Multiples Pregnancy: Twins, Triplets and More

A multiples pregnancy means having twins, triplets or multiples. It’s impossible to definitively know whether you are carrying twins (or multiple babies) by simply gauging how you feel or going off of what a home pregnancy test shows. In fact, only an ultrasound can confirm a twin or multiple pregnancy.

Many more women in America are having multiple pregnancies than ever before. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the number of twin births increased 74%, and the number of higher-order multiples (twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.) increased fivefold from 1980 to 2000. Most of this increase is due to women waiting to have children until their 30’s as well as the rise in the use of fertility treatments.

Multiples Pregnancy Multiply… Everything

Moms with a multiples pregnancy may experience more morning sickness. But using the degree of morning sickness as an estimate that you are carrying twins isn’t necessarily very helpful.

Overall, 70% to 80% of women can experience some amount of nausea and vomiting with pregnancies, and up to 2% reportedly experience hyperemesis gravidarum, a form of severe morning sickness. At the same time, some moms of twins and triplets say they have no morning sickness.

  • Rapid weight gain in the first trimester
  • The uterus is larger than expected because a twin or multiples pregnancy may cause the mother’s uterus to expand beyond the range of a single pregnancy.
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, or other pregnancy symptoms
  • Higher hCG levels.   hCG is a hormone detectable in pregnant women’s blood or urine about 10 days post-conception. It usually doubles every two to three days, peaking at about eight to 11 weeks into the pregnancy.

Possible Complications:

Imperative aspects of prenatal care:

  • Early prenatal care
  • Early increased nutritional intake
  • More frequent trips to your health care provider

You may also need additional ultrasounds and have an increased potential for bed rest.

Want to Know More?

The following links may also be helpful as you begin your journey of carrying multiples: