How Twin Pregnancy is Different than a Singleton Pregnancy

How Twin Pregnancy is Different than Singleton Pregnancy

Wondering about how twin pregnancy is different than a singleton pregnancy (meaning one baby)? When you’re pregnant with twins, you’re likely to get bigger faster than a singleton pregnancy and experience more pain overall. I don’t share these things to scare you, rather to prepare you for what may be laying ahead.

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How Twin Pregnancy is Different

My first pregnancy was a single child, which was a very healthy and wonderful pregnancy. For my second pregnancy, I expected the same, but when we found out we were having twins I quickly learned there would be a lot of differences.

Here are some things to expect throughout your twin pregnancy so you can be prepared for them.

Increased Size

While pregnant with twins, whether it’s your first pregnancy or not, you will likely get bigger faster than one would with one baby in their belly.

My twins were my second pregnancy so at first, I thought I was so much bigger so much sooner just due to it being my second pregnancy. It wasn’t until I was 8 weeks pregnant and went in for my first ultrasound that I found out I was carrying twins.

Then it all made sense.

Over the 36 weeks I was pregnant with my twins I gained a whopping 65 pounds on my small 5’1″ frame making me 181 pounds. Pretty much all of that weight was on my pregnant belly. With my first child who was a single child pregnancy, I only gained 25 pounds, with me losing several pounds the first trimester of pregnancy.

Let me tell ya, it’s harder to bounce back after twin pregnancy as well. With my first child I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight within 6 months, whereas it’s been almost 6 years and I’m still no where near where I’d like to be.

Yet again, twins were my second pregnancy and a lot in life has changed since then, so I’m not saying you’re doomed.

Another thing to be mindful of is if you are short like me, driving may prove to be difficult. Once I was past week 32 I had a hard time reaching the steering wheel with my big belly in the way! Thank goodness we never were in a car accident while I was so pregnant because my steering wheel was right against my stomach. Be extra careful if you can.

Tip: Don’t stock up too much on maternity clothes in the size you normally wear, especially for the next season. I found that the pregnancy clothes that fit me during my first pregnancy weren’t fitting by the time I was 26 weeks along and measuring full term. I had to waddle my way through Target getting a size up in some essentials to get me through the last 10 weeks.

Below is my tummy at 34 weeks and 4 days. I still had almost two weeks until my emergency delivery.

How Twin Pregnancy is Different than Singleton Pregnancy: My stomach at 34 weeks (measuring well over 50 weeks gestation, if that were a thing)
My big belly looking from the top down to see the babies right up against the steering wheel. With my short arms I had to be close which made me really nervous.

Increased Physical Discomfort

With increased size comes increased physical discomfort. Carrying two babies at once puts a lot of extra strain on the body which can often result in increased back pain, immense pelvic pressure, and overall discomfort. The additional weight can lead to muscle aches, joint pain, and difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position.

I remember feeling massive by my third trimester of my singleton pregnancy and by the time I was overdue at 41 weeks with him, I thought I was going to die.

I had no idea what pain was.

I started measuring full term with my twins when I was only 26 weeks pregnant, and I had 10 more weeks to go after that!!!

Early on in my twin pregnancy, I had lower back pain and started going to a chiropractor who specialized in the Webster Technique, specific to working with pregnant women. The frequent, sometimes weekly, chiropractor appointments delivered some relief, albeit temporary. It was worth it though to just feel a bit better for a while.

I also had immense pelvic pressure starting early on and lasting most of my pregnancy. Six years later I still remember it clearly. It seriously felt like my pelvis was going to fall out of my skin and onto the floor, then break.

It didn’t of course but gosh it seemed like it.

Even with a busy 2 year old boy I did all I could to sit as much as possible so my twin belly could rest on my legs a bit instead of just hanging out there, pulled down by gravity, putting more pressure on my back and pelvis.

Tip: I highly suggest getting a pelvic support belt early on, by the 2nd trimester, to help support your tummy and back. Also, sit as much as possible.

