One trip to the grocery store sporting a twin belly bump and you’ll quickly learn that people have all the things to say about your pregnancy. While the questioning comes from a good place, truth be told, most of the ridiculous questions you’ll be asked are founded on people’s preconceived notions about twins and twin pregnancy. Before you were pregnant with twins, what were the things you thought you knew about twins and twin pregnancy? Today we are going to debunk the twin pregnancy myths you have been carrying around until now.
7 Twin Pregnancy Myths Debunked
Twin Pregnancy Myth #1:
Twins ALWAYS run in the Family
Usually, the first question thrown at new twin parents is, “Do twins run in your family?“, and the answer to this question is not that simple. Identical twins happen at random, with no found link to genetics, happening about 1 in 250 pregnancies. Fraternal twins, however, can run in families when their occurrence isn’t related to fertility treatments. Fraternal twins are believed to occur in pregnancy thanks to hyper-ovulation which does seem to have a genetic link in families. That and as women age, they are more likely to ovulate twice!
Twin Pregnancy Myth #2:
You need to be eating for 3
Growing two babies is hard work, which means that healthy weight gain in a twin pregnancy is crucial. Do you literally need to be eating the calories of three people? No, but additional healthy calories must be added to your typical diet. For a woman carrying twins, the general guideline is 600 additional calories to her usual diet, and that even can vary from person to person.
Pregnancy weight gain is highly dependent on each person and typically determined on pre-pregnancy BMI (Body Mass Index)
- 37-54 pounds when BMI is 18.5-24.9
- 31-50 pounds when BMI is 25-29.9
- 25-42 pounds when BMI is higher than 30
Twin Pregnancy Myth #3:
Twins are ALWAYS born prematurely
Twin pregnancies are typically labeled as high-risk throughout pregnancy and during delivery. However, that doesn’t always mean women expecting twins will necessarily experience complications or give birth early. A twin pregnancy is considered full term at 38 weeks. Premature birth for twins – giving birth before 37 weeks – is the most common complication that occurs in a twin pregnancy. On average twins are born between 35-36 weeks. About 1/2 of twins are born before 37 weeks, while 10% are born very preterm, which is before 32 weeks.
Twin Pregnancy Myth #4:
Close to half, around 40% of twins are born vaginally and only 4% of twin births have one delivered vaginally and the other requiring a C-Section. You need to know, however, that even if you are planning a vaginal birth, some doctors will plan for your twin birth to take place in an operating room as a precaution. Things change quickly, which is why doctors like to be as prepared as possible for any scenario that may arise. Having said all of that, if you are pregnant with twins, pick your desired birth plan and go with it!
Twin Pregnancy Myth #5:
Morning sickness in a twin pregnancy is extreme
Getting nauseous just thinking about twin pregnancy? Fear not! Severe morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, is experienced in 2% of pregnancies, where typically 70-80% of women experience some sort of nausea or vomiting. There are several women expecting twins who report NO morning sickness at all. So, the moral of the story here is, the morning sickness in a twin pregnancy, just like that of a singleton pregnancy, will vary from person to person.
Twin Pregnancy Myth #6:
Twins share everything inside the womb
Twin pregnancies, aside from identical or fraternal, are classified based on how the amniotic sac and placentas are divided. A fraternal twin pregnancy (dizygotic) results in a dichorionic-diamniotic pregnancy; your babies each have their own amniotic sac and placenta.
In an identical twin pregnancy, the way an amniotic sac and placenta(s) are shared can be more complicated.
|Twin Pregnancy Classification||What doe this mean?||Statistical frequency in Identical Twins|
|Dichorionic-diamniotic||Twins have individual amniotic sacs and placentas||20-30%|
|Monochorionic-diamniotic*||Twins share a placenta, but ha loo ve individual amniotic sacs||70%|
|Monochorionic-monoamniotic*||Twins share both a placenta and the amniotic sac.||1-5%|
|Monochorionic-monoamniotic (Conjoined Twins)||Twins who share a placenta and the amniotic sac, and are conjoined.||Less than .01%|
Fun fact: Did you know that twins can start interacting with each other as early as 14 weeks inside the womb?
Twin Pregnancy Myth #7:
You will be put on bedrest when pregnant with twins
One of the common twin pregnancy myths is that restrictive bed rest is inevitable. Just because you are expecting twins doesn’t mean you are destined for some sort of bed rest. Bed rest can mean anything from lightening up your daily activity all the way to being completely confined to the couch or a hospital bed. Regardless of what type of limitations you have, you should understand why your doctor is prescribing bed rest and what it is trying to remedy in your pregnancy.
Being pregnant with two babies at once is an amazing experience. Remember, every pregnancy is different, and every person responds differently to pregnancy. Take care of yourself and enjoy the little things along the way. Are there any other myths about twins you are curious about? Let us know in the comments below.