Symptoms of a twin pregnancy

Coping with Pregnancy Sickness (Morning Sickness).‘Morning sickness’ as it is often called is something that a lot of mums-to-be suffer from, especially in the first trimester (up to week 12). Unfortunately some mums suffer from it for longer than 12 weeks, and have it at all times of day. Some mums find it is worse on an evening. Some twin mums to be don’t have much morning sickness at all, you might be one of the lucky ones! It’s not a ‘given’ that you will be very sick during your twin pregnancy. Some mums have Hyperemisis Gravidarum (morning sickness that is so severe they cannot keep anything down at all including water. ) If this happens to you, please seek urgent medical advice as you might need to be put on a drip/ other treatment. For further information about Hyperemesis Gravidarum please see http://www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk/help/hyperemesis-gravidarum/

To stave off morning sickness it is essential that you never let yourself get too hungry, as it seems to be associated with feeling hungry.

I know that the very last thing you would feel like doing when you’re feeing very nauseous is to eat something but this is what seems to make it go away. Having something to eat before you get up in a morning also seems to help. If you have a lovely willing and helpful partner you could get him/her to fetch you some breakfast each morning. If your partner is less willing or at work etc you could have something that isn’t perishable by your bed which you could take up the night before. Try having a banana or a couple of ginger biscuits to take the edge off your  hunger long enough to get downstairs to make some cereal (I found instant hot oat cereal, or a ‘wheat biscuit-style’ cereal (the old fashioned type that you put milk on, you know the one I mean!) were the best because they were easy to swallow. I found having breakfast bars in my handbag and  cream crackers on my desk really helped so when I started to feel nauseous I had a couple of crackers or a breakfast bar. Experiment and see what works for you.

Have meals frequently. Small, regular meals seem to be better than having larger meals and long gaps. Schedule in meal/ snack breaks every 3 hours or so during the day. Drink plenty of fluids, water is good or very diluted fruit juices. Some people find caffeine makes them feel more sick. There are caffeine free fruit teas available if you feel like having a hot drink but don’t fancy your usual latte. If you don’t like the taste of water on it’s own, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your glass. Avoid drinking alcohol during your pregnancy.Certain smells can spark off your pregnancy sickness. I found I couldn’t bear the smell of garlic or fried food when I was pregnant with my twins.

Severe Period-like pains in the first few weeks of pregnancy. Some women experience severe period-like pains in the first few weeks of pregnancy, whilst it is important to get checked over to rule out anything more serious, it *could* just be stretching pains/ implantation pain.

Sore Breasts Some women find that their breasts are very sore during the first part of pregnancy and that their breasts swell and enlarge. Try to avoid wearing an under-wired bra as wired bra’s are thought to damage the milk ducts. You may change bra size especially cup size so it is advisable to get properly measured for a maternity bra.

Increased vaginal discharge Some women find that they have an increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy, as long as it is not smelly or itchy or a funny colour, this is perfectly normal. It can be dealt with simply by wearing a pantyliner. If you do notice any changes in your vaginal discharge including colour, smell, or itchiness or if you see blood at all, please consult your medical team at once for advice.

Weepiness / irritability Some mums experience what appear to be very bad PMT symptoms especially during the first trimester (12 wks) This is due to the fluctuations of hormones present in the body. It usually passes but can be hard for everyone. If you feel very down or the symptoms are severe, please see your GP.

Extreme tiredness. In the first and third trimesters you are very likely to feel exhausted. Your body is creating two babies and this in itself uses a lot of energy. You may also be feeling very sick  during the first trimester which again has an exhausting effect on you. Try to rest as much as you can. I know it is hard especially if  understandably you haven’t told your family and friends your news.Try to do the absolute minimum and rest as much as you can. Take short walks each day to keep your circulation going. Keep drinking water. Get plenty of early nights if you can. If you have other children go to bed yourself as soon as you’ve put them to bed. You can watch TV in bed, or read or listen to music or an audio book, or check your social media feed in bed. Or simply sleep.

Constipation It is important to keep your bowels moving when pregnant, so ensure you have a diet which incorporates plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, fruit smoothies, a glass of fruit juice a day, and choose wholemeal bread where possible. You can also increase the fibre content of your diet by eating jacket potatoes, having beans on toast, eating brown rice and wholemeal pasta. You also need to drink plenty of water.  If constipation becomes a problem contact your GP for advice.

Heartburn This can be a problem during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. Try eating small, regular meals, drinking plenty of water or milk, eating yoghurt. Some mums’ find that it helps to sleep propped up on pillows. If it is a problem please don’t hesitate to see your GP for advice. For further information and advice about heartburn in pregnancy see http://www.gaviscon.co.uk/pregnancy/index.php

Headaches / Migraine Whilst headaches are quite common in pregnancy and more so in twin pregnancy, it is important to get headaches checked out, especially if they are severe or prolonged. If they are just regular headaches try having something to eat and a glass or two of water. Sometimes they can be related to low blood sugar or mild dehydration. You will know if either of these are the cause because when you’ve had a snack and a drink, they go. If you experience severe or sudden headaches after around 20wks get urgent medical help as it *may* be pre-eclampsia which is potentially life threatening. You are better to get checked out by a professional and be told that you’re fine than miss something vital.

Piles (Haemorrhoids) These can be prevented by having a high fibre diet and drinking plenty of fluids. Try not to strain when using the toilet. Visit your GP for advice.

Insomnia If you find you can’t sleep because your babies seem to know when you’ve sat down and start kicking, try resting more during the day. When you’re rested up they tend to do their moving around during the day! You might find having some warm milk helps to settle you, and a warm bath, some relaxation music etc. Propping your tummy up on pillows can also help.

Increased need to urinate. Most mums find that towards the end of their pregnancy they need to urinate (wee) more. It can feel like your twins are jumping up and down on your bladder! Keep close to a loo if you can, and keep drinking plenty of fluids. Do NOT try to ‘cure’ this by cutting back on your fluid intake. It is dangerous. Keep drinking plenty of water and fruit teas.

Anaemia This is very common in pregnancy. Symptoms of anaemia include tiredness, shortness of breath, feeling faint, pallor, palpitations. It can be prevented by eating a diet rich in iron. Iron can be found naturally in meat, spinach and leafy green vegetables. If you feel weak and tired, consult your GP. He/she may take a blood test for anaemia. Do NOT take over the counter iron tablets, go see your GP who can ensure that the product is at the correct dose and tested for safety in pregnancy.

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