Early Signs of a Twin Pregnancy

Becoming pregnant is an exciting time, particularly if you have been trying to conceive for some time. For women who have had to have fertility treatments, from medications such as Clomid to in-vitro fertilization, there is a concern that they may be pregnant with twins or multiples. Knowing the general signs of pregnancy, as well as the signs of a twin pregnancy, can help you to know whether you have become pregnant, and if you have become pregnant with twins.

The first sign of pregnancy for many women is a missed period. However, this is not always an indication that you are pregnant; a variety of other things, such as stress, vigorous exercise, and reproductive disorders may cause you to miss a period. In addition, many women have irregular periods, and may not be aware of actually “missing” one.

The most effective way that you can determine whether you are pregnant is, of course, with a pregnancy test. For most women, it may be possible to determine whether you are pregnant as early as 7-10 days after conception using a home pregnancy test. However, the time required depends greatly on the type of pregnancy test being used, as well as your own individual physiology.

Many women who are pregnant experience fatigue, especially during their first trimester. The hormonal changes taking place in your body can make you feel lethargic, or worn out after just a little bit of physical activity. These hormonal changes can also affect your mood. Some women will feel pronounced mood swings as little as a couple of weeks after becoming pregnant.

Implantation bleeding is another sign of pregnancy. When the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus, some women will have a very light bleeding. This will typically be from pinkish to reddish-brown in color, and typically lasts for 1-2 days.

Frequent urination can also indicate pregnancy. The old saying goes that the most dangerous place in the world is between a pregnant woman and a bathroom. While this is especially true later in pregnancy when your baby is pushing on your internal organs, many women experience a more frequent need to urinate throughout their pregnancy.

Nausea caused by pregnancy, sometimes called “morning sickness,” is a fairly common symptom of pregnancy. Around 70% of all new moms-to-be will experience morning sickness. Morning sickness can occur at any time of the day, not just during the morning. This nausea may be constant, as it is for some women; or, it may just occur occasionally. The degree to which you feel sick can also vary; you might just feel a little woozy, or you might experience full fledged vomiting.

Breast tenderness is one of the very earliest signs of pregnancy. Increased hormones cause breasts to be sensitive and sore, and often to swell.

For a twin pregnancy, these signs and symptoms are often exaggerated. The extra hormones that a woman who is pregnant with twins has can make breasts even more tender, make you more tired, make you need to urinate even more frequently, and, unfortunately, cause more morning sickness or nausea.

While it is not particularly scientific, many women who have become pregnant with twins feel that they just knew ahead of time that it was going to be twins. You cannot study this intuition in a lab, but neither can you discount a woman’s ability to know her own body.

Another sign of a twin pregnancy is rapid weight gain in the first trimester. This is normal and common for women who are pregnant with twins or multiples. Measuring large for gestational age, in which your health care provider determines that your uterus is larger than usual for how far along in pregnancy you are can be another early sign of a twin pregnancy.

Women who are pregnant with twins often have elevated levels of a protein released by the baby called AFP, or alpha fetoprotein. In addition, you will probably have rapidly rising levels of Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, or hCG for short, which is a hormone produced by the fertilized egg and used to help your pregnancy while the placenta is developing.

Pregnancy Symptoms and Baby’s Sex

There has not been any definitive scientific research that suggests a connection between having certain pregnancy symptoms, or the severity of pregnancy symptoms, and the gender of your baby. Having said that, many women believe that their pregnancy symptoms can indeed predict the gender of your baby. Even if it isn’t the most reliable method, it can be fun to consider your pregnancy symptoms in relation to your baby’s gender while you wait for a more reliable method, such as an ultrasound, to tell you with more certainty what the gender of your baby will be.

One pregnancy symptom that has been connected with the gender of your baby has to do with cravings. It is thought that, if you are craving sweets like chocolate, that the gender of your baby will be female. In contrast, your baby would be a boy if you are craving sour things, such as raw lemon juice. Unfortunately, man women crave a combination of things that can be both sweet and sour, making it harder to predict the gender of your baby from this symptom.

Another pregnancy symptom that is thought to predict the gender of your baby is acne. If you break out in severe acne, it is predicted that you will have a girl. If your acne is mild, then you will have a boy.

The most common pregnancy symptom, morning sickness, may be able to be used to predict the gender of your baby as well. If you are severely sick, you will be having a boy. Otherwise, you will be having a girl. Some people think that the timing of morning sickness is able to predict the gender of your baby, too, with morning sickness in the morning being a boy and morning sickness at night being a girl.

