tendency for giving birth to twins runs in the family. This is especially
true of fraternal (not identical) twins. It is believed that twins skip
a generation - however, this belief has no factual basis and is essentially
nothing more than a myth. So if your grandmother or even your mother gave
birth to twins, it is possible that you are carrying the gene which causes
you to release more than one egg at a time, thus increasing the odds of
having twins. This Dizygotic or two-egg twinning gene is passed down from
female to female. So if your husband's mother had twins, it doesn't greatly
influence the likelihood of you giving birth to twins.
Age plays a prominent factor as well.
The older you are, the higher your chances of giving birth to twins. Essentially,
a 25 year old has half the chance of giving birth to twins, than a 35 year
old has. The incidence of giving birth to twins has increased in the past
two decades, as women concentrate more on their career and have babies
at a later age.
Fertility enhancing drugs and the
use of other reproductive technology also increases the likelihood of giving
birth to twins. Another myth states that poor income families are less
likely to give birth to twins, because they do not have access to expensive
infertility treatments such as ovulation-inducing drugs and the like. However,
this factor plays a small role in increasing the likelihood of giving birth
to twins. Other factors such as hereditary play a much greater role.
How do you know if you really
are carrying twins? Here are some common symptoms:
Mother's intuition: Don't ignore
this. Sometimes, mothers just know that they are giving birth to twins.
Very often, even three months before the medical diagnosis, a mother is
able to feel the presence of two babies in her stomach. So if you have
a strong feeling that you may be carrying twins, don't dismiss it. Go in
for an ultrasound, or you would work towards gaining only half the amount
of weight that you should.
Weight gain: Your weight gain
would be higher than normal in the first trimester. Don't be unduly concerned
about this. Don't overeat, and cut down on sweets, but otherwise don't
starve yourself to stick to the weight gain as recommended by the physicians.
Remember, you just might be carrying twins.
Uterus: If you are carrying twins,
your uterus will be large for its gestational age. Usually there is a minor
difference between when you actually conceived and your date of conception
according to the ultrasound, but if the uterus is far more enlarged than
it should be - especially during the second ultrasound, it is very possible
that you are carrying twins.
Intensified symptoms: Commonly,
pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, nausea and food cravings are
intensified if you are pregnant with twins. Morning sickness is a result
of hormonal imbalance and an elevated HCG level, which is even more pronounced
in the case of a twin pregnancy. However, this need not always be the case.
Elevated AFP: AFP is a protein
released by the baby as it grows in the womb, and it is found in the mother's
blood upon testing. If this level is higher than it should be, it could
indicate either defects in the foetus, or a twin pregnancy.
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- The Indiaparenting Team