“True twins” and “fraternal twins” taken together, nearly 1.5% of pregnancies are twin pregnancies, whether natural or following an IVF. For some parents, having twins is a deep desire, which could eventually take shape with a few tips. Indeed, certain foods multiply the chances of multiple pregnancy. To be taken with a grain of salt, of course.

Drink milk and eat sweet potatoes!

Eating lots of dairy products can increase your chances of having a twin pregnancy up to 5 times! In fact, in dairy products (and also in sweet potatoes) there is a hormone with a somewhat barbaric name: Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF). This hormone has the particularity of resembling estrogen, a hormone necessary for ovulation. Women of African descent naturally have a high level of IGF in their body, which explains why the rate of twin pregnancies is higher in them.

Certain vitamins can promote twin pregnancies

It seems that a woman lacking vitamins is less likely to give birth to twins than a healthy woman. So taking vitamins regularly, including folic acid supplements, may slightly increase your chances of having twins.

Be careful, however, while folic acid is recommended for all pregnant women because it reduces the risk of malformations in children and difficult births for the mother, do not exceed 1000mg per day, and always seek advice from your doctor before taking anything.

Childbearing while breastfeeding is a factor in multiple pregnancy

Some scientists claim that conceiving a baby (and therefore two babies) while breastfeeding is a determining factor in the creation of pregnancy with twins. This is because while the mother is breastfeeding her previous baby, her body secretes the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) which promotes fraternal twin pregnancy.

But the real determining factors of a twin pregnancy are:

  • Inheritance: Women who have a twin are 95% more likely to have twins as well. The case of inheritance also applies to children of mothers with a twin.
  • Maternal age: it would seem that the older the mother-to-be, the higher her chances of having a twin pregnancy (up to 17% more chance for a person over 45) because they naturally produces more ovulation stimulating hormones. Another factor linked to age is the fact that women over 40 more often use assisted reproduction (ovarian stimulation or in vitro fertilization), which more frequently results in multiple pregnancies.
  • The number of children: the more children the mother-to-be has, the greater the chances of having twins or triplets.

Understand that if you have no twins in your family, if you are under 30, if you are not of African origin and that it is your first pregnancy, your chances of having twins are minimal! But, it can still happen. You can only hope.

Elena Mars

Elena writes part-time for the Scientific Origin, focusing mostly on health-related issues.