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How To Understand the Likelihood of Having Twins
- Recognize that only about 3% of births result in multiple babies. Twins are not the norm when it comes to childbirth. While some things raise your chances of having twins (or other multiples, like triplets) slightly, it’s a good idea to expect just 1 baby and be pleasantly surprised if you end with 2 or more.
- Twins account for about 95% of multiple births.
- Check if the mother’s family tree includes a history of twins. Researchers are still studying the genetics behind fraternal twins. However, having a mother or sister who conceived twins appears to significantly raise a woman’s chance of also having twins. Be aware that twins popping up on dad’s side of the family tree doesn’t seem to have an impact.
- Try to conceive after you’ve turned 35. As you get older, your body produces more follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This may cause more than 1 egg to drop when you ovulate, resulting in the birth of multiples. Women over 35 may have a harder time conceiving, however, and they may face more complications during pregnancy.
- Understand that your chances are higher if you’re tall and have a high BMI. If you’re over 5’3’’ (164 cm) tall, you’re as much as 2 times more likely to have twins than someone who’s under 5’ (155 cm). In addition, having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher appears to slightly raise your chances of having twins.
- Unfortunately, a BMI of 30 or higher is generally associated with obesity. It’s not a good idea to gain weight in an effort to conceive twins.
- Expect your chances of twins to vary slightly depending on your race. Black women appear to be slightly more likely to conceive twins than white women. Being Latina or Asian appears to slightly decrease your chances of having twins.
- Accept that you can’t do much to conceive twins. While these genetic and body type factors might slightly increase your chances, it’s still more likely that you’ll end up with just 1 baby at a time. If you really want twins, cross your fingers and let luck take care of the rest!
- Don’t be upset if you end up with a single birth. While twins and other multiple births are wonderful, they’re a bit riskier for both moms and babies. Be excited and enjoy whatever pregnancy (and, later, parenting) experience comes your way!
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