Twins are two offspring produced by the same pregnancy. Expecting Multiple or twins is possible when one egg (ovum) splits before implanting or when separate eggs are each fertilized by a different sperm.
Type of Twins:
Fraternal Twins: Fraternal Twins are also known as dizygotic twins. These twins come from 2 eggs being fertilized at the same time each having its own placenta. Fraternal Twins can be of the same or different sexes. They share half of their genes.
Identical Twins: Identical Twins are also known as monozygotic twins. They result from 1 fertilized egg that splits and develops into 2 separate embryos that will share a placenta and amniotic sac .Identical Twins are always of the same sex. They share all of their genes.
1 in 250 pregnancies results in twins naturally. Women have higher chances of twins pregnancy with IVF treatment. Chances of twins in a normal pregnancy is around 6% while the chances of twins with IVF reaches up to 25%.
Fun Facts about Twins:
Identical twins do not have identical fingerprints
Tall women are more likely to have twins
Mirror Image Identical Twins Exist
Twins begin interacting as early as the 14th week of gestation
Identical twins can still have completely different genetic makeups.
More twins Are left-handed
Mothers of twins live longer
Women who drink lots of dairy are more likely to conceive twins
Twins speak their own language
Some conjoined twins can feel and taste what the other one does
Older moms are naturally more likely to have twins
Both twins can be born by different birth methods
Labour is sometimes longer than usual with twins
Mom need to have at least 500 calories extra to breastfeed twins
Q. What is Vanishing Twin Syndrome?
A. Vanishing Twin Syndrome is a type of miscarriage. The loss of a twin during pregnancy can occur in first trimester .The baby that doesn’t develop fully is called the vanishing twin. During the first trimester loss, the tissue of miscarried twin is usually reabsorbed by the surviving baby and its mother‘s body.
Q. What are the unusual events of twin pregnancies?
A. At time , unusual events do happen during fertilization or early stages of twin pregnancy that can lead to unique twins. Some of them Mirror image twins , Conjoined twins , Parasitic twins , Semi-identical twins , Boy/girl identical twins.
Q. Do twins sharing a placenta poses significant risk?
A. When two fetuses share one placenta, their umbilical cords may implant anywhere, and depending on where they implant, one fetus may get less share of the placenta than it’s another twin, resulting in less blood flow and nutrition to one fetus, with more to the other. As a result, identical twins inspite of sharing the same genetic material might grow differently.
Q. What are the some of potential risk for the babies in twin pregnancy?
A. Some of the risks include early delivery or Preterm labor , low birthweight , birth defects , Twin-To-Twin Transfusion Syndrome(TTTS) etc.
Q. What type of twins are conjoined?
A. Conjoined twins are two babies who are born physically connected to each other mostly connected at the chest, abdomen or pelvis.
Q. Can Identical Twins look Different?
A. The baby is constantly swallowing the amniotic fluid and the same is getting digested in the body. The fluids are discharged in the form of urine. Waste products are getting formed in the baby which will be passed in the baby’s first motion called as meconium. The permanent teeth will be in the place of the tiny tooth buds, getting formed now.Yes, Identical twins inspite of having the same chromosomes and genes and sharing the same sperm and egg can look different. This is mainly due to the environmental differences that affect the way they look and behave.
Q. Is normal delivery possible in case of twin pregnancy?
A. Yes, normal delivery is very much possible if the babies are growing well and there are no health issues associated with the mom to be.
Q. How can multiple pregnancy be diagnosed?
A. Multiple pregnancy can be diagnosed by any one of the methods like Pregnancy Blood Testing(Levels of human chorionic gonadotropin may be very high with multiple pregnancy) , Alpha-Fetoprotein(Levels of a protein released by the fetal liver and found in the mother's blood may be high when more than one fetus is making the protein) or through Ultrasound.
Q. What are the common symptoms of a multiple pregnancy?
A. The Some of the common symptoms of a multiple pregnancy are larger uterus , more morning sickness , greater appetite , too much weight gain, especially in early pregnancy and fetal movements felt in different parts of the stomach at the same time.
Q. How do I find out if my twins are Identical or Fraternal Twins?
A.DNA centres perform twin zygosity tests to determine whether twins are Identical or Fraternal. This test can be performed anytime after birth, in which a swab from the cheek of each twin is taken. DNA gets taken from the samples, and then is analysed and compared.