In most cases, pregnancy tests for singleton deliveries are same as the ones for multiples, barring few different prescribed tests or few exceptional results that show up for the same tests.
The below list gives a comprehensive list of the most common tests that a mother has to undergo during the first trimester:
- Blood tests and Rh factor test – The same blood tests administered on mothers carrying one baby is also carried on mothers in case of multiple deliveries. It is carried out to find the mother’s blood group (if not already known) and also to find her blood’s Rh element, a type of protein present in the surface of the red blood cells.
- Complete Blood Count with ESR – Both in cases of singleton pregnancy and multiple pregnancies, this test will help in obtaining a complete account of different blood cells, and detect instances of underlying conditions like anaemia. ESR also helps in detecting other inflammatory diseases.
- Foetal ultrasound – This will be the best test and the most sure-shot way of confirming if there is more than one foetus in the uterus. In case of multiples, mothers may need to undergo multiple ultrasounds to monitor foetal growth and amniotic fluid.
- Doppler heartbeat count – Test is done to detect foetal heart sounds in the first trimester. This is a good way to ascertain if the mother is carrying multiples.
- Elevated hCG levels – Mothers expecting multiple babies are known to have increased levels of hCG hormone, a hormone produced during pregnancy. But then again, higher levels of hCG do not for sure point towards multiple births.
- Blood sugar test – This is an important test to detect if the mother is suffering from diabetes or not.
- Tests for detecting sexually-transmitted infections – Tests for detecting HIV 1 and HIV 2 are important for all kinds of pregnancies; a herpes test may also be conducted to detect prevalence of Herpes 1 and Herpes 2, and a VDRL test for detecting prevalence of syphilis is done.
There are many more tests which mothers expecting twins or more births undergo, but they are same as the tests mothers with singletons also go through. Like double marker tests around the 12th week; urine tests to scan health of the kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract; and HbcAg tests for detecting prevalence of hepatitis B virus.
Apart from these, there are some more tests undertaken to detect other infections and diseases like rubella, toxoplasmosis, and cytomegalovirus. ICT and IgM torch test are also blood tests to detect Rh negative factor and also other blood-related infections. Most of the tests remain same for mothers with single deliveries and multiple deliveries though, apart from some case-specific or complication-specific additionally prescribed test.