When you are expecting twins, you can easily be overwhelmed by all the mis-information that is flying around. Here are several common myths about expecting twins and what you really need to know:
Twins Run in Families
Myth: Twins run in families and are based on heredity or family history.
Truth: Fraternal twins run in families.
What this means to you: If the mother has fraternal twins in her family, it might indicate a genetic predisposition to double ovulate. Two eggs, when fertilized, will yield fraternal twins. See more: do twins come from mom or dad?
Older Women are More Likely to Have Twins
Myth: The older the mother, the more likely she will have twins.
(NOTE: Still expecting? Get weekly updates on your twin pregnancy here.)
Truth: This myth is true. As women age, they are more likely to double ovulate.
What this means to you: Your odds start to improve for this over age 35. Two eggs, when fertilized, will yield fraternal twins.
You Must Have a Caesarean Section (c-section) to Deliver Twins
Myth: The only way to deliver twin babies is via c-section
Truth: Twins can be delivered either vaginally or via c-section. However, the majority of twin deliveries are via c-section.
What this means to you: If you want to deliver your twins naturally, it is possible! You’ll need to talk to your doctor about your wishes and you may even need to look around for a provider that will support you in a vaginal delivery. And while it’s possible to deliver twins naturally, you should still educate yourself about when and why a c-section would be required.
All Twins are Born Prematurely
Myth: Twins are always premature babies.
(RELATED: Still looking for the right twin gear? See my Twin Baby Gear Essentials.)
Truth: A premature baby is technically one born before 37 weeks of the pregnancy. Since on average, twins are born at 36 weeks of the pregnancy, it is likely your twins will be premature. However, just as many twins were born at full-term as were born premature to be able to yield that 36-week average.
What this means to you: Having a premature baby is not the end of the world. Our girls were born at 36 weeks, were healthy, and came home with us a few days later. Remember, that every twin birth experience is different.
Your Twin Pregnancy Will Be Full of Complications
Myth: Every twin pregnancy has major health issues.
Truth: While there are possible and severe complications that can occur during the twin pregnancy, not every mother experiences these.
(RELATED: Check out the Dad's Guide to Twins Youtube channel for additional helpful twin tips and tricks videos.)
What this means to you: Learn about the common complications of twin pregnancy and what you can do to prevent them.
Your Twins Will Have Complications
Myth: All twin babies have some complications.
Truth: Some twin babies have complications.
What this means to you: Premature birth of many twins means they just don’t have enough time in the womb to fully develop. This can lead to trouble being self-sufficient in essential bodily functions (like breathing and regulating body temperature). Twins with these types of complications tend to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
You Can’t Breastfeed Twins
Myth: Breastfeeding twins doesn’t work or is too complicated.
Truth: Breastfeeding twins is possible and many twin mothers do this everyday.
What this means to you: Moms produce the best and most nutritious food for their babies. You must figure out if breastfeeding or bottle feeding your babies will work best for your family.
There is One Bad Twin and One Good Twin
Myth: Two babies means one is good and one is bad or evil.
Truth: There is no inherent good twin or bad twin. Each child will grow into his or her own personality. You can have two good twins! Sure, they will have their moments of bad behavior, but they aren’t evil.
What this means to you: Treat your twins as individuals and watch how they act overtime. Don’t typecast one as always being the “bad twin” because you’ll likely get exactly that behavior.
Twins Are the Same
Myth: Twins look and act the same. Always.
Truth: Even identical twins have physical differences. All twins have unique personalities and characteristics of their behavior that make them one of a kind.
What this means to you: Don’t expect cookie cutter twins. You’ll need to adapt your parenting to the needs of each individual twin.
All Twins Share the Same Birthdays
Myth: Each set of twins has the same birthday. They’re all born on the same day, right?
Truth: Twins are typically born on the same day and share birthdays. However, twins are never born at the same exact moment. If the moment of birth occurs near midnight, it’s possible to have one twin born on one day and the second twin on the next day.
What this means to you: You can’t really control the exact time your twins are born. Take whatever comes. If your twins are lucky enough to have different birthdays, you get double the celebrations!
Initial Diagnosis of Identical or Fraternal Twins is 100% Accurate
Myth: When the doctor first tells you that you’ll be having identical or fraternal twins, make your plans because that’s exactly what will happen.
Truth: Identifying whether your twins are identical or fraternal relies on ultrasound interpretations – which can be misinterpreted or hard to evaluate.
What this means to you: Ask you doctor for their level of confidence in your type of twins and why they think that is the case. You might need to wait for a follow-up ultrasound before you know for sure and can make more concrete plans.
What are your favorite myths you’ve heard about expecting twins? Share in the comments below.