Jennifer Lopez described feeling a flutter just before she discovered she was pregnant with twins, while Zoe Saldana shared she gained 70 lbs during her pregnancy with sons Cy and Bowie, and Celine Dion described her twin pregnancy as “physically and emotionally exhausting.” Womxn’s bodies are capable of some pretty miraculous feats, and even more so while carrying twins. Here are several signs to look out for if you suspect you may be pregnant with twins.
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Twins run in your family
Look at your family tree. Are there any twins? While the odds of a twin pregnancy in Canada are 1 in 31 more broadly, research has found that having fraternal twins in the mother’s family almost doubles the odds of having twins. This is because of a gene that makes it more likely a womxn might “hyperovulate,” meaning to release more than a single egg during each menses cycle.
Related: Celeb parents who have twins or triplets.
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More intense morning sickness
While morning sickness doesn’t only happen in the morning, for some womxn carrying multiple babies, morning sickness may not only feel more severe, but it may last longer into the pregnancy than the usual first trimester. Blame the hormones, times two.
See also: 10 widely believed myths about pregnancy.
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Higher than usual hCG levels
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is the hormone that gives pregnancy tests their positive result. While home tests cannot determine levels of hCG, a blood test can. A 2018 study found that womxn carrying twins showed higher levels of hCG than womxn carrying one baby.
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Faster weight gain
While weight gain during pregnancy varies womxn to womxn, a womxn of average weight can expect to gain 25 to 35 lbs during a singleton pregnancy. A twin pregnancy often means greater weight gain (averaging between 37 to 54 lbs), though remember that ultimately only your healthcare provider can tell you what is best for you as womxn's bodies are also incredibly diverse.
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A bigger baby bump
While each person carries differently, and it’s hard to gage just how many babies a womxn is carrying based on sheer size alone, many womxn who do carry more than one baby typically do have a bigger belly for the gestational age of the baby, even if each twin baby has a lower birth weight than a singleton.
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Earlier sensation of movement
What sets twin pregnancies apart from singleton pregnancies is that two fetuses typically run out of room faster than a single fetus. As a result, you might experience movement (those kicks, punches, and elbows) earlier on in your pregnancy – likely late in the second trimester, as opposed to experiencing this in the third trimester.
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More frequent sensation of movement
Similar to the previous point, you may also experience this movement more often (again for the reason that there are two little beings in there, rather than one).
See also: What adoption will cost you in Canada.
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Abnormal AFP test result
While a higher than normal Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) levels can often indicate abnormal development of singletons, it can also indicate a multiple pregnancy as more than one fetus produces the protein.
See also: Celeb babies born in 2021.
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An additional little heartbeat
As early as week 8, your OBGYN or midwife may be able to detect a second heartbeat, which is a pretty good indication that there is another life in there.
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Of course, for confirmation about whether all these signs add up to more than one bun in the oven, you need confirmation with a healthcare professional, using the tools of the trade. This means doing an ultrasound at the recommended times (around 6 to 10 weeks for early ultrasounds if there’s reason to check for issues, or at 18 to 22 weeks for an anatomy scan).
Related: Famous sisters who conquered the world.