Increased Skin Stretching Issues

When pregnant with twins, your belly grows big and it grows fast, often too fast for your skin to adapt adequately. Now, I’m not saying your skin will split and you’ll see a baby foot sticking out, but you may want to get in a regular routine of applying a natural moisturizer to your belly to help your skin adapt.

I say a natural moisturizer because you don’t want one full of harmful chemicals to be right on top of your growing babies, or anywhere really. This particular moisturizer is even EWG Verified which is no small feat! That means it’s the most natural and not harmful as you can get when it comes to maternity cream.

I’m not saying this will mean you won’t have stretchmarks, that’s mainly based on genetics, but at least your skin won’t hurt as much as it would if you didn’t apply moisturizer regularly.

Tip: Get a quality natural moisturizer for your belly and start applying daily, if not more often.

Below is a picture of my then 2 year old son with his hand on my big belly, trying to feel the babies kick just 8 days before they were born.

My then 2 year old son with his hand on my big belly, trying to feel the babies kick just 8 days before they were born.

Increased Thirst & Bathroom Trips

Any pregnancy puts a strain on a woman’s bladder. Especially when two babies are laying on it. On top of it, I was ALWAYS extremely thirsty so I was drinking water like I was in a desert and peeing like crazy.

Luckily I’m a stay-at-home mom so I was able to pee whenever I needed to but it often made playdates a bit awkward. This was because most parks only had small port-a-potties and fitting my pregnant belly in there plus my 2 year old, was no easy feat. Luckily, at that time, we had some friends that we’d have playdates with and I trusted them so I could often leave my son with them for a few minutes while I went to the bathroom.

The increased thirst was an interesting one that continues to this day. If I don’t drink an adequate amount of water, say 80 ounces a day or more, I get hot flashes, really irritable, and don’t calm down until I’ve had a huge glass of water.

This was new to me while I was pregnant with twins so it was a bit alarming since I was hypersensitive to everything at the time, expecting things to go wrong.

All that water and all that peeing was just part of growing two healthy babies.

Tip: Always have extra water with you, especially in the summer, and always know where the nearest bathroom is.

Exhaustion and Fatigue

Growing two babies is no small feat! Your body is working overtime, even more than it does with one baby, which is likely to drain you quite a bit.

This means you’ll likely get exhausted more quickly than before and you may even feel faint at times and need to sit or lay down. Be aware of this as you go through your day, especially if driving. You’ll likely be fine, especially since you’re sitting while driving, but just something to be aware of.

You also may found it more difficult to sleep while pregnant with twins. I remember getting so frustrated when I was pregnant with my first child and people would say ‘sleep while you can!’ and I thought, eesh, I barely sleep now as it is!

Then I had my first child who would only sleep in at most 45 minute stretches for over a year.

It was exhausting.

The twins slept better once they were born than he did, or at least they started too sooner than him, but sadly the exhaustion and fatigue are only going to get worse.

BUT back to while you’re pregnant, you’re only supposed to sleep on your side, and if you’re anything like me, that takes a while to get used to. I have always been a stomach sleeper and being pregnant really cramped my sleeping style.

I finally did get used to sleeping on my side but took a while. Hugging a body pillow and having it between my knees helped.

Either way, you are likely to be more worn out while pregnant with twins. Give yourself some grace.

Tip: Take it easy on yourself, let yourself rest, ask for help, and stay in the air conditioning when it’s hot out. This is your time mama, your body is doing amazing things and you’ll be plenty busy when the babies come. Take this time to rest as much as you can. (I say that as someone who had a very active 2-year-old boy while pregnant with twins. I still sat, rested, and was in air conditioning as much as possible.)

Below I’m sitting, cuddling with my son. I sat indoors as much as possible especially in the very hot summer months. toward the end of pregnancy.

I'm sitting, cuddling with my son. I sat indoors as much as possible especially in the very hot summer months. toward the end of pregnancy.

