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What Are the Early Signs of Having Twins?

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  • Bambino Mio
  • 01 / 12 / 2023

 

You’ve just had a positive pregnancy test and you’re delighted by the result. Within a few days you’re thinking about names, wondering whether to start preparing the spare room now and making sure you’re taking your folic acid and it’s all very exciting.

Sooner or later, however, a very big question will creep into your mind. What if I’m having twins?

 

Can you tell straight away if you’re having twins?

Pregnancy can be a tiring business, what with growing another human body inside yours and all. Your hormones and emotions are probably all over the place and you may also be suffering from morning sickness (1) during the early stages.

 

These symptoms and feelings are all normal and can happen whether you’re having a singleton pregnancy or a twin pregnancy, so it can be hard to say whether what you’re experiencing is down to one or two babies.

 

The only reliable way to find out if you’re having twins is an ultrasound scan

You’ll have an ultrasound scan at around 12 weeks of pregnancy (2) (earlier in some cases) and this scan will reveal whether it’s one baby or two (or three).

 

If the sonographer can see two gestational sacs or, if you’re around 12 weeks into your pregnancy, two wriggling embryos, then you’re having twins. Double congratulations!

 

It’s also possible to tell at this stage whether a twin pregnancy is monozygotic (identical twins) or dizygotic (3) (non-identical or fraternal twins). Monozygotic twins almost always share the same placenta, while almost all dizygotic twins have their own.

 

Now we’ve cleared that up (and you’ve picked yourself up off the floor), let’s look at some potential early signs of having twins.

 

Could these signs mean you’re having twins?

Multiple pregnancies can often be a bit “extra” (4), as in extra sickness, extra tiredness and extra bump coming in extra early. It’s not surprising, really, as you’re doing double the work in a lot of ways.

 

These more-intense-than-you-expected symptoms are not definitive - only a scan or other medical examination can confirm twins - but they could point in that direction.

 

Are you feeling extra sick?

If you’re expecting twins then this often means two placentas, which means double the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) (5), the pregnancy hormone in the frame for causing morning sickness. Twins can mean extreme nausea and vomiting in pregnancy caused by the doubly sharp rise in hCG. 


You might also get a very strong positive pregnancy test early on, or if you’re using a digital test which estimates “how pregnant” you are, it may say you’re a week or so further along than you expect.

 

Your boobs are really swollen and painful

With twins, you’re getting a double dose of the chemicals which tell your body to “do” pregnancy and so your breasts might feel very swollen and painful indeed (6). If you’ve been pregnant before, you’ll have a good idea as to how much breast tenderness is normal for you and so if it feels “extra”…

 

You're incredibly tired

You can expect some tiredness during pregnancy (7), especially the first trimester, but if you're really wiped out then it may be because you're working double time. You may also experience shortness of breath during physical activity as your body’s already working hard to produce two placentas.

 

You’re having tummy troubles

The hormonal changes of early pregnancy can cause constipation (8) and sometimes lower stomach pains as your body adjusts to the growing womb. If you’re worried about anything like this, call your midwife or GP.

 

If you seem to be having a lot of digestive issues - more so than before or more than your friends did in early pregnancy, then this could indicate twins.

 

You’re getting bigger sooner than expected

Early on in pregnancy you won’t gain a lot of weight, but if you start to feel a definite bump earlier than you might have expected, there may be two good reasons for that.

 

You’re really hungry, all the time

Most pregnant women are hungry (9), especially during the first trimester when the placenta is growing, but twin mums are really hungry. All the time.

 

If your hunger is greater than in previous pregnancies or your mom friends are starting to wonder if you’re having twins as they watch you down another round of hummus and pita, then they might be right.

 

There's a history of twins in your family

Some women have the gene for hyperovulation (10), which can lead to your ovaries releasing more than the usual single egg some months. If they both get fertilised, then you have fraternal twins. 

 

Only your scan can tell you for sure

Having said all this, you may well go along to your 12-week scan and find out you’re having a singleton despite all these twin portents. Pregnancy is funny like that.

