Although in most cases, multiple pregnancies show up in the first trimester, sometime detection happens in the second trimester. Some of the tests recommended during this time are as follows:
- Foetal ultrasound – One of the most full-proof ways of confirming multiple pregnancies. In case of more than one foetus, a series of ultrasounds may be needed to monitor foetal growth and amniotic fluid.In some cases, maybe the first time that multiple pregnancy gets detected is when some other thing is being tested like the prevalence of high levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (Hcg) hormone or the pregnancy hormone.
However keep in mind that high levels of hCG need not necessarily hint towards multiple pregnancy.
- Abnormal AFP test results – The alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) screening, or the maternal serum screening or the triple marker test, performed during the second trimester, helps in detecting certain birth defects and measuring amounts of certain protein that is secreted by the foetal liver.
Positive or high test reading indicates multiple pregnancies.
- Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) and multiple marker screening – One of these tests which are genetic screening tests is routinely offered to mothers during the second trimester.
- Blood Glucose screening – This is also a typical second-trimester test done usually between the 24th and 28th weeks for both mothers expecting one child as well as more than one. This test is important to detect diabetes which can cause large babies and difficult deliveries.
- Foetal Doppler ultrasound – This ultrasound test uses sound waves to evaluate the type and pattern of blood flow through the blood vessels to the placenta. In case of multiple pregnancies, this test is of great importance.
Other must-do tests in case of a multiple pregnancy are regular blood pressure check-ups and blood tests, urine tests, trans-vaginal ultrasounds to check length of the cervix etcetera.
Apart from all this, estimates about whether the mother is carrying twins or more can be made using a number of less full-proof ways. Some of them are –
- Women carrying multiples experience increased uterine stretching and measure large for their gestational age. Their fundal height is greater than the actual gestational age.
- Women may experience excessive weight gain owing to bearing more than one developing foetus inside the womb.
- Excessive morning sickness may be experienced; mothers carrying multiples may also experience foetal movement before mothers carrying one baby.Family trends when it comes to giving birth to twins or more, would also be a good indicator to guess the probability of the mother carrying more than one child.
- Family trends when it comes to giving birth to twins or more, would also be a good indicator to guess the probability of the mother carrying more than one child.