Hey Mom-to-be, are you expecting twins? If you already know that you are going to have twins, the patient wait to first feel them move becomes all the more exciting. Will it be different then what a single child feels like when he/she moves? Will it be later or earlier than the majority of cases? How can you tell if something is wrong with one of them? These and many other questions might plague your mind regarding your twin’s fetal movement.
Fetal movement in twin pregnancy is sometimes very different from the movement of a single fetus, thus normal in this situation is defined differently. What might seem abnormal for a single fetus pregnancy might not be for multiples and vice versa. Therefore it gets extra important for you to religiously follow your medical check-up schedule and see your gynaecologist for any queries that might arise.
When will you start to feel twins fetal movement?
Your first-time pregnancy with twins won’t feel too different from a single baby pregnancy if you’ve had one before. Even if it’s your first time ever being pregnant, you won’t feel any movement before 18 weeks on average, which is about the same time as a normal time that a regular pregnancy takes to feel fetal movement. However, it is possible for slender people to sometimes feel such movements a little earlier because of thinner padding on their stomach that usually absorbs the feeling of minor movements. The position of the placenta is also a deciding factor in how early fetal movement twins will show you. An anterior or front-facing placement of the placenta will hinder you from experiencing any fetal movement in twin pregnancy. What you can derive from all this is that the picture is not that simple and there are many things happening inside your body that affect the various aspects of your pregnancy, be it hormonal changes, the kind of nutrition you are getting or the many things outside of your control.
In what ways does the fetal movement in twin pregnancy differ from a singleton?
Since your womb is nurturing two babies instead of one in a twin pregnancy, it is bound to be different. The basic point of difference in the movement starts at the space available to each baby, twins running out of room pretty quickly and thus moving around earlier. In fact, you may also be able to feel every single movement, kicks, shifting around, elbow jabs leading to some pressure on your abdomen and bladder in twin pregnancy. Most women expecting twins experience this in their later part of the second trimester of pregnancy whereas, these symptoms start in the third trimester for singletons.
Why and how should you count kicks with twins?
A doctor asks you to keep an eye or even count your baby’s kick in pregnancy because baby movement is one of the many indicators of your baby’s well being. If they are not moving as much as they should, it could be because of some serious complications in pregnancy and might need medical attention as soon as possible. This is how you should go about it in case of twins baby movement:
- Once in the morning and once in the evening, note down the time and start counting the movements you feel. This includes kicks, elbow jabs, flutters, rolls and other movements.
- Do the counting in sets of 10, this means, once your count reaches to 10, note the time and start a new set again.
- If you can count 10 movements in more than an hour, you should have a snack or walk around before lying down and starting the count again.
- However, if you are not feeling even 10 movements in two hours, it is the time to talk to your doctor and check if there is a problem.
Even after understanding the above-mentioned instructions, keep in mind that recognising patterns of movement matter are equally important in twins fetal movements as the exact count. When are they more active? What are you usually doing when they are more active? If they deviate too much from their set patterns of movement, it could be a cause for needing the doctor’s assistance as well.
What if you can’t feel fetal movement in twin pregnancy?
You can’t expect your babies to be equally active all through the day and every day in pregnancy. Like a normal person, they have periods of wakefulness and rest. So if they are not as active as you expect them to be sometimes, it is not an immediate cause for worry. In fact, this could also be caused by them growing more and having even lesser space to move around properly.
If this pattern of less activity continues and your counting of kicks is reaching worrying lows, then the intervention of your doctor is necessary. They will do the check-ups to find the cause of it, including checking for amniotic fluid levels, fetal dopplers for baby heartbeats and discordant growth. For those who may not be aware, discordant growth is a common phenomenon and happens when one of the twins grows faster than the other. It might not be a problem if there is not a very significant difference in the size of both your kids. However, if there is, then it could be due to deeper underlying problems like the placenta not transferring needed nutrients or one of the baby not getting enough blood supply.
In conclusion, what you need to do is be vigilant in the changes in twins fetal movement patterns and consult your doctor when there are discrepancies. The earlier a problem is identified, the earlier it can be rectified, leading to lesser damage.
Pregnancy with twins is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. You are expecting two precious miracles, but at the same time, the prospect of managing two babies together is worrying as well. The best way to have a healthy pregnancy with early fetal movements twins show is to follow your medical schedules strictly, in terms of check-ups, foods habits, exercises, medications etc. As for the double trouble inside your tummy, we say good luck to you, Mommy!