When I was growing up, most people knew or knew of a set of twins. Some of us had a set of twins in our class but it was always a novelty of sorts. Twins weren't very common so knowing a pair was quite exciting.
All three of my children have had twins in their class -- every year. I know several sets of parents who have twins and it's not something my kids find unusual.
This is because in the past thirty years, the number of twin births has grown by 76 percent. In fact, one out of every 30 births is a twin birth.
Black women have always had a higher rate of twins births compared to white, Asian or Hispanics. But white women have caught up quickly and are now at a par with black women in terms of twin births.
There are two main reasons why multiple births have increased. One is the use of fertility treatments.
According to EmpowHER's Dr. Curtis Cook, a doctor specializing in multiple pregnancies and births, "... multiple births are becoming increasingly common in mostly, secondary to phenomena, one being assisted reproductive technology, as we are doing more IVF procedures and also because of women having children at later gestational ages where they are more prone to have twinning."
Fertility treatments for women end up with multiple births due to the implantation of more than one embryo, in order to increase the odds of conception. Another reason is the increasing trend of women who delay starting families until their late 30s and early 40s.
The older a woman gets, the more her odds of having twins increase. This is due to the fact that she has more of the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) that allows a woman to get pregnant.
This increase in FSH can actually be a sign that a woman's fertility is decreasing rather than increasing but nonetheless, it can result in a twin pregnancy.
While having twins is generally quite safe these days, a twin pregnancy is considered high risk. Twins are often born prematurely and require extra medical care.
Delays can also be seen in growth and development but generally, twins grow up to be as healthy as their peers.
Are you a twin or do you have twins?