8.7.2  Diagnosis of twin pregnancy

On abdominal examination you may notice that:

  • The size of the uterus is larger than the expected for the period for gestation.
  • The uterus looks round and broad, and fetal movement may be seen over a large area. (The shape of the uterus at term in a singleton pregnancy in the vertex presentation appears heart-shaped rounder at the top and narrower at the bottom.)
  • Two heads can be felt.
  • Two fetal heart beats may be heard if two people listen at the same time, and they can detect at least 10 beats different (Figure 8.6).
  • Ultrasound examination can make an absolute diagnosis of twin pregnancy.
Two people listen either side of the pregnant woman. Each taps in rhythm with the heartbeat they can hear. The pregnant woman says that their tapping is different and maybe she is having twins.
Figure 8.9  Two people can listen for twins, by tapping in rhythm with the two fetal heart beats.

8.7.1  Types of twin pregnancy

8.7.3  Consequences of twin pregnancy