twin pregnancy
Backache is fairly common in pregnancy and the best thing you can do for it is to support yourself as best you can with pillows, sit up as straight as you can, ensure you bend your knees not your back when you’re lifting things. If you need painkillers speak to your pharmacist about ones that are suitable for pregnancy.
Pelvic Girdle Pain (also known as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction)
This is a very painful condition that affects the pelvic area, either at the front or back of the pelvis or in the centre. It can also affect the perineum (between the vagina and anus)
It can be worse when you move around or go up and down stairs or when getting dressed. If you find that you are in pain when moving around, dressing, walking up and down stairs etc please contact your GP or midwife.
Increased vaginal discharge
It is fairly common to experience an increase in vaginal discharge. This is fairly normal and should be easily managed by using pantyliners. If it has any bloodstaining or unpleasant smell please contact your Midwife or GP
Change in libido (sex drive)
Some people note that they have a distinct change in libido when pregnant with twins. For some people this means a sudden loss of interest in sex, maybe due to tiredness etc. Others find that their sex drive vastly increases. Either way are perfectly normal and it is possible to safely have sex during pregnancy (unless your health team advises otherwise) You may have to be more creative with positions as your pregnancy progresses.
Increased need to urinate
As your pregnancy progresses you may find that you have an increased need to urinate (wee) The best thing to do is to ensure you stay hydrated and note where the nearest loo is!
Headache and Migraine
Headaches and migraines are fairly common in pregnancy. Having regular meals, staying hydrated, managing stress levels, taking regular gentle exercise and taking simple painkillers (speak to your pharmacist for advice as to what would be best)
However, if you find that you suddenly get a headache or migraine especially if accompanied by any feeling of feeling very unwell, swelling of ankles and or hands, having severe heartburn, high blood pressure, blurred or flashing vision get medical help immediately.