Hair growth is another pregnancy symptom that can predict the gender of your baby. If you are having a boy, you should watch out because you are more likely to grow body hair during pregnancy. Conversely, if you are having a girl, you should not expect to grow body hair during pregnancy.

Reviewing the Shettles Method of Gender Selection

The Shettles method of selecting your baby’s gender has been around for about the past twenty-five years. Proponents of the Shettles method suggest that it has proven to be extremely successful. When the Shettles method is used correctly, it is thought to be successful in about three quarters of cases. There has been some research, while not entirely conclusive, that suggests that it may be even more successful than that. These researchers suggest that the Shettles method is closer to 90% successful at selecting your baby’s gender.

Having said all of that, it is important to understand what exactly goes into the Shettles method of selecting your baby’s gender. The method has many components that need to be followed in order to be successful. While the hallmark of the Shettles method is most certainly the timing of intercourse in relation to the timing of ovulation, the other components of the Shettles method are important if the method is going to be successful at selecting your baby’s gender.

If, for example, you only follow the intercourse-ovulation timing component of selecting your baby’s gender, you are not going to be as successful if you follow the other components. If you want to have a girl, for example, the Shettles method indicates that penetration must be shallow. Intercourse should be in the missionary position, which will put the sperm closer to the entrance of the vagina, which is a more acidic, and will work against the “boy” sperm. In addition, successfully using the Shettles method to select your baby’s gender means that you should not have an orgasm during intercourse if you want to conceive a girl, as the orgasm may produce a variety of substances that would favor the “boy” sperm.

Ultimately, the Shettles method of selecting your baby’s gender will probably be as successful or even more successful as other methods, apart from an IVF situation where the sperm are actually separated between the “boy” and the “girl” sperm, and then the preferred sperm is used in the IVF procedure.

Gender Prediction Methods: Which Ones do Doctors Acknowledge?



For as long as couples have been having babies, couples have been trying to accurately predict whether they should invest in wallpaper with butterflies and flowers or airplanes and trucks. Today, medical science can give couples a fairly definitive answer about the baby’s gender by the second trimester.

Still, most couples want to try to at least guess at the baby’s gender before they know for sure. At worst, baby gender prediction methods have a 50/50 shot at being correct and they aren’t generally harmful to the expectant mother or the child.

Still, even medical professionals acknowledge that some baby gender prediction methods have more validity than others. Here are some of the gender prediction methods many doctors recognize as being at least reasonably accurate:

  • Beats per minute. It’s said that if your baby’s heart rate is faster than 140 beats per minute, you’re having a girl. While medical professionals don’t acknowledge the number, they do acknowledge that baby girls’ heart rates are faster than baby boys’. Unfortunately, the difference isn’t really noticeable until the third trimester, well after you can know your baby’s gender much more accurately based on ultrasound imaging.
  • Morning sickness throughout the day. Traditionally, it has been said that women who have morning sickness all day long are carrying a girl. Medical professionals acknowledge that women who are carrying girls are more likely to have severe or prolonged morning sickness due to higher levels of hCG, a pregnancy hormone which expectant mothers have at noticeably higher levels when carrying a girl.

Most medical professionals will tell you that other gender prediction methods, whether the Chinese gender prediction calendar, the Drano method, dangling a ring in front of your belly or some other method, are unfounded and have a roughly 50% chance of correctly predicting your baby’s gender.

As early as 18 weeks, your ultrasound can predict your baby’s gender with an accuracy of about 85%. That’s significantly better than any traditional method, including the ones which doctors recognize as having some degree of validity.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t try to predict your baby’s gender ahead of the ultrasound. By all means, if you have a traditional gender prediction method you believe in or enjoy, have a good time with it. Who knows? There could be something to it that medical science simply hasn’t figured out. At worst, you have a 50% chance of correctly predicting your baby’s gender.


Ready to Be a Mom

Many women hit a certain point in life where the desire to be a mom becomes almost overwhelming. Why is this, exactly? Maybe it’s because your friends and family seem to all be having babies; maybe it’s some primal urge that helps the human race go on. Maybe it’s cultural expectations that pressure women to have children, or maybe it’s just because you love kids. Maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever the root cause, it’s very common.


Before you start deciding whether you want a little boy or a little girl, however, you should be ready. Here are some indicators that you’re ready to take on the challenges that motherhood presents:

  • You want to be a mom. This really is the first sign you may be ready. Many young girls fantasize about motherhood and taking care of a baby. Truth be told, taking care of a baby doll is a lot different than taking care of a real baby. It’s both more responsibility and more joy than you can possibly imagine. Talk to other moms about their experiences and do some research so you know what really is involved in being a mom.

