The idea of having twins tends to polarise people. Some couples say they’d love the chance to parent two babies and others react in an entirely different way. If you are a twin or have twin siblings then your concept of the reality is likely to be very different to someone who’s never had anything to do with more than one baby at a time.
Naturally conceived twins occur in about 1 out of every 89 births. Under normal circumstances, your odds of conceiving twins are slim. Taking fertility medications or undergoing a procedure like IVF can increase your chances of conceiving twins, but you may be curious if there is anything you can do to naturally increase your chances of having twins.
There are some things that will increase your chances of having twins, but some of these things are really out of your control. Having a family history of twins will increase your chances of having twins. This is true if you have a family history of twins, meaning someone on your mother’s side or father’s side of the family has had twins, especially if they had fraternal twins. If your partner has twins in his family, it doesn’t help you any.
The reason being is that there may be some genetic component that may cause you to produce more than one egg during ovulation. This “twin gene” may be passed down from your parents to you. Identical twins are not thought to be hereditary.
Other factors that may affect your chances of having twins are your ethnicity and your age. African American women are more likely to conceive twins than Caucasian women. And, Asian women have a lower chance of conceiving twins. Twins are also more common in older women.
Things you can do to naturally increase your chances of having twins:
1. Being older rather than younger helps. It seems to be a twist of nature that just before a woman enters peri-menopause, her ovaries start releasing more than one egg each month. This “fertility spike” is also influenced by a surge of oestrogen. Fertility research has proven that twin pregnancies are much more common in women who are over 35 years. But this only applies to non-identical twins.
2. Increase the intake of dietary products: Women with adequate intake of dairy products increase their chances of having twins by 5 times.Eat wild yams. The theory comes from Africa.
A small town in Nigeria claims to have the highest rate of twins in the world. There may be a chemical in wild yams, or cassava root, which may cause hyper stimulation of the ovaries, resulting in the release of more than one egg during ovulation.
3. Keep breastfeeding your older baby or toddler. Women who are producing prolactin and breastfeeding are more likely to conceive with twins. Though some women do not resume regular ovulation and menstrual cycles for the entire time they are breastfeeding; this is very individual.
4. Try to conceive straight after you have stopped taking the pill. The theory is that for the first couple of cycles the woman’s body is going through a hormonal readjustment phase.