Twin Pregnancy: Symptoms & Facts Week by Week (Belly Pictures)

1
An ultrasound picture of two babies

Pregnancy can be an incredibly exciting time for couples across the globe, as they prepare to bring new life into the world with increasing anticipation as the climatic event of labor becomes close and closer.

Pregnancy in and of itself is an extremely complex subject, and should not be taken lightly. Even further more complicated is the concept of twin pregnancy. Twin pregnancy brings about many differences throughout the progression of development of the fetus.

It is crucial that couples sit down and discuss these differences so that they can prepare themselves emotionally and physically, and ultimately know what to expect. An interesting aspect of twin pregnancy is that has an extreme amount of variance when comparing each and every week up against each other. One week can be extremely calm and symptom-free, while the week following is quite intense.

1, 2, 3, 4 Weeks Pregnancy (First Month)Parents expecting twins on paper

Perhaps the easiest of the bunch when analyzing the different weeks of twin pregnancies, is certainly the first. This is due to the fact that within the first four weeks of twin pregnancy, the body does not undergo a massive amount of changes. With no development process initiation of a live fetus, there are minimal side effects that the body experiences.

What does begin to happen however is that the hormones that a woman typically releases during pregnancy are released at an accelerated rate due to the fact that two fertilized eggs are beginning to take their toll on the body. That being said, within the first four weeks, the female body does not recognize this on a large scale. In fact, research shows that women typically psychologically mask any side effects that do come up since there is a lot of anticipation and excitement about the idea of having twin babies that it overshadows the symptoms themselves.

5, 6, 7, 8 Weeks Pregnant (Second Month)

An ultrasound picture of two babies

After the first four weeks of pregnancy, certain symptoms start to creep their way to become present in the female body. The main factor in this is that this is typically the first time that a woman even finds out that she is pregnant in the first place. This phenomenon happens via multiple different new symptoms. The most common is an increase in appetite and eating portions. This is due to the amount of energy in the form of glucose that the body needs in order to process the development of the fetus. With the development of two fetuses instead of one, this need for energy is doubled, thus increasing the need for cravings even more.

Typically, women will not respond accordingly with this happening, and not eat more, out of fear that they will gain a lot of weight and look even more pregnant than they really are! For this reason (not getting adequate nutrients in the body), women will start to feel tired. This typically comes in the form of infrequent bursts of exhaustion, despite not putting out too much physical exertion. This frustrates most women a great deal as it is the worst time in their life to feel a great amount of exhaustion and weariness. A very odd yet common occurrence that also comes to women in this time period is more frequent urination than normal. This is due in part to the typical increase in water intake of women during their pregnancy. The uterus also naturally puts more pressure on the bladder as it proliferates in size, making the urge to go more apparent.

Finally, in this phase, the classic morning sickness/nausea begins to truly show its beginnings, making the woman feel very sick in the morning, sometimes even other random times during the day. In regards to having twins, all of the above symptoms are further exaggerated, simply due to the fact that the amount of resources and consequent effects are doubled. It is important to note however that this should not change the method of self-treatment performed by the woman, as changing the method does not necessarily produce a better result.

During these beginning stages of twin pregnancy, it is very important to begin consulting with your doctor to ensure that your progression through the various stages of pregnancy is smooth and natural, otherwise certain complications that could have easily been avoided can come about without even being noticed, leading to even greater potential problems.

9, 10, 11, 12 Weeks Pregnant (Third Month)

Twins in a red glowing heart

As a woman begins to progress into the next stage of pregnancy after the first initial symptoms bloom, the next phase of the 8th to the 12th week is much of the same story just on a more ramped up scale. The reason for this increase in symptom proliferation is due to the fact that the organs of the babies are starting to develop and thus a lot more caloric energy is needed. This is of course doubled (the effect) due to the fact that twins are being taken into account.

Cravings will still increase (even more than before) and the energy will still slump. In fact, anemia is occasionally present in rare case due to the fact that many of the woman’s blood cells are diverted to take care of the twin babies’ health standards. A new change that typically shows, interestingly for the better, is an increase in the beauty of the skin, as well as a true improvement of the quality of skin tone. Many women report that having children givers their skin more of a natural glow, something that is greatly sought after by women across the globe. That being said, for some reason this change in skin complexion is actually for the worse, as the stress naturally increases oil production and makes breakouts much more likely.

The most unfortunate new change brought about by beginning to develop twin fetuses is that the babies will take up quite a bit of space in the stomach cavity, both increasing the bump that the woman has in her body and the undesired appearance of an overweight appearing body. That being said, many women will actually take pride in the change and embrace the uncomfortable feeling of having an unusually large stomach. Regardless, the fat will also begin to stretch out the skin giving many women the undesirable stretch marks that so many women across the world hate.

However, all is not lost. Many of these marks can be greatly reduced and sometimes even eliminated with various creams and pills.

13, 14, 15, 16 Weeks (Fourth Month)

The twelfth week is a point in twin pregnancy in which the body really starts rapidly showing signs that there really are two human beings growing inside the female body. The developing organs in the babies’ bodies are almost fully developed and are already taxing the mother’s system for energy and nutrients.

[Read more about Nutrients]

Of course the most obvious sign of birthing at this point is the huge increase in the size of the female mother’s stomach. Now that the babies have developed full sized organs and skin tissue, they start to show their sense of mass inside the womb. As a result, many women during these weeks become much more liberal in their choice of clothing as they gain more weight. This increase in weight also unfortunately brings about some side effects such as lower back pain, more frequent cramping, and worst of all, strong headaches and constipation. For these reasons, many women see the twelve to sixteen week range as the beginning of the end, so to speak.

