By peoplestaff225
Updated July 12, 2005 03:45 PM

When my mother told me that Britney Spears was having twins, I knew that the rumors had reached critical mass. I myself do not believe she is because she announced her pregnancy right around when I announced mine and we are approximately the same size and size is a major factor is making such a call, at least for the layperson.

That said, for the doubters out there, here is some info I found on iVillage on the signs and symptoms of a twin pregnancy.

Pre-conception factors

Age- Your chances for a multiple birth increase when you’re over 35. The probability of a 25 year old giving birth to twins is less than half of what it would be after the age of 35.I don’t even think Brit is 25 yet!
Use of assisted reproductive technology- Due to her young age, the likelihood of Britney using IVF and/or infertility treatment is low. You never know, though.
Twins in the family- Fraternal twins run in the family. If your mother or grandmother had twins, you might carry a gene that causes you to release more than one egg at a time, hence fraternal twins. As far as we know, Brit and Kev don’t have multiples in their families.

Pregnancy factors

Increased nausea and morning sickness- Multiple fetuses may cause increased hCG levels and therefore increase the likelihood of the dreaded morning sickness. Britney definitely had morning sickness and even threw up poolside while on vacation. However, many mothers of singletons have bad morning sickness (including yours truly).
Exaggerated pregnancy symptons- Many mothers of twins experience more intense pregnancy symptoms due to increased levels of hormones such as tender breasts, frequent urination, constant feelings of hunger and high level of exhaustion. The second trimester also brings with it swelling of the hands and legs, difficulty catching your breath, unusual rate of weight gain, excessive fetal movement and anemia. We have no way of knowing if Britney experienced these things.
Rapid weight gain in the first trimester- Higher than average weight gain in the first trimester may mean you’re carrying twins, but daily consumption of Frappucinos may cause that too.

Other factors that we can’t know…

Uterus measures large for the gestational age.
Elevated levels of AFP. Alpha fetoprotein (AFP) is a protein released by the baby as it grows and found in the mother’s blood, can be elevated when there is more than one baby. (It can also be elevated for other reasons, such as neural tube defects.)
Rapidly rising hCG levels. Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) is a hormone produced by the fertilized egg and by the chorionic villi. It is needed to maintain the pregnancy until the placenta develops. It can be detected in your blood or urine even before you miss a period. Normally in a singleton pregnancy, blood (serum) concentrations of hCG rise rapidly during the first weeks, doubling every two to three days. Levels of hCG can be even higher with twin or multiple pregnancies.
Two fetal heartbeats. Two separate heartbeats can be heard by around 12 weeks.
Ultrasound confirming two embryos, heartbeats, etc. They can be seen six weeks after the first day of the last menstrual period. Many twins have been diagnosed as early as five weeks — when you’re just one week late for your menstrual period.

What do you think?