Multiple pregnancies guide weeks 5-8
At this stage you will probably still not know that you are carrying multiples, as the babies are still too small to see on ultrasound. You may begin to find that the tiredness which is common during the first trimester of pregnancy is even more overwhelming than if you were carrying only one baby, so try to rest whenever you can.
If this is not your first baby, you may be beginning to suspect that you are carrying more than one baby. It may be because you feel more tired than you did early in your singleton pregnancy, or because you feel that your belly is growing bigger faster. Your babies will be big enough to see on ultrasound from around six weeks onwards, although at this stage one baby might be hiding behind the other so it's best to wait another couple of weeks before having your first ultrasound. If you are carrying twins or higher order multiples you may find that you experience quite severe morning sickness as a result of the extra hormones your body is producing to support two or more babies. You can find some tips for coping with morning sickness here. If you find that you are vomiting all the time and are unable to keep down water contact your doctor immediately as there is a risk you may become dehydrated. This severe form of morning sickness is known as Hyperemesis Gravidarum and is more common in twin and higher order multiple pregnancies. Women who suffer from it often need to be hospitalised for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for IV fluid rehydration and anti-nausea treatments.
Your babies are growing rapidly, they will be about 12 mm long. If you have undergone fertility treatment, or are unsure of the date of your last menstrual period, you will have your first ultrasound this week. This will be when you find out how many babies you are expecting! If you have undergone fertility treatment you may be half expecting to hear that you are carrying twins or more, but for many women, finding out that they are pregnant with multiples comes as a big shock! For many couples the first port of call after finding out they are having twins or more is their local Multiple Birth Club. Here you will find other parents of twins, triplets and more, and they will be able to put you in touch with other expectant parents of multiples in your area. Some clubs run support evenings for new/expectant parents, and many hire out baby equipment such as baby swings, exersaucers, even car seats. Some nursery retailers even offer a multiple birth club discount which can really add up when you are having to buy two or more of everything! Check out www.nzmba.info to find a club in your area.
You will have a greater weight increase than that of a mother with a single baby, and you will need to consume approximately 1.5 times as many kilojoules so don't be surprised if you feel hungry all the time! On the other hand, you may still be feeling quite nauseous and not feel like eating at all. If this is the case, try to keep your energy up by sipping small amounts of lemonade or juice regularly. Your uterus will grow at a much faster rate than if you were carrying a single baby, and as a result you may beging to "show" much earlier. You may also feel a sense of heaviness in your pelvis and vagina, this is due to the weight of your growing uterus.