Seeing Double: Fun Facts About Twins
By Ashley Karcher
Nope, you don’t need an eye exam; you really are seeing double. The number of twins in the U.S. is multiplying at a fast pace. According to a recent report by the National Center for Health Statistics, twin birth rates are up 76 percent. This could be due to the fact that more women over the age of 30 are having children, and more are using fertility drugs, both of which increase the likelihood of multiples.
Even though there are more twins in the U.S. than ever before, twins tend to draw lots of attention and curiosity.
Here are some fun twin facts:
1. A set of twins will go through at least six hundred diapers the first month.
2. Massachusetts has the highest twin birth rate of any state, while New Mexico has the lowest.
3. Tall women are more likely to have twins.
4. There is a genetically predisposed “twin gene” — for fraternal twinning — which is the result of a woman releasing more than one egg at the same time.
5. Identical twins are the result of a random split of a single egg and cannot be genetically predisposed.
6. Male twins will not have twins unless their wives have the ability to produce two eggs.
7. Identical twins share the same DNA but do not have the same fingerprints.
8. About one in 250 pregnancies results in identical twins.
9. 22 percent of twins are left-handed, compared to 10 percent in singletons.
10. Fraternal twin girls have twice the chance of giving birth to twins than singletons.
11. Once you have fraternal twins, you are 3 to 4 times more likely to have another set.
12. Nigeria has the highest rate of identical twins.
13. A recent study found that twins bond in the womb as early as 14-weeks gestation.
14. 40 percent of twins invent their own language, called “autonomous languages.” The made up “languages” often disappear once the children have learned a real language.
15. Over 50 percent of twins are born before 37 weeks.
16. The average birth weight for a twin is 5 lbs, 5 oz.
17. Studies show that mothers of twins tend to live longer than mothers of singletons.
18. There are more than just fraternal and identical twins; other rare twin types include “half identical twins” (when the egg splits and then each half is fertilized) and mirror image twins (identical twins who develop asymmetrically). Mirror image twins may be right- and left-handed, have birthmarks on opposite sides of their body, or have hair whorls that swirl in opposite directions.
19. Moms who are expecting twins tend to have higher levels of morning sickness.
20. Average weight gain for a singleton pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds while the average weight gain for a twin pregnancy is 35 to 55 pounds.
Ashley Schafer Karcher lives in Ocean Springs with her husband and four children, two of which are identical twin boys.