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Is There Really a Twin Gene?
October 16th, 2015

Is There Really a ‘Twin Gene’?

A common question fielded by mothers of multiples or doctors is in reference to a twin gene. Does the twin gene exist? Does having twins skip generations? Is it all a coincidence?

Research suggests that the only genetic cause to twins would be hyperovulation (which would result in fraternal, not identical twins). Hyper ovulation would cause the release and possible fertilization of more than one egg, resulting in a twin or triplet (or possibly more) birth. Hyper ovulation would be passed down but only affect ovulating women- so a man whose mother had hyper ovulation would not be the cause of a twin birth, as the man does not ovulate. Identical twins occur when one egg is fertilized and splits; there has not been any scientific evidence or explanation as to why this occurs genetically, thus far.

There are other factors that can weigh in on having twins. Women who consume a lot of animal products, dairy in particular, are more prone to having twins- five times more likely! IGF (insulin-like growth factor) is passed to humans from the meat or dairy they consume, and increases ovulation. This happens because IGF makes the ovaries more sensitive to the body’s follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which in turn, increases ovulation, and promotes the chance of multiple eggs being fertilized simultaneously. There is also (though more a myth than backed scientifically) talk that consuming yams can promote your chances of incubating twins.

Think you’re pregnant with twins, but haven’t had your first ultrasound yet? A few signs and symptoms of a regular pregnancy are generally much more pronounced with gestation of twins. Things like nausea can quickly become hyperemesis, heartburn and constipation can be more pronounced, as well as back pain and breathlessness. Quite a few moms have reported finding out they were pregnant with twins at their appointment to expose the gender- they were simply measuring further along than they actually were.

If you’re having twins, a common concern and misconception si that your body will not produce enough milk to nourish your two babies. Your body will generally keep up with the demand for milk; however, you can try power pumping to increase your supply. Breast pumps are covered in full or at little out of pocket cost by most health insurance companies.

Aeroflow Breastpumps can help you easily qualify for a pump at little-to-no cost to you through insurance. To find out if your policy covers a breast pump, simply complete our Qualify Through Insurance form. A representative will be in contact with your network status and benefits within 3-5 business days. You can find great deals on pumps and accessories through our online store, Aeroflow Mom & Baby.

The ‘twin gene’ is a commonly perpetuated myth, as far as current scientific research has proven, but thanks to in-vitro fertilization and other fertility treatments, twin or multiples births are not as rare as they once were.

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