There are many celebrity parents (Jay-Z and Beyonce, George Clooney and Amal Clooney, Mariah Carey)that have giving birth to twins, and actual celebrities like Ahster Kutcher and Scarlett Johansson being a twin themselves, I wanted to dig into some interesting facts and myths about twins that many people do not know about.
1. Everyone always complains about how hard it is to tell one identical twin from another. But there are ways and signs on how to tell them apart. One of the easiest ways one can tell a twin apart is by looking at their belly button. A naval (another word for belly button) is formed by a scar after the detachment of the umbilical cord. After the doctor cuts the cord and the stump falls off, one may notice that it may fall differently for both twins. This causes them to heal differently.
2. Another way to tell twins apart is to look for differences in their appearance. Contrary to what everyone believes no two identical twins are alike. There will always be a physical difference in the two twins. It can be from birthmarks, freckles, and moles. Tia and Tamara Mowry famous for acting as twins in the sitcom Sister, Sister are identical twins. How do people tell them apart? Tamara has a mole on her face. Tia has one on her neck.
3. Contrary to popular belief, identical twins have a different set of fingerprints, even though they share the same DNA. How can this be? In the beginning of their conception, the twins start off with the same fingerprints, but as they move around and touch the amniotic sac, they form ridges and lines on their hands which result in a different set of fingerprints.
Parents of identical twins often color coordinate their children to help identify them. They dress two girls in pink/white or purple/pink. In boys, it’s usually blue/green.
Accessorize your children. You can use accessories and bracelets. Parents are even known to paint a toenail to distinguish the twins. Just make sure that the accessories do not create a choking hazard and the paint used to color the nail is not toxic.
According to the CDC, the birthrate of twins for the last 30 years is up an alarming rate. Almost 70% between 1980 -2009. This increase is among white, black and Hispanic women. With African American women in the U.S giving birth to the majority of twins. With Hispanic women delivering the least.
Right now there are 4.5 million twins in America. 90,000 are born each year, That is 180,000 individuals. Since women are concentrating on their careers, they are staring their families later in life. Research has shown that women in their thirties were more likely to have a twin pregnancy.
Also, the increasing use of in vitro fertilization has increased the rate of twin pregnancies. During these procedures, it is not common to place more than one embryo in a woman increasing the chance of multiple pregnancies.
3. Africa is the continent with the largest percentage of twins in the whole world. A country in Africa, Nigeria, holds a native tribe of Yoruba which is known to have one of the highest rates of twin births in the world. Their diet is high in Yams, otherwise known as sweet potatoes.
This vegetable yams seem to trigger the release of FSH (Follicle- Stimulating Hormone which stimulates the ovaries to release more than one ovary. If the second ovum becomes fertilized the result would be multiple births.
Khodinhi is a small village in India that also has a high concentration of twins. In South America, Sao Pedro in Brazil share the same phenomenon
In the U.S, Massachusetts is the state with the highest percentage of twins at 4.5 of 100 births. Connecticut and New Jersey not far behind.
New Mexico has the lowest rate of twins in the U.S.
In contrast, the South Asian countries have the lowest birth rate of twins in the world. China twin rate is 1 to 300.
4. Twin language, idioglossia, and cryptophasia are all related to twins. Idioglossia is a language invented and spoken by only one person or few people. Cryptophasia is a language developed by twins that only twin children can understand. It is the secret language of twins.
Scientists believe this occurs in over 40% of twins.
Why do twins develop their own language? Well, the obvious is that they spend so much time together. Which gives them a ready playmate with the same developmental skills.
Researchers believe that twin language is actually delayed or poor speech in one twin or both. Delayed speech is related to a low birthrate and premature birth. 60% of twins are premature births.
To encourage twins to speak a correct language or the language of the house parents should talk to their children. Not in baby talk but language one would use to speak to them. Spend individual time with each one and have a small conversation with them. Ask questions give them the opportunity to express themselves. Read to them. It increases their language.
5. Can a twin have different fathers? A phenomenon called heteropaternal superfecundation is when a women release two eggs and are fertilized by a different man’s sperm. There appear to be less than ten cases worldwide. One may ask how can this be possible. Even though a woman’s egg can only live for two hours, a man’s sperm can live up to five days in a women’s reproductive system.
Rare in humans this is very common in animals. In the animal species, this is common to dogs, cats, cows, mice, and rodents.
Image from news.com.au
6. Is it possible for twins to be a different race? Experts believe that there is a 1 in 500 chance that parents can have fraternal twins of a different race. Each baby starts off as a separate fertilized egg. If the parents are bi-racial one twin may inherit all the dark-skinned genes the other all the light-skinned genes. There have been even rare cases like Alisson Spooner(white) and Dean Durrant(black) who had two sets of twins, seven years apart of different races. Experts say the odds of that is 2 in a million.
Born in different years? It seems to always happen at the end of the year. For example, one twin born at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital in Atlanta was born 11:56 pm on December 31, 2016. The other was born on January 1, 2017, at 12:20 am.
There is even one set of twins Reuben and Floren Blake. What makes this set of twins unique is that Reuben is five years older than Floren. This occurred by in vitro fertilization where a batch of the women’s eggs was fertilized outside the body. Two embryos were implanted but only one was successful, Reuben. The couple decided to have another child a few years later and implanted another embryo, Floren. Yes, they are still considered twins because they came from the same batch of embryos, even though they were born at different times.
Image from independent.co.uk
7. Researchers doing a study at the University of Washington found that twins tend to outlive the general population. Identical twins have a higher life expectancy than fraternal twins.
Researchers believe that it is their close bond that provides them with emotional support for each other. They know that they always have someone looking out for each other.
One would expect to have twins to take a toll on a woman’s body but a mother having twins also seem to have a longer lifespan, have more children than expected, bear children at shorter intervals, are older at their last birth, and have shorter postpartum recovery, according to a study at the University of Utah. Researchers believe that moms of twins are physically stronger and this is their chance to pass their genes at the same time.
8. Left-handed or Right handed? It seems that there are less than 10% of twins that are left-handed. It seems that there are more males than females that are left-handed. In 20% of twins, one is right handed the other is left.
Hope you enjoyed this blog post on twins. For more information on more blog post from K.I.D Clothes go to http://www.k-I-D-clothes.myshopify.com. for more blog posts and clothes.
Ramona Dejesus-Curtis is creator and founder of K.I.D Clothes. She is also a wife, mother, blogger, vlogger and special needs advocate being a mom to a special neeeds child.