Thursday, May 27, 2010

What You Should Know About Identical Twins

Twins are two people who have shared the same womb at the same time. They may also have come from the same egg. Twin births are becoming more and more common due to several factors such as increasing use of fertility treatments, child births at an older age, and even genetic factors. Women who are slightly above-average in build are also likely to have multiple births or twins. Certain ethnic groups are also found to have a greater twin population. One in every 250 births in the world could be an identical twin birth.

Identical twins are also known as monozygotic twins. They are from a single egg that forms a single zygote that splits into two embryos. Two fetuses emerge from the two embryos in the same womb. The exact reason for this splitting hasn’t been identified yet. Sometimes, identical twins also share the same amniotic fluid, making them monoamniotic. Otherwise, they are diamniotic. Twins sharing the same placenta are monochorionic. Those who don’t are dichorionic. This happens only in the case of identical twins. All monoamniotic twins are also monochorionic.  This depends on the stage at which the zygote divides. Twinning at the earliest stages would result in diamniotic and dichorionic twins. Twinning that occurs four to eight days after fertilization and eight to twelve days after fertilization results in monochorionic-diamniotic and monochorionic-monoamniotic, respectively. Twinning twelve days post-fertilization may result in conjoined twins. Conjoined twins are attached to each other at some place. They may be more dependent on each other physically. 

Since identical twins share the same sac, amniotic fluid, and placenta, there could be some complications in pregnancy. These could be a result of the entanglement of the umbilical cords or twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome because of the shared placenta. This may cause one or both the babies to be underdeveloped.

Identical twins are generally of the same sex. They have identical DNA and shared genes. They may be very similar to each other, almost like mirror images. Some twins can be told apart only by their fingerprints, teeth, handwriting, or any other intricate observations. However, they have individually different personalities and character traits. Twins are generally emotionally attached to each other and are also believed to live longer because of this attachment. Some people even believe that identical twins have their own language through which only the two of them can communicate. Some identical twins are also mirror twins—they  are exact mirror images of each other. About one-fourth of all identical twins are mirror twins. Sometimes, one mirror twin may have a condition where some or all the internal body organs will be on the opposite side of the body. However, these are considered to be birth defects and are extremely rare.

Friday, April 30, 2010

What To Expect From A Twin Pregnancy:

magine wishing and trying for one baby and ending up with two! Statistics show that there has been an increase in twin pregnancy the past few years and this short guide should answer any questions you have to giving birth to multiples!

How do twins begin?
There are two kinds of twins: identical twins and fraternal twins. In the case of identical twins, the egg is fertilized and then splits into two cells. Each cell carries identical DNA and so both children will look exactly the same with only slight differences such as height or birthmarks. Fraternal twins are not identical. Instead of having one egg that splits into two, there are two eggs that are fertilized by two different sperm at the same time so they could be of two different sexes with different physical characteristics.

Early signs of twin pregnancy
An early sign of twin pregnancy is excessive morning sickness and extreme fatigue. Morning sickness is common with all pregnant mothers but those who are giving birth to multiples tend to experience more morning sickness than usual. Exhaustion is another early sign of twin pregnancy. Again, it is not uncommon for pregnant women to be more tired than usual but those who are having twins tend to undergo enhanced exhaustion. Twins are hereditary and so if you are feeling excessively tired, are often nauseous and twins run in your family, you very well could be giving birth to multiples!

Twin pregnancy facts
With twins, you’ll have to prepare for double the trouble! This means you will probably be gaining more weight than with a single pregnancy. Due to this extra weight, a pregnancy with twins can often be more uncomfortable – severe exhaustion, stronger backaches and headaches, etc. So get plenty of sleep and rest. Try a pregnancy massage, a great stress reliever to those giving birth to multiples. Also be prepared for a possible c-section, as with multiples this is the more common way of giving birth. Because a twin pregnancy is considered a high risk pregnancy, you will probably need to consult your obstetrician more often than if you were having a regular pregnancy. Do not be fazed as this is quite common with twins.

Having a twin pregnancy is most certainly a mixed blessing. Whilst having two children is an amazing experience, the pregnancy itself can be tough so make sure to take care of yourself.