Many people wonder what it takes to have twins, triplets or more. While having multiples is sometimes an act of fate, parents of multiples say some common factors increased their chances of conceiving them. Most of these are not scientifically proven but rooted more in tradition or personal experience. The following are some influences readers say led to their bigger broods. Have thoughts on why you had multiples? Share them with us.
A study published by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology correlates the rise in multiple birth rates with rising rates of obesity. Research found that mothers with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or higer were significantly more likely to have twins. Again, this statistic only holds true for fraternal (dizygotic) twins. The research also showed that women of above-average height were also more likely to have multiples.
3. Grow Up: Wait Until You're OlderOlder mothers are more likely to conceive twins than their younger counterparts. It's thought that the body accelerates ovulation as the biological clock starts ticking faster. Almost twenty percent of mothers who give birth over the age of 45 have multiples. However, the risks also increase; older mothers have a higher rate of miscarriage and are more likely to experience problems such as gestational diabetes during their pregnancy; in addition, their babies are at higher risk for chromosomal abnormalities.
7. Have A Big FamilyThe more kids you have, the more likely you are to conceive twins in a subsequent pregnancy. No one knows the magic limit that triggers a multiple pregnancy, so you'll just have to keep trying until it happens.
Most people think that you can't get pregnant while breastfeeding, that the process of lactating keeps a woman from ovulating. However, plenty of mothers of twins disagree with that idea. Some research has supported the theory that the chance of twins or multiples is increased if a woman conceives while breastfeeding. For example, Dr. Gary Steinman claims that women who become pregnant while breastfeeding are nine times more likely to conceive twins than women who are not breastfeeding at the time of conception.
Birth control pills are usually thought to be 99.9 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. However, that .01 percent might results in a double whammy -- multiples. Sometimes pregnancy occurs when the pill isn't taken consistently; in other cases, the hormonal mix of a particular drug type simply doesn't provide enough coverage to completely prevent ovulation. In either case, playing around with hormones can lead to hyperovulation, increasing the chances of multiples.