Americans Having More Twins, Evil Or Otherwise, Than Ever Before

Illustration for article titled Americans Having More Twins, Evil Or Otherwise, Than Ever Before

Currently multiple births are still a novelty, but the number of twin births is on the rise and at this rate, in a few years red carpets could be overrun with Mary-Kate and Ashley wannabes delivering synchronized SexyFace. It's well-known that the development of fertility treatments has led to an increase in multiples, but new data shows just how drastic the shift has been. In the past three decades, the number of twins born in the U.S. has roughly doubled.


According to a new report from the CDC, in 2009 1 in every 30 babies born in the U.S. was a twin, up from 1 in every 53 babies in 1980. That amonts to a 76% increase in the twin birth rate. Researchers say that in addition to the availability of fertility treatments, the jump can be attributed to women waiting to have children. According to data from 2009, the rate of twin births increases with maternal age. 7% of babies born to mothers over 40 were twins, compared to 5% of births among women ages 35-39 and 2% of births to women under 25.

Reasearcher Joyce Martin says that while people used to focus on the cuteness factor and potential to put kids in matching outfits, there's now more awareness of the dangers associated with multiple births. While most twins are born healthy, compared to single births they're more likely to arrive early and at a low birth weight.

We are beginning to see signs that the twin birth rate is slowing down. The rate of babies born in pairs rose about 2% a year between 1980 and 2004, but it decreased to 1% per year from 2005 to 2009. The researchers say that since fertility specialists are more aware of the risks of multiple births, they've been trying to transfer fewer embryos during IVF. This effort to keep the twin birth rate low is healthy for mothers and babies, even if it is depriving Americans of more adorable pairs of child stars dressed in coordinated outfits.

Fertility Treatments And Older Age of Pregnant Women Are Top Contributing Factors [Web MD Health News]

Image via Franz Pfluegl/Shutterstock.


I am 35 and trying to conceive again and I am terrified of twins. They do run in my mom's family: her siblings were twins, one of those siblings had her own twins, and one of my cousins on that side (daughter of a non-twin), who is only mid-20s, just conceived twins but one has died in utero before the second trimester (sad). (Also my husband is a twin, which I know doesn't mean anything for me, but it means everyone else makes "LOL maybe you'll have twins!!" jokes.) I will be terrified to raise twins — having a baby is so much work, and so expensive, that I can't imagine having two at once!