The world has known about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal baby for six months now, but it doesn’t mean people are tired of hypothesising over every little detail. We’ve heard rumours Meghan was further along in the pregnancy than she let on, hunches about what the baby will be called, and speculation over whether or not we’ll get a post-birth hospital photo of the new family.
The latest guessing game is over whether we’re going to welcome just one royal baby at the end of the month, or two. Because one pretty well informed person – a midwife of 16 years – believes the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting twins.
My expert midwife founder and practising midwife Lesley Gilchrist, RM MHbA BSc (Hons) MSc (M), thinks there may actually be something in the rumours of twins for Harry and Meghan. And there are a couple of reasons why:
We’ve all been following the development of Meghan Markle’s baby bump and if you thought the Duchess looked like she was growing quickly, you’re not the only one to have made the observation.
“Having been a midwife for over 16 years and seen and encountered countless pregnant mums, Meghan has consistently carried a larger than expected bump, suggesting she could be expecting twins,” said midwife Lesley.
With this being Meghan’s first pregnancy, the midwife pointed out that it’s surprising for her bump to be so sizeable because, while it’s not the same for everyone, often first-time mums can have slightly smaller bumps.
“First time mums tend to have ‘neater bumps’ due to muscle memory,” explained Lesley. “With subsequent pregnancies the muscles and skin of the abdomen give more easily – it’s why women ‘show’ earlier after their first baby.”
The dates Meghan travelled abroad
The midwife has evidently had her calculator out for this one. “The last known air travel for Meghan was back in February for her baby shower in New York and a trip to Morocco,” said Lesley, adding that according to Meghan herself, she is due late April to early May.
“With the Duchess confirming she was around six months pregnant in mid-January, this would mean she would have been between 28 -30 gestation, putting her well within the official recommendations by the Royal College of Obstetricians for mums pregnant with twins to avoid air travel after 32 weeks,” said the midwife.
The expert added that for single pregnancies, the air travel limit tends to be around 36 weeks, perhaps begging the question that there was a reason the Duchess got her final overseas trips out of the way earlier on – and maybe that reason is because she’s expecting twins.
Of course, midwife Lesley did acknowledge that both pieces of ‘evidence’ pointing towards twins may not be as they seem, and that Meghan may well be expecting just one child later this month.
“There could be other reasons apart from twins [for the size of Meghan’s bump] such as wishing to avoid scrutiny around her due date by giving a falsely later date,” noted the midwife.
“She may actually be closer to her due date than we are led to believe – many antenatal teachers will advise women to give a false due date for this very reason.
“It might also be that she has simply grown a really healthy baby,” added Lesley. “Meghan is very focused on good self-care and a healthy diet and lifestyle, all which undoubtedly help with foetal growth.”
The midwife might be on to something with her prediction that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could be expecting twins in the next few weeks. But it’s certainly not the first time the idea has been suggested.
Back in November last year, just a month after the pregnancy was announced, betting company Paddy Power received such a flurry of bets that the royal couple were having twins, they stopped allowing any further bets to be placed.
And during a work trip to Morocco with Prince Harry in February, Meghan herself dropped a hint some people took to mean she was carrying more than one baby.
In conversation with a chef at one of the couple’s engagements, the chef said he’d like to cook for Meghan again when she next visited Morocco. In a video captured and posted online by ITV News’ royal producer, Lizzie Robinson, the Duchess responded: “Yes! The whole family next time” while looking down at her bump.
Meghan’s use of “the whole family” triggered speculation on Twitter that she may be expecting more than one child.
But as with every other rumour relating to the royal baby, nothing has been confirmed by the royal family. So sorry to disappoint, but there’s only one way we’re going to find out just how many babies are inside Meghan Markle’s uterus right now, and that’s waiting until she gives birth.
Luckily, we don’t have too much longer to go…