Myth Busters: Twin Edition

March 04, 2018

twin myth article on twin blog

If you’re pregnant with twins, there are probably plenty of thoughts racing through your head.  Maybe you are familiar with twins and know tons of people who have twins, or maybe you know little at all about this strange new world. People have always been fascinated by twins. Virtually every culture through history has tantalizing tales and stories of twins (evil twin anyone?). There are probably many things you have heard about twins that may or may not be true. We at TwinGo are here to share some of the most interesting and pervasive things swirling around about twins and will set the record straight. How many of these have you heard about?

  1. Morning Sickness with Twin Pregnancies is the Worst

Unfortunately, this one is generally true. One of the triggers of morning sickness is a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Double the babies means double the hormones, so you may need to prepare for a little bit more nausea. Most people, however, will find relief by 14 weeks.

  1. Twins Run in Families

This myth is partially true. Fraternal twins can run in families because some women hyperovulate, meaning they release more than one egg during a cycle. There are reasons other than genetics that someone might hyperovulate, but some people do indeed carry this gene. If dad carries this gene on his side, his child might inherit it and if she conceives, she might have a higher chance for twins. This explains why you may hear people talking about twins skipping a generation (genes passing through dad’s side, but his genes don’t affect whether he will conceive twins).  In contrast, identical twinning is a spontaneous splitting of a fertilized egg which is a fairly rare occurrence.

  1. You Can’t Breastfeed Two Babies

Thankfully for those who desire to breastfeed their babies, this one is false. The human body is amazing and most women who are determined to feed their babies this way do. With patience and perseverance, your body can adjust to the demands of feeding two tiny humans. It may be harder for some than for others, but if this is important to you, read up and build a support system to help you accomplish your goals and ignore the naysayers.

  1. Twin Pregnancies are Always Complicated and Require a C-Section

It may surprise you, but about 40% of twins are born vaginally. Lots of factors come into play when it comes to the ability to have a vaginal delivery, such as fetal position and the nature of your high-risk pregnancy. You will want to talk to your healthcare provider early on to understand their view on this matter. Some providers are more willing than others to give this a go. Note also just because you are labeled “High Risk,” does not mean you will actually deal with the many complications you are technically at a higher risk for. Many women carrying twins sail through their pregnancies and may even carry to a full 40-week gestation. Focus on taking care of yourself and don’t get too stressed by the label.

  1. Twins Can Have More Than One Dad

This is surprisingly true for fraternal twins. It would be very rare for this to happen naturally, but technically a woman can have intercourse with two separate men in a short span of time and conceive two different babies. Sperm can in fact survive in a woman’s body for 5 days. Crazy!

  1. Identical Twins are Identical in Everyway

While identical twins may be similar in many ways, they can in fact be quite different. For starters, you may be surprised to know that identical twins do not have the same finger prints. They are individual people and probably will have different personalities, sleeping, and eating patterns. Environment will play a huge role in their development, and you get to witness them growing up to become the amazing individuals they are meant to be.

  1. Twin Moms Live Longer Than Mothers of Singletons

This is a fun fact and is actually true! Woman who spontaneously conceive twins are apparently made of sturdier stuff than the rest of us and statistically will live longer and healthier lives. Sure you may not feel like fittest gal on the block when you are heaving your watermelon belly around town in those tough pregnancy days, but you are winning the survival of the fittest game.

  1. Twins Can Have Their Own Language

This is a truth and the phenomenon is known as cryptophasia (meaning secret speech).  Up to 50% of twins develop their own language to communicate with each other. This phenomenon is said to be caused by a delay in phonological development for one or both of the twins. This may mean you’re your twins take a bit longer than singletons to get their gab on, but don’t sweat it.  You can always consult with a speech pathologist if you feel concerned. Keep your ears open and see if you can detect some unintelligible babble that might be your twins chatting over a good bottle of milk.

  1. What You Eat Can Cause a Twin Pregnancy

How crazy is this one? Vegans are five times LESS likely to birth twins then their omnivorous, dairy eating compadres.  Why? It has been suggested that growth hormones found in animal products, and in particular dairy items, can stimulate hyperovulation. How much cheese did you dig into before you conceived your two?

  1. There Are More Twins in the World

It’s not that you are seeing double everywhere you go. There are more twins in the world today. Nowadays, approximately 1 in 30 babies is a twin. This is a huge increase from the 1 in 53 we saw in 1980. This is most likely due in large part to older gestational age and increased use of reproductive technology. The good news for you is that you are much more likely to find a friend to bond with over the fun and crazy twin journey.

We hope you enjoyed finding out which myths were true, and which were busted as much as we enjoyed pulling this together.  Which ones were the most eye opening to you? We’d love to know.