Did your last ultrasound session give you a big surprise when the doctor announced that you are having twins? Did you recently get to know that there is another little heart beating in the background?
Having multiples is like getting a package gift from the mother nature—only if you don’t mind changing some more diapers every day.
What is the likelihood of having multiples? Does it really depend on what the mother eats before conceiving or is it just the magic of the Mother Nature? Apparently, both.
We have a list of factors that play a huge role in determining the likeliness of having multiples. Before we jump onto these factors, let us look at how the twin pregnancy occurs naturally. There are two types of twins—identical twins and non-identical twins.
Identical twins are conceived when one egg is fertilized by one sperm, but the embryo which is formed then divides into two separate embryos to become two different babies. Identical or monozygotic twins not only share the genetic structure, they also share the same placenta—these are the twins that look strikingly identical.
Non-Identical twins are conceived when two separate eggs are fertilized by two separate sperms. Also called dizygotic twins, they have their own placentas and genetic structures.
1. Family History
Did your mom had twins or your sister had multiples? If so, keep your fingers crossed. A family history of twins or multiples can increase your chances of having multiples.
But there is a reason why we are only focusing on the maternal side of the family. This is because it is the woman who produces the eggs, that increases the likeliness of having twins.
2. Your Age
Your age may give you a benefit here. The women who conceive in their 30s and 40s have higher chances of having multiples. Hormonal changes that occur around this age in women, which can stimulate the release of more than one egg in each menstrual cycle
Hormonal changes that occur around this age in women, which can stimulate the release of more than one egg in each menstrual cycle
So, if two eggs are released per cycle, it could be fertilized by two different sperms and result in a twin pregnancy.
3. Lifestyle Including Eating Habits
Women who consume a high-fat diet as more likely to have multiples than those who are vegans, vegetarians or consume a low-fat diet. This is accredited to slight changes in the hormones released in the women with the two extreme dietary habits.
Also, if the woman is on pills and stops taking them when she plans to conceives, there are high chances that she conceives twins. The reason being that the body is still adjusting to the hormonal cycles once the woman is off the pills, which could cause a release of more than one egg in a cycle.
4. Your Place Of Origin
A pattern has been observed in the rate of multiple births in different places around the world. The countries in East Asia have a fewer number of twin births, which are only 6-9%, highest in South and South-East Asia. Whereas the highest number of twin pregnancies have been found in Nigeria—about 18%—apart from Central African countries.1
However, there is an interesting twist to the occurrence. It is also been found that if you are a Nigerian and live in another country, your chances of having twins don’t remain the same, they are reduced—it may have something to do with the climate of the place too.
5. Fertility Treatment
It has been well-known that the likelihood of twin pregnancy increases when the mother undergoes a fertility treatment like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
6. The Number Of Children You Have
Your chances of conceiving twins or multiples only increase if you have more children. This is simple probability—your chances become better with every pregnancy and you could find yourself in luck at one point.
Also, if you are conceived easily in the previous pregnancies, it only proves that you are a good ‘ovulator’.
7. If You Already Have Twins
Are you already a parent to twins? Buckle yourself up because your next pregnancy is more likely to gift you two babies instead of one. The chances only become better if you have had twins previously.
If the news is confirmed and there are not one but two babies on the way, then it is time to look after yourself. Eat a nutritious diet, drink plenty of water and get regular checkups done to ensure that the babies are doing well.