Ode to Twins and Supertwins: 28 Interesting Facts About Multiples

1. Up to 22% of twins are left-handed. In the general populace, only 10% are left-handed.

2. Did you know that where you live can help determine whether or not you conceive multiples? If you live in Massachusetts and Connecticut, the twinning rate is 25% higher than the general populace.

3. On the other hand, if you don’t want twins, move to Hawaii. Their rate of twin births is 30% less than the rate in the rest of the nation.

4. If you are super adventurous and want triplets, Nebraska or New Jersey is the place for you to make your home. Their rate of triplets is double that of the rest of the nation.

5. The Yoruba tribe in Nigeria has the highest incidence of twinning in the entire world. Why? They eat lots of yams.

6. One amazing mother in Chile gave birth to the last of her 55 children in 1981. Her children includes five sets of triplets (all boys). Now that mom has her hands full!

7. Fraternal twins are much more common than identical twins. The chance of having twins is about 1 in 285.

8. Both Elvis Presley and Liberace were twins? Their siblings died at birth.

9. The famous advice columnists Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby) are twins.

10. William Shakespeare fathered a set of boy/girl twins.

11. Fraternal twins run in families. Identical twins are a fluke of nature.

12. There are 7 different types of twins: identical, fraternal, half-identical, mirror image twins, mixed chromosome twins, superfecundation, and superfetation. These other types are very rare.

13. Due to sonograms being more widely available earlier in pregnancy it is now estimated that for every live twin birth, there are at least 6 other “twins” that no one ever knew about due to the vanishing twin phenomenon.

14. As if the woman in Chile did not have enough children, a woman in Russia in the 1700’s, gave birth to 16 sets of twins, in addition to 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quads!

15. The earliest twins were ever born? 22 weeks! Each twins was less than 12 inches long and weighed only slightly more than a pound.

16. Twins do not have to be born on the same dates. The longest gap between birth is 85 days.

17. 27 lbs. and 12oz. Total is the heaviest combined birth weight of any set of twins.

18. Cirque du Soleil employs the most sets of twins. (With the exception of course of the Twins restaurant in New York City where you can only be a waiter if you are an identical twin.)

19. Only 14% of women carry multiples past 37 weeks. Most women give birth prematurely.

20. 56% of all twin births are spontaneous. (Meaning the couple did not use fertility drugs.)

21. Only 16% of triplet births are spontaneous and only 5% of quadruplet births are spontaneous. Anything more than quadruplets is not spontaneous.

22. Twins do not have to have the same father. It is possible for a mother to release two eggs separately (as much as 24 days apart). Consequently, the twins could have different due dates.

23. 82% of multiples are delivered via c-section, while 5% are delivered vaginally. The rest are delivered both by c-section and vaginally.

24. You have a 50% chance of having a c-section when you are pregnant with twins. You have a 100% chance of having a c-section if you are pregnant with more than 2 babies.

25. Identical twins experience nearly identical brain wave patterns.

26. Conjoined twins occur in every 1 out of 400,000 twin births.

27. Once you’ve had fraternal twins, you are 3 to 4 times more likely to have another set!

28. The rate of identical twinning is much higher in mothers that are very young and very old.

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