Twin pregnancies: myths and reality

Twin pregnancies are increasingly frequent also thanks to assisted fertilization treatments.

Despite this, an aura of mystery remains around them. Twins have their own indisputable charm.

Here we try to dispel or confirm some nice myths

Twins run in the same families

It is true. Although there is no evidence that identical twins (homozygous) are recurrent within the same families, the same cannot be said for different ones (heterozygous). In the latter case, in fact, within the same family, via the mother, there may be a genetic predisposition to twin pregnancies due to the fact that the woman may have multiple ovulations. This does not mean that you can ovulate several days apart, but that two or more egg cells are released at the time of ovulation.

In families, twins skip a generation

It’s a rumor. It is often said that if you have a twin father and you are not, you may be more likely to have twin children. There is no evidence to support this claim.

Having a lot of nausea early in pregnancy means you’re expecting twins

It’s partially true. There are some women expecting twins who suffer from very annoying and constant morning sickness . But it is also true that others expecting twins are doing very well and don’t know what nausea is (lucky them!)

The twins speak a special language to each other

Real. Twins have an innate understanding of each other and as a result, as children, they may speak in their own special code. This is also because they spend a lot of time together. One of the two can pronounce wrong words, the other perceives them and makes them his own and only they understand them. In this much, those who listen to them might think that they speak their own language 🙂

All pregnancies begin as twins

Huge hoax! It is by no means true that all pregnancies begin as twins. However, it has been discovered that many more pregnancies than we think begin as twins and end as singles.

This has been seen through early ultrasounds which initially monitor twin pregnancies (due to the fertilization of two oocytes) but which then during the very first weeks of pregnancy are reduced to a single one.

It is therefore very common to see, during the ultrasounds that take place in the first 12 weeks,    two fetal heartbeats and two gestational chambers, and then one of the two disappears after 12 weeks. This is because one of the embryos failed to grow and was reabsorbed in the womb. It is a frequent thing that has no negative effects on the fetus that remains.

To understand if they are identical, a DNA test is needed

The most accurate way to tell if twins are identical is through a DNA test, which can be done after the babies are born. But the answer could also come from the placenta. L . If your first ultrasound is done before 14 weeks of pregnancy, it should be possible to accurately tell what type of placenta your twins have. If not, the placenta may be examined after birth. However, none of the latter methods are foolproof.

All nonidentical twins and one-third of identical twins have exactly the same type of dichorionic placenta. This happens when each baby has its own separate placenta, with its own separate inner membrane (amnion) and outer membrane (chorion). These type of twins are called dichorionic diamniotic (DCDA ) .
Two-thirds of identical twins have a single placenta with a single outer membrane and two inner membranes. These are called monochorionic diamniotics (MCDA). About 1% of monochorionic twins also share an inner membrane. These are called monochorionic monoamniotics (MCMA).
It is not possible to breastfeed two or more twins

False. Both twins and triplets can be breastfed. Usually, however, if there are three or more, mothers prefer to resort to mixed breastfeeding.

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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