The idea of having twins tends to polarise people. Some couples say they’d love the chance to parent two babies and others react in an entirely different way. If you are a twin or have twin siblings then your concept of the reality is likely to be very different to someone who’s never had anything to do with more than one baby at a time.
Many reproductive experts believe that as humans we probably have more twin pregnancies than any of us are aware of. Technological advances have found that it is reasonably common for there to be more than one embryo conceived and implanted, but of these, only one is viable and survives.
Foods That Increase Your Chances OF Having Twins
The following food products are believed to increase your chances of welcoming two pairs of tiny feet in one go.
In 2006 physician Gary Steinman found that those who eat animal products, particularly dairy, are five times more likely to have twins. In others words, if you want to double the trouble, stock up on milk and cheese. Some studies believe these results stem from the use of insulin-like growth factor in cows.
Yams are said to stimulate your ovaries thus increasing your chances of multiple births. According to a number of articles, an African tribe whose diet was rich in yams had a twin birth rate four times higher than the global average.
Fruit and vegetables
Folic acid supplements
An Australian study found that some women are more likely to get pregnant with twins if they take folic acid before trying for a baby. While the results in this field are varied, folic acid is recommended for pregnant women to avoid certain birth defects.
Previous studies have concluded that vegans who do not consume meats such as beef are less likely to have twins. Those who are lacking nutrients and/or underweight people are also less likely to have twins so start eating!
Other Factors That Boost Your Chances Of Having Twins?
Apart from diet, there are other factors that could increase your chances of having twins. They include
- Being older rather than younger help. It seems to be a twist of nature that just before a woman enters pre-menopause, her ovaries start releasing more than one egg each month. This “fertility spike” is also influenced by a surge of estrogen. Fertility research has proven that twin pregnancies are much more common in women who are over 35 years. But this only applies to non-identical twins.
- Have fertility assistance such as in vitro fertilization or take fertility drugs. These stimulate the ovaries to support more than one ovarian follicle each month towards maturity. The result is that more than one egg is released.
- Pick your own genetics carefully! Though we all know this is impossible. But if you come from a family where non-identical twins are common then your family history and genetic endowment mean that you’ve got a greater chance of having them yourself. But identical twins can occur in any family.
- Having been pregnant before. Women who have previously had a baby or two have a higher chance of conceiving with twins.
- Have a big family. This theory is based on pure maths; the more times you conceive the greater the likelihood of conceiving more than one baby.
- Get pregnant while you are on the pill. Difficult as this can be overall, there is a higher incidence of women conceiving with twins when they are on oral contraceptives.
- Try to conceive straight after you have stopped taking the pill. The theory is that for the first couple of cycles the woman’s body is going through a hormonal readjustment phase.
- Already have a set of twins. Because the likelihood of conceiving with twins again is higher in women who’ve already had them.
- Be heavier rather than lighter so that you’ve got a higher body mass index (BMI). Some researchers claim that a woman with a BMI of greater than 30 boosts her chances. But considering a healthy range during the fertile years is 20-25 and 30 would put you into the overweight/obese category then this is not a healthy recommendation.
- Take a folic acid supplement before you conceive. The general recommendation for women who are planning to conceive is to start taking folic acid supplements one month before conception.
- Encourage your partner to eat some oysters. The urban myth about oysters being an aphrodisiac is not entirely without basis. Oysters are high in zinc and this helps with sperm production. The more healthy and mobile his sperm is, the greater the likelihood of being able to fertilize an egg or two. If he’s keen to take supplements, the recommendation for men in their fertile years is 14mg/day. Green leafy vegetables, cereals, bread, seeds and wheat germ are all excellent sources of zinc.
- Be a twin yourself. Mothers who are twins are more likely to have twin babies. There is no influence on the male partner’s side, only the mother’s. But it does seem that fathers may pass the twin gene onto their daughters for their future conception possibilities.
- Keep breastfeeding your older baby or toddler. Women who are producing prolactin and breastfeeding are more likely to conceive with twins. Though some women do not resume regular ovulation and menstrual cycles for the entire time they are breastfeeding; this is very individual.