Motherhood is both a responsibility and a blessing for both parents. The news of a new member joining your family is one of the most joyful moments especially for the mother to be. But what if you’re looking to have two members joining you instead of one? Is it even possible to be able to have two pregnancies at once? Let’s break down the possibilities.
You are not alone if you want to know how to get pregnant with twins. While caring for a duo can be quite a task, raising twins can be a great experience, as it has been for many mothers. It turns out that caring for twins is not as difficult as you may think. Let’s dig into the details.
Why do some women have a preference for twins?
Women are now starting to conceive later than before because they are well aware of the importance of having a career. So it’s not rare, nowadays, for a woman not to conceive her first baby before she turns 30 and has established her career. At this stage of her life, a mother-to-be is more likely to want to “be done” quicker. As Motherhood is already a tough job, women sometimes want to have twins because of the advantages that it has: it is more comfortable for the mother as it allows her to take care of several children while having to take only one parental leave. Not to mention the advantage of giving birth one time instead of two.
In short, as motherhood is already a 24/7 job, some women are in favor of killing (or should we say: “giving birth to”) two birds with one stone.
Twins: they are not all the same…
There are two sorts of twins: the identical ones (monozygotic) and the non-identical ones (dizygotic). The identical ones are formed when fertilization occurs between one egg and one sperm. Later on, the embryo gets divided into two parts, and the two embryos share the same genetic components.
The non-identical twins are formed when fertilization occurs between two different eggs and two different sperms. Each twin has their own genetic components and therefore have only as much physical resemblance with each other as regular siblings born out of several pregnancies.
Non-identical twins are more common than identical ones, which are quite rare. Identical and non-identical twins, together, make up 3% of the population.
What makes getting pregnant with twins easier?
There are apparently a series of factors that naturally make you more likely to get pregnant with twins:
Genetic predisposition for having non-identical twins. For twins, it is the mother’s genes that matter. And if twins are common in the mother’s family, she has more chances to get pregnant with twins herself. For identical twins, however, they can happen to any woman. The mother’s history does not play any role here.
Age: if you are 30+, however bizarre this may sound, you are more likely to have twins than younger women.
Ethnicity: twins are generally rare, but they tend to be a little less rare for African descent.
You have higher chances of having twins when it’s not your first pregnancy.
If you have had a set of twins before, there is a great chance you will have another.
Getting pregnant while on the pill or right after you have stopped taking it. If you get pregnant while on the pill, you have higher chances to get pregnant with twins. And after you stop taking the pill, your chances are higher as well due to the hormonal readjustments of your body.
Besides the factors that naturally make you prone to having twins, here is a little list of handy tips to help you boost your chances of getting pregnant with twins naturally:
Consuming dairy products: there is a correlation between the abundant consumption of dairy products and twin-pregnancies. The chances are five times bigger for women who consume dairy products, in comparison with those who don’t consume these. It is not the dairy products themselves, but the growth hormones present in the dairy products that are made with the milk of hormone-treated cows that help you to have twins.
Stopping with contraceptives. If you stop taking hormonal contraception and try to conceive right after it, your chances may increase.
Eating wild yams. Yams naturally stimulate the ovaries so that these produce more eggs at a time. And it is the production of more than one egg that helps with multiple pregnancies… African ethnicities use more yams, and this is one of the reasons why the rate of twins is higher among them.
Getting pregnant while breastfeeding. Breastfeeding results in a higher production of prolactin, which in turn, increases the chances of getting pregnant with twins.
Having your partner consume zinc supplements or zinc-rich foods. The better the quality of the semen, the better the chances of two sperms fertilizing two eggs. It’s as simple as that.
Besides these tips, there also exist medical treatments that work miraculously well for women who are having difficulties to have children and/or twins (such as the in vitro fertilization, for instance, or the intrauterine insemination). But you should only use them as a last recourse because no medical treatment is easy to undergo. Every medical procedure comes with financial, emotional and physical costs…