Early signs of twin pregnancy

Updated April 17, 2017

Even before that first ultrasound that typically takes place during the first trimester, there are some signs that can potentially indicate if your pregnancy may be one with twins.


Familial history is a great indicator when it comes to multiple births. If a close relative, such as your mother or grandmother, carried twins to term at one point, there is a chance that you may become pregnant with twins yourself. Obviously the more women in your family that gave birth to twins, the greater your own chance to do so. If your family history indicates women giving birth to twins more than once in their lifetime, the chances of you becoming pregnant with twins increases greatly. Even if you don't have a significant history of twins in your family if you yourself have been pregnant previously with twins, your chances increase with subsequent pregnancies. If you've used fertility treatments to become pregnant, you have an increased risk of multiple foetuses. Keep in mind even if your husband has a history of twins in his family, the woman is the deciding factor. Only some women can release more than one egg at a time, which results in the twin pregnancy.

Internal Physical Signs

A rapidly growing uterus, which may or may not be the cause of a faster weight gain, can also be a very good indicator of a twin pregnancy. If the original due date doesn't seem to be measuring up properly throughout the first trimester, this could mean the uterus is holding twins. Your ob-gyn typically can hear the heartbeat around 10 to 12 weeks, which is usually when you'll have your first appointment. With the proper equipment and a good ear, your doctor may be able to hear more than one heartbeat in there. An ultrasound can confirm it. A higher level of water retention during the first trimester can also indicate a twin pregnancy. While it is not a confirmed sign of twin pregnancy, some women claim they feel the flutters of the babies moving earlier than normal.

External Physical Signs

Within the first trimester of pregnancy, women carrying twins will usually see a larger and faster weight gain than women carrying only one baby. If this is a second pregnancy, most women tend to show a bit sooner than the first time around so not always will this be a good indicator of a twin pregnancy, but rapid growth unlike average single baby pregnancies could mean you have twins on the horizon. A large majority of women carrying twins suffer from severe morning sickness. If you experienced it with your first pregnancy and this time it seems much worse than before, of course mention it to your doctor. It could however just be a sign your hormones are working for two babies. Most women complain of exhaustion during the first trimester of pregnancy and this usually tapers off and energy returns in the second trimester. Women who are carrying twins usually experience a higher level of exhaustion and weakness in their first trimester. Don't forget, a woman's body is working double time to grow two babies at once.

Do You Meet the Criteria?

If you're over the age of 35, your chances for having a twin pregnancy increases. The increase in twins recently is due to the increase of women delaying pregnancy. Though it is rare, women who get pregnant over the age of 50 drastically increase their chances of having twins because of their age. Fertility treatments like drugs that increase your ovulation and using in-vitro fertilisation with multiple embryos increases your chances at having twins.

Use Your Motherly Instinct

A pregnant woman is very in tune to her body. While you may not have even gone to your first prenatal checkup yet, you may have an inkling that you are carrying more than one baby. Women have claimed to have known from very early on in their pregnancy what the gender of their baby is, they have a feeling when something might just not be right, so who's to say their feeling of carrying twins isn't true? Exaggerated pregnancy symptoms, early weight gain, added nausea, early movement and so on might give a woman an idea that they may be carrying more than one child. If it's a second or third pregnancy, you can compare your symptoms to what you've previously experienced and while every pregnancy different, you can often distinguish when something isn't quite what you would normally expect. Pregnancy symptoms can vary, but some points are by the book. Using your motherly instinct, coupled with the facts, might give you an idea of what the future holds before your doctor confirms your suspicion.

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About the Author

Amy Rozanski-Harlach started freelance writing in 2001 and has been published in a variety of publications including "The Hamburg Sun," "The Bee News," "Lodging Magazine" and many others. Rozanski-Harlach has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Buffalo State College