Seeing Double

    Monday, we had the honor of serving two-month old twins. The family was originally from Nigeria, which incidentally has the highest rate of multiple births in the world. 
    Helping these precious babies got me thinking about just how common twins are nowadays. At least once a day it seems like we are seeing double at Infant Crisis Services.

    So my curiosity sent me searching for answers (in other words, I googled it).  Turns out, twinning is more common than it has ever been. An estimated one in thirty babies born is a twin. Most of the research attributes that to a higher maternal age and fertility drugs. 

    Here are a few fun and fascinating facts about twins:

  • Tall women are more likely to conceive twins.
  • At 14 weeks, twins already interact with each other in the womb.
  • Fraternal twins run in families. Identical twins do not.
  • African American women are the most likely race to conceive twins. Asian women are the least likely. 
  • Scientists once thought left-handed people started as twins in the womb, but the "mirror-image" fetus was not strong enough, did not survive and became absorbed by the mother's body very early into the pregnancy.                  

Now to the not-so-fun facts:

  • More than half of all twins are born premature, before 37 weeks, putting them at risk of complications.
  • The average birth weight is only 5 pounds, 5 ounces.
  • Mothers of twins are more likely to require a cesarean section and suffer serious problems during pregnancy such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or miscarriage -- as well as some less serious problems like very bad morning sickness.

    Here is a link to even more facts about twins.