  • You’re responsible. You need to be able to take care of yourself before you can take care of a child. If you can keep up with your bills, have met your educational goals or are well on the way, meet expectations at work and still have time to do other things, you may be just about ready. On the other hand, if you’re making decisions daily that you regret later, you might spend some more time getting ready before you jump in.

  • You love kids. Now, to be sure, most parents believe that their own children are much better-behaved and well-adjusted than their peers. It’s all right; that’s what parents are supposed to think. But if every crying baby at the supermarket makes you cringe, you might think about spending some quality time around babies before you have one of your own. Volunteer for nursery duty at your religious institution or during a social event and get a good feel for the little darlings first.

  • You’re ready to give some things up. You’re going to give up your body for nine months as host to your baby. You’re going to have a lot less free time than before. You’re going to be on a restrictive diet during pregnancy. Make sure you know what’s involved before you agree to it.

You’re the best judge of whether or not you’re ready to be a mom. Measuring yourself up against some of these criteria can help you make that decision.

Paternity During Pregnancy

It is indeed possible to determine paternity during pregnancy. Prenatal paternity testing uses testing of the baby’s DNA to match it against the potential father’s DNA. There are different things that can be done during pregnancy to determine paternity. The type of test given is determined, in part, by how far along you are in your pregnancy.

During the early part of your pregnancy, between the 10th and the 13th week of pregnancy, a CVS or chorionic villus sampling, can be done to determine paternity. In this procedure, a thin tube or a needle is inserted into the vagina, through the cervix, to try to obtain small pieces of tissue that are attached to the wall of the uterus, known as chorionic villi. The chorionic villi come from the same fertilized egg that produced the fetus, and therefore will have the same genetic makeup as your baby will have.

Between the 14th and the 20th weeks of pregnancy, paternity can be determined through the use of amniocentesis. This is the same test that may be given if your health care provider believes that your baby may have a chromosomal abnormality, such as Down’s Syndrome. During an amniocentesis, the health care provider uses an ultrasound machine to help him as he guides a thin needle into the uterus through the abdomen. The needle will draw just a small amount of amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid can then be tested for DNA. An amniocentesis does bring with it certain risks. An amniocentesis may contribute to a chance for miscarriage, leaking of amniotic fluid, vaginal bleeding, or cramping.

Paternity laws vary from state to state. In many states, if a woman is married, her husband is legally the father regardless of what a paternity test might show. In some states, if the father and mother are not married, the father’s name will not be listed on the birth certificate, without certain paperwork being completed. Make sure you know the legal ramifications of paternity testing in your state before you request the procedure.

A Look at Amniocentesis


 Amniocentesis is a test that your doctor will use to try to gather certain information about the health of your baby. It involves taking a sample of the fluid surrounding your baby inside the uterus, known as amniotic fluid.

Most of the time, a woman undergoes amniocentesis in order to decide whether her baby has a chromosomal or genetic abnormality. Very often, it’s used to test for Down Syndrome. Amniocentesis is usually done between weeks 16 and 22 of pregnancy.

Here are some of the reasons that amniocentesis is performed:

  • To look at your baby’s lungs if an early delivery is being considered due to medical reasons.

  • To look for the presence of a uterine infection, which can be harmful to both you and your baby.

  • To examine whether your baby is all right in a situation in which you have Rh sensitization. Rh sensitization can occur when your blood type is different from your baby’s. (More and more, however, doctors are using Doppler ultrasound for this situation instead of amniocentesis.

There are a number of defects or disorders that amniocentesis can check for, including:

  • Down Syndrome, as mentioned above.

  • Other chromosomal orders like trisomy 13 and sex chromosome abnormalities like Klinefelter syndrome. Amniocentesis is nearly 100% accurate at detecting these disorders.

  • Identifying other genetic disorders such as sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis. There are actually several hundred disorders on the list that amniocentesis can identify.

  • Neural tube defects including conditions like anencephaly and spina bifida.

There are a number of birth defects that can’t be discovered through the amniocentesis procedure, including things like a malformation of the heart or a cleft palate. However, many of these conditions can be identified during an ultrasound.

There is some risk of a miscarriage with amniocentesis, and therefore it’s not necessarily a routine procedure. While the risk is less than 1%, for most women it’s not necessary unless there is a specific reason to believe that there might be a problem with your baby or your pregnancy.