5 Ways To Detect A Multiple Pregnancy

Dec 25, 2010 1 Comment by

Gone are the days when multiples took their parents by surprise in the delivery room. Today, most parents-to-be of multiples discover the exciting news pretty early on. Here’s how:

1.Ultrasound: The proof is in the picture-the ultrasound picture, that is. If you’re looking for indisputable confirmation that you’re carrying more than one baby, an ultrasound is the best way to get it. Even an early first-trimester ultrasound done at six to eight weeks (which you’re very likely to have if your blood hCG level is high or if you’ve conceived using fertility treatments, though some practitioners also do them routinely) can sometimes detect multiples. But if you want to be absolutely sure you’re seeing double, you’ll want to look to an ultrasound done after the 12th week (because very early ultrasounds don’t always uncover both babies).

2.Doppler: The beat goes on….and on. Your practitioner can usually pick up a baby’s heartbeat sometime after the ninth week. And though it’s hard to distinguish two heartbeats with just a Doppler, if your practitioner is an experienced listener and thinks he or she detects two distinct beats, there’s a good chance that you’re carrying multiples (an ultrasound will confirm the  news).

3.Hormone levels: The pregnancy hormone hCG is detectable in your urine about 10 days postconception, and its level rises rapidly throughout the first trimester. Sometimes (but not always), a higher-than-usual hCG level may indicate multiple fetuses. That said, the range of normal hCG levels for twins also fall within the normal range for singletons, so an elevated level of hCG does not, in and of itself, indicate a multiple pregnancy.

4.Test Results: An unusually high (positive) result on the triple (or quad) screen in the second trimester can sometimes indicate a multiple pregnancy.

5.Your Measurements: Not surprisingly, the more babies, the bigger the uterus. At each visit, your practitioner feels for the height of the fundus (the top of your uterus) to measure that growth. Measuring larger than would be expected for gestational age may be a sign that you have more than one baby on board.

Bottom line on your hunch: Lots of clues can point to a multiple pregnancy (including your mom-to-be instincts), but only an ultrasound can tell you for sure.Check with your practitioner.

Expecting More Than One, From Conception To Delivery

One Response to “5 Ways To Detect A Multiple Pregnancy”

  1. CHIDERA says:

    I WANT MORE INSIGHT FOR TWINS

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