Is it possible to be pregnant with twins and not know until delivery?

Joe Rawlinson by Joe Rawlinson - August 18, 2021

Is it possible to not know you’re having twins until delivery?

It is possible but not likely.

Let’s talk about several factors that would indicate that yes, you are having twins well before their delivery day.

Ultrasounds Are the Key

Prenatal care is available to many people. And as such, a typical follow up visit to the doctor confirming a pregnancy will often lead to an ultrasound to identify any problems or challenges that the baby may be having.

During that ultrasound is often where twins are discovered. So if you’re getting an ultrasound during the pregnancy, the odds are pretty good, they’re going to detect the presence of twins.

Now of course, twins can elude the sonographer during those scans. You may not find out till later in the pregnancy when you have a follow up sonogram.

However, most of the time, twins are caught very early on during that first ultrasound.

Mother’s Physical Changes

But let’s suppose you don’t get the ultrasound or the technician doesn’t see the twins, it is quite likely that mother’s size will start to put up some red flags that she’s carrying more than one baby.

Of course, all pregnancies are different. Sometimes moms can can carry their babies and not become massively large, like the typical twin pregnancy.

However, in most cases, by the time moms are progressing through the pregnancy, they’re going to start measuring significantly larger than a singleton pregnancy. That’s going to cause the doctor and the medical staff to wonder, “well, why is she measuring larger than usual?”.

(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)

That suspicion will lead to the doctor ordering an ultrasound to see what’s going on.

They may even listen for multiple heartbeats on different sides of the abdomen.

So the bottom line is that if you are receiving regular medical care, which you should be during the pregnancy, you’re going to find out that you’re having twins before they are delivered.

Real Life Isn’t Like Television

The rare case that maybe you see in the movies or in a TV show, or you hear occasionally on the news, that is not going to happen to you.

Statistically, you’re going to find out that you’re having twins well before delivery.

This is good because you need time to get ready and prepare for them.

With our twins, we had identical twin girls, but my wife had an ultrasound at that first doctor visit confirming the pregnancy, they hooked her up to the ultrasound machine, and they found out that we’d be having twins, just like that.

So the odds are pretty good that your first visit to the doctor, you’re going to find out that it’s twins, if not a few visits after that.

(RELATED: Expecting twins? Avoid these 4 critical mistakes expectant twin parents make.)

If you’re expecting, try out our twin gender predictor to have a fun guess at what you’ll be having.

Further Reading

Dad's Guide to Raising Twins book
Don't forget to pick up a copy of the definitive guide to raising twins. "Dad's Guide to Raising Twins" was written for fathers of twins to help guide you through the first several years with twins. Click here to learn more about the book and get your copy.

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