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Are You In Line for Twins?

by Jane Wangersky | April 28th, 2014 | Pregnancy

bebe-69675_1280What are the chances you’ll give birth to twins? Small, but not so small as they would’ve been a few decades ago. The twin birth rate in the U.S. has gone up since 1980, according to a recent study that says “In 2009, 1 in every 30 babies born in the United States was a twin, compared with 1 in every 53 babies in 1980.”

So,are you likely to become the mother of some of these increasingly common twins? There are a few factors that make it more likely, according to

Being over 30 increases your chances of having twins. More and more women are delaying having children till later in life, though that doesn’t account for all of the twin rate increase, according to the study.

Fertility treatments — which often go along with having your children after 30 — also make twins more likely.

If twins — fraternal twins, not identical — seem to run in your family, then there’s a greater chance that you’ll hyper-ovulate, and two eggs can mean two babies.

Of course, even if all these things are true of you, it doesn’t mean you’re going to have twins. And if none of them is true of you, it doesn’t mean you’re not.

Even after you’re pregnant, there’s no way to be sure, without an ultrasound, that you’re carrying twins. However, there are some signs you might be. lists rapid weight gain in the first trimester, intense nausea and vomiting, and extreme breast tenderness. In other words, the extra baby makes you feel extra pregnant.

Ultrasounds can be performed, and can detect multiple babies, even in your second month of pregnancy. Of course, everyone’s heard of an expectant mother of twins whose second baby was “hiding” during the scan and didn’t get discovered till later, so they’re not always right.

If it turns out you are having twins, your extra cares start right away. You’ll need to see your doctor more often during the pregnancy, and there are complications, such as premature labor, that you’ll be at more risk for. If you’re planning to breastfeed, it’ll be a good idea to study how to handle it with two babies.

As with all children, there are special risks and challenges in having twins. But there are also special gifts that come with it (like your children having live-in best friends). And though it’s still a fairly rare event, you can be sure that you’re not alone in facing it.

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