Higher Risk of Complications & More Appointments

Twin pregnancies are often considered high-risk due to the increased likelihood of complications. These complications can include preterm labor, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and placenta issues.

The type of twins you’re having will lay the foundation for how high risk your pregnancy starts out to be. Fraternal twins are the least high risk as they each have their own placenta and amniotic sac. Didi twins are a step down from there as they’re identical but also have their own sacs and placentas. DiDi twins tend to have 15 ultrasounds in a 40 week pregnancy, on top of other appointments.

MoDi twins, like I have, are higher risk because even though they have their own gestational sacs, they share a placenta. There is a lot of concern about them sharing the placental resources equally which is why MoDi twins have so much more monitoring, which I go into more in this post. MoDi Twins tend to have about 15 ultrasounds in a 37 week pregnancy, in addition to other appointments.

MoMo twins are the most high risk since they share a placenta AND an amniotic sac. They require even more monitoring, meaning a lot more appointments, and often bedrest in the hospital begins around 24 weeks or so. Prior to being admitted to the hospital, MoMo twins tend to have 8 ultrasounds, with that number increasing drastically while admitted.

Keep in mind that while keeping up with all of these doctor appointments, you may experience increased stress and anxiety.

I know for me, I was a ball of anxiety from the time I found out I was carrying twins until they were born. (Ok, I still have anxiety but not as severe now).

It isn’t too early to start therapy if you’re feeling anxious and worried about your babies. I know, that’s yet another appointment, but there are a lot of options for telehealth for therapy. I wish I would have started therapy while pregnant with twins and continued after they were born. Then I may have been diagnosed with postpartum depression before it go so severe that I almost took my life.

Tips: Have a shared calendar with your significant other such as Google Calendar to keep track of appointments, even if you go alone. It just helps to have someone else know what’s going on. Also, if you have a young child already, try to set up an arrangement with someone to care for them while you’re at your appointments. That’s what we had to do because I’d have biweekly ultrasound appointments that lasted up to 3 hours and was a 45 minute drive each way. Luckily, my mother in law was able to be with my son during the days I had appointments.

All Pregnancies are Different

It’s important to note that while these pain points are commonly associated with twin pregnancies, every woman’s experience is unique. It is always advisable for pregnant women, especially those expecting multiples, to consult with their healthcare providers for personalized care and guidance throughout their pregnancy journey.

Above I’ve shared just some of the ways in which my twin pregnancy was different compared to my first pregnancy.

Want to Learn More About Twin Pregnancy?

Check out my Twin Pregnancy blog post page!

twin pregnancy

Does Twin Pregnancy Show Sooner?

Yes, twin pregnancy does show sooner. In addition to two growing babies you also have either two placentas or a large single placenta, and enough amniotic fluid to support two babies.

Are Twin Pregnancies Harder?

In my experience, yes. I was pregnant with a single child first and then twins for my second pregnancy. My twin pregnancy was significantly more complicated, uncomfortable, and harder than my first. That’s just my experience.

How Many Ultrasounds During a Twin Pregnancy?

The number of ultrasounds during a twin pregnancy varies depending on the type of twins you are having, in addition to the results of previous ultrasounds. DiDi twins typically have 15 ultrasounds in a 40 week pregnancy, MoDi Twins typically have 15 ultrasounds in a 37 week pregnancy, and MoMo twins have 8 ultrasounds before likely being admitted to the hospital for daily monitoring at 24-28 weeks. Source: Bringham and Women’s Hospital.

How Twin Pregnancy is Different than a Singleton Pregnancy

Founder, Professional Blogger at The Way it Really Is, LLC | [email protected] | Website

As a mom of identical twins and a son two years older, I have gained invaluable experience in the realm, and chaos, of parenting. With a Master's Degree and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology, I spent years as a school psychologist, helping children navigate through their educational and emotional challenges. Now as a stay at home mom and professional blogger, I combine my areas of expertise to help you in your parenting journey.

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