Twin and Multiple Births are on the Rise

Did you know that the number of twin births have more than doubled since the early 1970s? Today, about one of every 35 births in the United States are twins. Even more significant is the number of triplet and higher multiple births which have increased 200 percent over the last three decades.

Why the huge jump in the number of multiple births?

The most obvious reason for the growing birth rates of twins and multiples is the use of fertility drugs and treatments. These medical interventions are most often the reason for births of four or more multiples. Recent studies from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) show that approximately 43 percent of live births resulting from assisted reproductive techniques were multiples.

But fertility drugs don't tell the whole story.

Where you live could make a difference. If you reside in Massachusetts or Connecticut, a study by the National Center for Health Statistics found that the rates for twin deliveries was as much as 25 percent higher than the overall national rate. If you want to give birth to triplets, move to Nebraska or New Jersey. Both states boast a percentage of triplets that is twice the national average.

On the other hand, if you reside in tropical Hawaii your chances of having a multiple will decrease to about 30 percent below the overall U.S. rate.

The time of year and the number of daylight hours also has an impact on multiple births. More fraternal twins are conceived in July than in any other month, while January has the fewest twin conceptions. Scientists speculate that this is probably due to the longer length of daylight in July, which allows for a higher secretion of the Follicle Stimulating Hormone in women.

Enhanced medical care and good nutrition may play a role in skyrocketing multiple birth rates, although experts caution that it is difficult to directly link these influences. In fact, if access to state-of-the-art medicine were a deciding factor, then why does the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria have the highest twinning incidence in the entire world? These Nigerian people attribute it to their population's consumption of a specific type of yam. Yams? That's right, scientists have discovered that these colorful vegetables that are grown only in Africa contain a high level of a substance that is similar to the hormone estrogen -- which could bring on multiple ovulation.

Surprisingly, age can work in a woman's favor when it comes to conceiving twins. Older mothers traditionally have a higher chance of delivering fraternal twins, with the odds increasing to one in 27 when the mother is 35 years or older.

While identical twins have no familial connection, it is true that fraternal twins can run in the family. Female fraternal twins score an impressive one in 17 chance of giving birth to their own set of fraternal twins, probably because many carry a gene for hyperovulation, which means they sometimes release more than one egg during ovulation. And, if a woman has already given birth to fraternal twins, the chance of another set increases fourfold.

Want to learn more about babies and multiples? Visit the All About Baby website at http://www.allbaby.com for extensive child-related content, including tips on how to pick the best name for your newborn, interesting birth statistics, a list of the most popular given names for children and much more.

**All statistics were taken from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the National Center for Health Statistics and from the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Club (NOMOTC).

About The Author

Nancy Wurtzel founded her ecommerce business, All About Baby, in 1995. All About Baby located online at http://www.allbaby.com specializes in personalized and memorable gifts for children as well as interesting and helpful child-related site content. Ms. Wurtzel consults with small businesses seeking to expand.

[email protected]

In The News:

What is ‘tag team’ parenting?  The Indian Express
Parenting expert pens Khmer guides  The Phnom Penh Post

The Laid Back Parents Guide to Teaching Your Child to Read

At first I thought of titling this article "The Lazy... Read More

Its OK For Your Child To Be Bored - In Fact, Its Recommended!

NY -- Strange as it may sound, bordom promotes happier,... Read More

Anti Scooter Media Frenzy

An estimated five million scooters will be sold this year... Read More

Girls Gone Mild

Voices!So many voices crying out for adherence and so many... Read More

Public Schools Can Cripple Your Childrens Ability To Read

For many adults, reading a book or newspaper seems effortless.... Read More

Fraternal Twin Parenting Concerns

Identity and Your Fraternal TwinFor the most part, throughout this... Read More

Parents/Teens and Money ? 5 Ideas for Keeping the Peace

Children and teenagers are relentlessly bombarded with merchandise that entices.... Read More

Single Parenting: How The Challenge Of Single Parenting Affects Your Decision To Divorce

Single parenting has seemingly become an acceptable norm which is... Read More

Cooking With Your Kids Helps Develop Motor Skills for Preschoolers

Did you know that cooking with your kids is a... Read More

How Can I Teach My Child To Be Responsible?

Most of us when asked what we want our children... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Kids and Money

Most teens go into the work world ill-prepared to manage... Read More

The Mystery of Picky Eaters

If you were to ask 100 parents why they think... Read More

Remember The Generation Gap?

The techniques of managing relationships between parents and their children... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Truth or Lie?

Attention all parents of teen-agers. Here is an important, groundbreaking... Read More

Time Managment Skills for Children

Time management is an organisational concept traditionally associated with adults... Read More

Meningitis and Septicaemia

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes around the brain... Read More

Teaching Respect And Values In Todays Society

The girl's jaw dropped in horror as the police officer... Read More

Who Wants To Date Their Mother?

Do any other reality TV junkies remember a show on... Read More

Children?s Birthday Party Planning: When and When Not to Have a Big Party

Age 1: Invite only family members and close friends only... Read More

Does Sexual Abuse Usually Occur Just Once?

Your daughter tells you that Uncle Charley has touched her... Read More

Top 50 Mom Quotations

"All that I am or ever hope to be, I... Read More

Surprising Fun Solution to Kids Moods and Attitudes

As a parent, are you at your wits end? Does... Read More

Ready, Aim, Achieve! - Become An On-purpose Family Through Goal Setting

Successful families don't just happen. They take time, talent and... Read More

How to Get Your Children Brand Free

Those of you that have children know what an excursion... Read More

Toilet Terrors And Other Potty Training Fears

Potty training fears, often called toilet terrors, are common among... Read More