Find out how and when you'll know if you're pregnant with twins.
Even within the first few weeks of finding out that you're pregnant, you may wonder about the possibility of having twins or triplets - especially if multiple births run in yours or your partner's family. You may just have a hunch that you're pregnant with twins or think that you seem larger than you should be in the early stages - but how can you actually tell if you're pregnant with twins?
What are the symptoms of a twin pregnancy?
Though there are several symptoms that may indicate a twin pregnancy, every pregnancy is different. It's possible to experience several twin pregnancy symptoms and be pregnant with just one baby, or to experience none of them and yet still have twins.
If you've been pregnant before, you may feel larger than you were at this stage during your first pregnancy. However many women find that they grow larger more quickly during their second and third pregnancies, whether or not they're having twins.
You may also start to experience more exaggerated symptoms of pregnancy - such as nausea, vomiting, and increased hunger - because you'll have a higher level of hormones. What's more, you might feel movement in your uterus sooner than you'd expected.
If you're over 30 or have had successful pregnancies before, you're more likely to conceive twins
- so you're less likely to have twins if this is your first baby. Also as the likelihood of having twins generally runs in the family on the mother's side, you're more likely to have more than one bun in the oven if you or your partner have twins on your mum's side of the family.
How can I tell for sure?
Although you may be more likely to have twins if your mum's sister had twins for example, or if you are experiencing double the pregnancy symptoms you've experienced before, there's only one way to tell for sure whether or not you're expecting twins - and that's by having an ultrasound scan.
You'll generally have a routine ultrasound during the first trimester of your pregnancy, and if you're expecting twins your doctor will be able to clearly see 2 heartbeats or 2 embryos. It's possible to spot twins as early as 6 weeks into your pregnancy.
Your doctor may listen to your uterus early on in your pregnancy to make sure everything is proceeding as it should, and at this point it's possible that 2 heartbeats may be heard if you're pregnant with twins.
Although in the past many women didn't know they were pregnant with twins until they went into labour, these days it's extremely unlikely that a multiple pregnancy can go unnoticed thanks to ultrasound technology. So if you're pregnant with twins, you'll know about it by the end of your first trimester.
If after your first scan you do find out you're expecting twins, your doctor will be able give you all the help and guidance you need - and you can start thinking of names that go together! TAMBA
(Twins and Multiple Births Association) is also a useful hub of information for those expecting twins.