Twins! Whether twins "run in the family" or a new mom is shocked to her core, twins means double the trouble and double the fun. As most parents will soon figure out, two babies means two nap schedules, double the feedings, and double the diapers. But following those sleepless nights are precious moments with two babies who will share a sacred bond for the rest of their lives. Motherhood is special as is, but being a mom to twins is a rare joy.
In case any mom out there is overwhelmed with the information that she's having twins, have no fear. We have some quick facts every parent should be familiar with by the time they have their beautiful twin babies.
10 THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF TWINS
Most people are familiar with the two main types of twins: identical and fraternal. However, there are definitely more than just two types. According to Healthline, there is actually a twin-type called half-identical. What this means is the woman's egg is actually split in half and each half is then fertilized by the male.
As for the more common of the two, identical twins is when one egg is fertilized but then the egg splits in half later on. And fraternal twins, which is when the male fertilizes two separate eggs.
9 IDENTICAL TWINS & THEIR FEATURES
Some famous identical twins are the Olsen twins, WWE's the Bellas, and Cole and Cody Sprouse. Identical twins occur after the same egg is fertilized, splits in half, and the halves develop on their own. According to About, 25% of these identical twins grow in the womb while looking at each other. This is how they "become exact reflections" of each other. One may come out favoring their right hand, while the other favors their left. The same can be said of birthmarks on different sides of the body.
8 BUT JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE IDENTICAL TWINS, DOESN'T MEAN THEY'RE IDENTICAL
I'm sure you've met a pair of identical twins and thought to yourself, hmmm, they don't look identical. And that's completely normal. According to Live Science, identical twins may come out looking exactly alike, but over time, their unique features begin taking place and their personalities begin to shine.
Live Science also explains that identical twins may begin to look less identical due to environmental factors. Perhaps one is eating cleaner than the other or perhaps there's exposure to chemicals that are not anticipated. All these variables can play a large part in changing the look of identical twins over time.
7 THERE REALLY IS A 'TWIN GENE'
Asking if twins run in someone's family isn't just a topic of conversation—it's a real thing. There is such a thing as the "twin gene" that certain people or families have. What this means is that some women drop more than one egg during ovulation, meaning there's more of a chance of getting pregnant and having twins. (Especially fraternal twins since they're born from separate eggs.) As Everyday Health notes, there's no "identical twin" gene, but hyper ovulation is the basis of the gene.
6 THERE'S A CONNECTION BETWEEN MORNING SICKNESS & TWINS
According to Everyday Health, if mom's morning sickness is beyond comprehension, she could be having twins. A study was done on women pregnant with twins and it appeared that these women had a higher level of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which causes them to get that awful nauseous feeling.
5 THEY ARE ALWAYS PLAYING WITH EACH OTHER IN THE WOMB
If you're currently pregnant with twins and wonder if they're playing with one another in there (or at least interacting with each other), you'd be correct. As early as 14 weeks, studies have shown twins grabbing and interacting with one another.
The older they get in the womb, the more they depend on one another and can feel each other. Just the thought of a mom's sweet twins hugging in the womb is enough to get her through those nine long months
4 NUTRIENTS AREN'T ALWAYS SPLIT EQUALLY
Both identical and fraternal twins have separate umbilical cords, meaning they're not fighting the other for food or nutrients. However, most identical twins share the same placenta, meaning one twin may be getting a higher level of nourishing qualities. This, of course, is not great for the twin getting less of the good stuff, which is why it's so important for pregnant women to stay on top of their ultrasounds and doctor appointments, so doctors can keep track of their size.
3 SOMETIMES A TWIN CAN EAT THE OTHER TWIN
Have you ever heard the old wives' tale of a child eating their twin? Well, it's not quite like a horror, vampire story — it's more along the lines of a freak accident.
Scientifically, Mommy Nearest explains that "Vanishing Twin Syndrome” is when the one twin simply absorbs their twin's embryo and continues growing, or the mother's body "reabsorbs" the unborn embryo. Thankfully, the twin that took on the other embryo can continue growing as usual.
2 A C-SECTION IS MOST LIKELY THE CASE
If you thought giving birth vaginally to twins sounded painful or dangerous, it absolutely is. There's no denying the fact that childbirth is painful, no matter how many babies a woman is having. When it comes to mothers of twins though, most pregnancies are done via C-section. This is typically because of the position the twins are in. One may be facing the canal—all ready to go—but their sibling may be breached.
1 THEIR OWN LANGUAGE
Have you seen those adorable videos on YouTube of twins speaking their own babble language to one another and totally understanding what the other is saying?
Well, that's not by coincidence! Scientifically named Cryptophasia, it's when fraternal or identical twins can speak a language (that they created) and only they understand. If that doesn't prove the strong bond of twins, I don't know what will!