Pregnancy is exhausting. Honestly, I can't remember a time in my life when I've ever been more tired than I was during those long nine months. Each day seemed longer than the last, and it was like I just couldn't catch up with my rest. There was never enough sleep available. If you're feeling extra tired in the first bloom of your pregnancy, or you're rounding month eight and feel like there's lead in your butt, you might wonder, are you more tired with twins? Because, you're pretty sure that your bed is now telepathically communicating with you.
Multiple gestation pregnancy, that is, pregnancy with two or more babies in tow, seems to exacerbate the traditional symptoms of pregnancy, especially in the first few weeks of pregnancy, noted the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). This includes morning sickness, weight gain, and lethargy. According to the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine, symptoms are heightened because the maternal metabolic rate of a twin pregnancy is different from a singleton pregnancy, and requires precision when dealing with nutritional and rest needs.
You can imagine that this is a difficult trick to manage when you're throwing up half of what you eat because your morning sickness is so extreme. But is it that way for everyone?
In the process of writing this article, I spoke to several of my friends who happen to be moms of twins, and all of them shared the same thought — "Holy smokes, was I ever tired and achy." The added weight of a twin pregnancy, and just the lack of space in your abdominal cavity as your twins grow and develop, seems to create a perfect storm of exhaustion and discomfort. The Cleveland Clinic's website noted, "Women who are expecting multiples can experience the typical discomforts of pregnancy more intensely. Good self-care and getting plenty of rest can help to ease the stress of pregnancy."
The need to know if you are more tired with twins is especially important for women considering undergoing fertility treatments or IVF. The Mayo Clinic noted that women who are receiving these treatments are far more likely to get pregnant with twins and experience the enhanced symptoms, which may be a factor in their decision to proceed or not. I know that personally, the risk of twins and what that could mean for me was always at the forefront of my mind as I went through my journey with infertility treatments. My doctor was very up front with me about my risks of conceiving twins, and the risks inherent in carrying twins.
I spoke with mom of twins and home health care nurse, Suha Mohammed, of Brooklyn, New York, and she tells Romper, "Everything your body has when it's pregnant with one is increased, though not necessarily doubled, when you're pregnant with twins. For myself, it was as though I had a super pregnancy. Everything was heightened, from my morning sickness to my dog nose, and especially the sense of exhaustion." Mohammed says that while diet and exercise go a long way in combating the lethargy of a twin pregnancy, there's no real silver bullet. "You can eat perfectly and take your vitamins, but the fact is, your body is doing a lot to nurture the two lives it's growing." In short, you're going to be tired, and you're going to ache, but you're growing two new humans, which is amazing. It's also exhausting.
Pregnancy is exhausting for everyone, and it seems that it's more so for women who are carrying more than one baby. Thankfully, pregnancy is finite, and eventually, those twins will grow up to be great playmates, hopefully giving you a little time to rest while they're playing with each other.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.