 

On the other hand, you might actually be having twins. It’s not impossible - around one in 80 pregnancies is a fraternal twin pregnancy - and the chances of twins increase (11) if you’re over the age of 35 or you had some types of fertility treatments.

 

So, it’s twins!

The good news is that you’ll get lots of extra help and antenatal care (12), so you’ll feel supported throughout your pregnancy, as well as extra postnatal care to help you bond with and look after your babies.

 

Twin pregnancies can be more complicated than singletons, but with great antenatal care, most go smoothly, although your prenatal care team will probably recommend an earlier delivery than with a single baby.

 

How many diapers?!

One thing twin parents worry about is the expense of having two babies at once. It’s hardly surprising, as one baby can put a dent in your finances!

 

A major expense is diapers and this is where we come in to save the day (or, at least, quite a bit of money). 

 

Most children get through 5,000 diapers by the time they’re toilet trained, so (complicated maths bit) twins will go through around 10,000.

 

Bambino Mio can save you around $2,000 

We found that a branded disposable diaper cost 30c. That’s around $3,000 on diapers alone until your twins leave them behind (no pun intended).

 

Our Changemaker Bundle, on the other hand, contains everything you need for your family to go down the reusable diaper route with ease.

 

Featuring 20 Revolutionary Reusable diapers each, as well as a Stay at Home wetbag, biodegradable liners and nappy cleanser, the Changemaker Bundle will cost you $549.99.

 

With twins, you might want to buy two starter bundles, or one complete bundle and 10 or so individual diapers. Either way, even with the cost of laundry over the 2.5 - 3 years coming to around $250 - $300, you’re making a saving of at least $2,000.

 

You’re also saving around 10,000 disposable diapers from lying in landfill for 500 years (13), so your twins will inherit a cleaner earth thanks to you.

 

 Citations and References

(1) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Common Symptoms in Pregnancy: Vomiting and Morning Sickness.’ 2021. Web. www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/common-symptoms/vomiting-and-morning-sickness 

(2) Healthline. ‘What to Expect at Your 12-week Ultrasound.’ 2021. Web. www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/12-week-ultrasound

(3) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Finding Out You’re Pregnant: Pregnant With Twins.’ 2022. Web. www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/finding-out/pregnant-with-twins

(4) National Health Service (NHS). ‘Patient Information: Twins and Multiple Pregnancies.’ 2023. Web. www.buckshealthcare.nhs.uk/birthchoices/pifs/twins-and-multiple-pregnancy-dichorionic-diamniotic-twins-dc 

(5) NIH National Library of Medicine. ‘Human Chorionic Gonadotropin’ 2022. Web. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532950 

(6) Healthline. ‘15 Early Signs and Symptoms of Pregnancy.’ 2023. Web. www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/early-symptoms-timeline

(7) Healthline. ‘Welcome to Pregnancy Fatigue: The Most Tired You Have Ever Felt.’ 2020. Web. www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/pregnancy-fatigue

(8) Healthline. ‘Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy: Is it Gas Pain or Something Else?’ 2025. Web. www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/gas-pain-during-pregnancy

(9) Healthline. ‘Healthy Eating During Pregnancy.’ 2020. Web. www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/diet-nutrition

(10) Web MD. Parenting. ‘Do Twins Run in Families? What to Know About the Heredity of Twins.’ 2022. Web. www.webmd.com/parenting/do-twins-run-in-families-what-to-know-heredity-twins

(11) VeryWell Family. ‘What Are My Chances of Having Twins?’ 2022. Web. www.verywellfamily.com/what-are-my-chances-of-having-twins

(12) Johns Hopkins Medicine. ‘Twin Pregnancy: Answers From an Expert.’ Web. www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/staying-healthy-during-pregnancy/twin-pregnancy-answers-from-maternal-fetal-medicine-specialist

(13) The Guardian. Reuse? Compost? Dump? Solving the Eco-conundrum of Nappies.’ 2021. Web. www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/20/disposable-nappies-plastic-waste-diapers