It’s no surprise to first-time moms that pregnancy is an exciting time, but for some, the experience can be even more memorable in multiples! For many parents with multiple children, each pregnancy could feel like a unique journey, especially when comparing single and twin births. The most obvious difference is that instead of one fetus developing in the womb, there are two!
Whether you’re a first-time mom or a veteran of multiples,the pregnancy journey offers a unique experience each time. If you’re a parent-to-be that hopes to have twins, this guide will help you understand more about the difference between singleton and twin pregnancy symptoms.
Common Singleton Pregnancy Symptoms
With a singleton pregnancy, you might have some of the same symptoms as someone expecting multiples — or you may have very few or almost none at all. Pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman and can differ for each pregnancy. As outlined by the Mayo Clinic, the most common signs of pregnancy are:
- Missed menstrual periods
- Tender and/or swollen breasts
- Nausea (may or may not also include vomiting)
- Increased urge to urinate
- Feelings of fatigue
Other signs that may be less apparent but still could indicate pregnancy include:
- Bloated feeling
- Light spotting
- Aversions to certain food
These symptoms can vary in intensity and change throughout pregnancy. An at-home pregnancy test is the first and most efficient way to tell if you might be pregnant. If the test is positive, you should schedule an appointment with an obstetrician to start beginning your medical pregnancy journey.
Does a Twin Pregnancy Present Different Symptoms?
The symptoms of twin pregnancies are similar to a singleton pregnancy, but there are some notable differences. You may experience more nausea or fatigue and notice some additional symptoms that singleton pregnancies don’t typically present. According to the American Pregnancy Association, these other symptoms may be indicators of twins:
- More than one heartbeat detected by a Doppler
- Increased hCG levels in the body
- Higher alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels during a maternal serum screening or triple marker test
- Increased weight gain
- Increased nausea or vomiting
- Higher levels of fatigue
Though these are not guarantees that a person may be carrying twins, these early signs could indicate the possibility. If a twin pregnancy is suspected, your doctor may decide to schedule another ultrasound to see if they can identify two fetuses in the womb.
Considerations for Twin Pregnancies
Pregnancy is a time of excitement and joy, but it can also feel like a time of worry and stress. If you are expecting twins, there are several additional considerations to consider while pregnant and during treatments and tests. These include:
More Frequent Doctor Visits
You’ll likely see your doctor more frequently during your twin pregnancy than during a single pregnancy. Your doctor will be monitoring the development of more than one fetus and will want to keep a close eye on both of their progress. They may order more appointments, tests, and other treatments to closely monitor both fetuses and identify potential complications.
Increased Appetite and Nutritional Needs than Singleton Pregnancy
One aspect that’s notably different about twin pregnancies is that moms-to-be usually have an increased appetite and need more calories than those expecting only one baby at a time. Typically, you will need more rest, vitamins, and fluids to help stave off fatigue and ensure a healthier development for both fetuses. You should also avoid strenuous physical activity during pregnancy to not put undue stress on your body or cause yourself any additional harm.
Higher Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is when the body develops diabetes and diabetes symptoms during the duration of a pregnancy. You may be at a higher risk for gestational diabetes if you’re carrying twins, especially if you have a family history of diabetes.
During pregnancy, you will need to monitor your weight carefully, as well as your blood sugar levels. If you do develop gestational diabetes, your doctor may schedule more tests and treatments to address any symptoms or minimize further risks.
Increased Risk of Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia is a condition that starts during pregnancy and can affect the mother’s kidneys, brain, and liver with symptoms including high blood pressure, swelling, and protein in the urine, which can potentially lead to fatal eclampsia.
It’s more common in multiple pregnancies due to increased hormone levels. Because of this, twin moms should be screened for preeclampsia as early as possible in their pregnancy to prevent complications from developing later on. Symptoms of preeclampsia include:
- High blood pressure
- Protein in the urine
- Swelling at the extremities
It can also result in abdominal and shoulder pain, headaches, trouble urinating, changes in vision, and respiratory issues. If you think you are experiencing preeclampsia, call your doctor immediately and report your symptoms. Doing so could prevent the progression into eclampsia and get treatment for symptoms.
Get Obstetric Treatment in Idaho Falls
Understanding your pregnancy symptoms is an important part of pregnancy, and it can provide reassurance that all is well with your growing baby. While there are many similarities between single and twin pregnancies, some things can be different.
If you’re pregnant with twins, you may be concerned about how your pregnancy will affect your health and the health of your babies.
At OGBYN Associates of Idaho Falls, we provide personalized obstetrical treatment to meet your unique needs and preferences. Our team members have years of experience treating women expecting multiples and can help you feel more comfortable during this exciting time in your life. If you are or suspect you might be pregnant with a single fetus or with twins, contact us today to make an appointment with one of our experienced obstetricians,