The idea of having twins tends to be conflicting in people. Some couples say they would love the chance to parent twin babies while others react in a different way. For most, the idea of having twins is positive and many couples actually wish to have twins in pregnancy. Read ahead to find out what you can do to have a twin pregnancy.
- Fraternal Twins occur when multiple eggs are released and two separate eggs are fertilized.
- Identical Twins occur when the egg splits during the early stages of pregnancy.
What role does Genetics play in conceiving twins?
- Heredity – If the female has twins in her family or if she herself has a twin, her possibility of conceiving twins is higher. Thi genetic predisposition only applies to the female as her genes can highly influence the chances of hyper-ovulation.
- Statistically, African females are more likely to have twins, while Asian women have a lower chance of having a twin pregnancy.
- Identical twins can be a bit of luck and can happen to anyone. While fraternal twins usually run in the female’s genetics. Hyperovulation causes the release of multiple eggs and is considered to be genetic.
- Age– Older females have a higher chance of conceiving twins. After the 30s, the female’s body receives a fertility spike by the surge of estrogen. After the age of 35, the female body produces more FSH or follicle-stimulating hormones. As a result, during ovulation, the body releases more than one egg and increases the chances of having twins.
- Taller females and the ones with a higher BMI also have an increased chance of having a twin pregnancy. Having a BMI of more than 30 is thought to increase the female’s chances of having twins in pregnancy. But, this also puts her in the obese category, which is not a healthy option.
What can increase your chances of having a twin pregnancy?
- Folate: Folate has been found in studies to have a 40% increase in twin pregnancies. Although, this appears to be aimed at females who have had IVF treatments. Increasing folic acid (about 400 – 1000 micrograms a day) is also a natural way to get pregnant with twins. Folic acid also reduces the risk of neural tube defects during pregnancy and helps in the healthy growth of the baby. Foods that help elevate the female’s Vitamin B9 levels include tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, egg yolk, sunflower seeds, broccoli, honeydew melon, asparagus, and liver.
Also Read- Folic Acid in Pregnany
- Hyperovulation-stimulating foods: There are a few foods that naturally increase the rate of ovulation and stimulate ovaries to release multiple eggs. Such hyperovulation stimulating foods include cassava (an African wild yam or sweet potato), tofu, soy isoflavones, whole grains, and whole wheat.
For the male partner- Due to their high zinc content, eating oysters can help increase sperm production. Zinc is believed to help with sperm mobility and doctors advise the intake of 14mg zinc a day.
- Gaining a few pounds: Females with a higher BMI are more likely to have twins in pregnancy. However, this is not a healthy habit and a female should consult her doctor if she is pregnant and overweight.
- Dairy: Most doctors recommend an intake of dairy and calorie-rich food in such cases. In a study conducted by Dr. Gary Steinman, females who eat more dairy are 5 times more likely to have a twin pregnancy. Various studies also showed that vegans are less likely to conceive twins. So, the best chance is to increase the intake of dairy and meat in order to increase your chances of having twins. Consuming dairy products increases the female’s chances of having multiple birth pregnancies.
- A gap before Conception: Do not rush to fall pregnant shortly after having a baby. Experts advise taking a gap in the conception, which can also raise the chances of having twins.
- Use a Birth Control Pill: As a female stops taking the birth control pill, her hormones will fluctuate and take some time to get back to its natural rhythm. This hormone flux increases the chances of releasing multiple eggs, leading to pregnancy with twins.
- More children: Having more kids increases the female’s chances of having twins naturally. It gets easier for the female’s body to produce multiple eggs during ovulation the more times that she is pregnant. But, it does not mean you need to have multiple babies just to have twins. Talk to your doctor who can suggest more alternatives for this.
- Continue Breastfeeding: The female’s body produces a higher percentage of prolactin during breastfeeding, which increases her chances of having twins.
Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that a female will conceive twins. The above are just outlines of ways to increase the chances. For better outcomes, consult your doctor for advice on how to have a pregnancy with twins.