5 Differences between Twin Pregnancy and Singleton Pregnancy

pregnancy doctor's visit
Photo By Roman Zaiets/shutterstock

When you find out that you’re pregnant with twins, you may start thinking and worrying about how your pregnancy will progress and how your twins are developing. Many women pregnant with twins have straightforward and uncomplicated pregnancies. Nevertheless, there are a few areas where your twin pregnancy may be different from a singleton pregnancy.

1. You may feel more sick

A new study focusing on morning sickness with twins shows that moms pregnant with twins are more at risk of vomiting and feeling nauseous compared to women expecting singletons. They are also more at risk of experiencing severe symptoms. The symptoms can start as early as +4 weeks and, in severe cases, continue throughout the pregnancy. You are more likely to experience symptoms if you carry at least one girl.

2. You’ll have more scans

When your twin pregnancy is identified your doctor will most likely – and should – see you more often than if you were pregnant with a singleton. A twin pregnancy is usually identified at the dating scan, or sooner, if you’re in fertility treatment or get an early scan. It’s important that you’re monitored regularly, especially if you carry twins that share a placenta. That’s because monochorionic twins are more at risk of twin pregnancy complications.

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3. You should gain more weight

Women carrying twins often gain more weight than women carrying singletons. This means that your belly will get bigger too. However, women pregnant with twins can have very different sized bellies even though they are at the same pregnancy week. How you are built, your pre-pregnancy weight, and whether or not you’ve been pregnant before also play a significant part. If you carry twins that share a placenta and you experience very sudden increase in body weight and rapid growth of your belly, you should contact your doctor immediately. This is because those symptoms can be signs of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

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4. You may give birth earlier

Full term for twins and singletons is 40 weeks. However, if you give birth three weeks prior to this – at 37+0 weeks – your twins are considered born at term. This means that your babies aren’t expected to have any issues in relation to prematurity. Roughly half of women pregnant with twins give birth at term. The other half gives birth to premature twins. In high-income countries most babies born very preterm survive.

5. You may need a caesarian

Women carrying twins are more at risk of having a c-section compared to women carrying singletons. However, many women succeed giving birth to both twins naturally. How you’ll give birth depends largely on you and your twins condition, how your babies are positioned in the womb as well as the culture and practice of your doctors.

mother with twins
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Kate Phillipa Clark is a journalist writing about twins and their parents on about-twins.com. She’s written a great deal about twin pregnancytwin birth and premature twins. Kate graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and an Executive Master in Corporate Communication. For some years, she worked in the private sector, before launching About Twins in 2016.

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