[Read more about Constipation]

17, 18, 19, 20 Weeks (Fifth Month)

We are now in the full fledged part of twin pregnancy in which the babies can be felt kicking, are running nutrition wise at full capacity, and are continuing to grow in the stomach. The babies are also (while not consciously) gaining their sense of audial awareness through the sense of hearing with their developing ears and via the vibrations that occur in the mother’s stomach, typically arising from movement from the mother, as well as vibration inside the body itself.

There is something truly remarkable about this specific time range within the twin pregnancy realm: the joining of the twins themselves. This stage is when the movements and idiosyncrasies of the twins start to align and they start to develop the characteristics that would make it (upon birth) very obvious to bystanders that these two babies are indeed twins, maybe even identical twins.

In terms of the mother herself, there isn’t too drastic of a change physically. However it is important to note that the monotony of the pregnancy can start psychologically wearing down the mother, and it is crucial that she receive outside support from the husband or other family members so that the mother can stay positive and continue to make smart decisions about her and the baby’s health.

21, 22, 23, 24 Weeks (Sixth Month)Pregnancy concept with woman and fetus isolated

You’ve made it to this point, and it means that you are quite deep into the twin pregnancy, and the twins are gaining more and more characteristics that make them extremely similar to each other — and in some cases 100% identical. An important milestone in this time phase, the babies start to become much more independent of the support that their mother had previously been supplying them with, whether it be oxygen or fluid support. Their bodies are becoming even more developed, gaining unique features such as layers of fat and their own fingerprints.

As time goes on, the woman will continue to seem like she has been beaten down a bit by the pregnancy itself. Whether this is in the form of discoloration of the skin, more severe stretch marks, and other swollen/fattened body parts, it is very easy at this point for the mother to become discouraged and believe that the act of childbirth is not worth it for this price.

However, it is crucial as much as it was in the past that she receive a different perspective and consequent support from other family members and friends to keep upbeat about her bravery and decisions. As always, it is important to note that the symptoms the mother is receiving as a mother will be essentially doubled due to the fact that the mother is having two children inside of her at one single time. This makes it even harder for the mother to remain inclined to stay motivated and healthy.

25, 26, 27, 28 Weeks (Seven Month)

As the babies near the end of their developmental cycle and the mother begins starting to think about when she will start having contractions and the early signs of labor, the twin babies are at this point one with each other and have many of the same bodily features and things in common. The mother will begin to occasionally have several contractions daily that are not to be truly alarming, but should be tracked for the sake of maintaining positive health status and reporting any issues that arise to a medical professional.

In this final stretch, the pregnancy, especially with having twins, now begins to feel like a marathon, and the pains and aches of having so much weight the body begin to take serious tolls (in some extreme cases) on the mother. The knees of the mother begin to feel very cramped and have a lot of pressure around the joint areas, and the daily activities of the mother become much more difficult.

29, 30, 31, 32 Weeks (Eighth Month)Twin fetus development in womb model

When looking at twin babies in this stage of the pregnancy, it can be truly remarkable to see how similar the two bodies are, as well as how developed and less alien-like their forms are. The babies now have mature bone structures and appear to be less “cooped up” in their embryonic sac. One main reason for this is the fact that the size of the body in relation to the size of the previously massive looking head is starting to even out, reducing the commonly known alien look.

As the mother begins to finish out her long marathon of pregnancy, the tire seems to only get worse especially when doing hard physical labor. For this reason, at this point most doctors recommend to their patients that the mother get lots of rest and remain in bed for the majority of the day and refrain from doing any strenuous for active work, which includes doing things around the house, shopping, and certainly exercising.

This is often seen as a great test of marriage as the fatherly figure in the house must now take on new responsibilities whilst having strong support and encouragement from the spouse.

33, 34, 35, 36 Weeks (Ninth Month)

This point is essentially the homecoming of twin pregnancy. It is the final stretch for the mother, and she loves that fact. She is worn out, tired, and quite frankly sick and tired of being sick and tired.

The babies have taken a massive toll on her body and the mother is ready to truly be a mother in the flesh and remove these beings from her womb! However, there is some very important finishing touches going on inside of the womb that ensures a very healthy and successful birth of the baby. The babies are gaining their immune system in this stage which is extremely important for when they exit the womb and come into contact with an extremely unsettling and foreign air environment. The babies are also giving back some nutrients to the mother that are signaling her breasts to excrete milk. At this point, it is very important for the mother and father of the future twins to sit down and discuss several logistical things regarding their future children.

First of all, the decision on the procedure (C-section vs. vaginal) will need to be discussed with the help of the medical doctor. This can make or break the twins’ chances of survival if done correctly (or incorrectly). It is also very important to think about the immediate breadth of responsibility that will be put on the parents to endure long nights of no sleep to care for the newborns and ensure they are brought into the world from a healthy and safe mindset.

Delivery!Newborn Twins sleeping

Finally! The peak of the summit has been reached and the babies have been born. This is truly a magical moment for the mother and father as they get to see the amazing similarities between their twins and see how they react to seeing each for the first time outside of the womb.

However, we cannot forget the massive final undertaking that had to be underwent in order to achieve the final accomplishment: labor itself. It is a very painful process no matter how much medication is used by the woman, both physically and emotionally, however it becomes very apparent within seconds after the babies’ birth, that two or more beautiful lives have been brought into the world and that everything was worth the struggle.

Most women agree that the process of having twins is extremely taxing, and takes massive amounts of courage and persistence. But with the right amount of support, willpower, and hope, it can certainly be one of the most rewarding experiences of life itself!

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here