Double the Trouble!

5-4-3-2-1…. Happy New Year!!!! One san Diego woman not only brought in the new year at countdown but also a set of twins born four minutes apart making them a paradox of twin sisters, born in different years. The New Year’s births happened at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns in Kearny Mesa, Calif. Baby Scarlet was born on December 31st at 11:56pm and baby Virginia came close after on January 1st at 12:00am. Oh the irony!

Believe it or not twins, and situations like this are more common than you think. At Central Middle School in Tinley Park, Illinois, the eighth grade class has nine sets of twins making up 7 percent of the total class, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV. And at the tiny college of St. Norbert College in Wisconsin, there are a reported eight sets of twins out of just 500 graduating seniors. Twin births showed a drastic increase from 1980 to 2009 from 18.9 per 1,000 births to 33.2 per 1,000 births, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. However, this trend has showed a slow decrease since 2009. Births of three or more children have decreased 9 percent from 2011 to 2012. Now the question is why…Something in the water?

Many doctors believe that this unusual rise and decline in twins or multiples is due to the evolution of fertility treatments. Previously, parent’s eager to conceive would allow for fertility clinics to implant multiple embryos in hopes of boosting the odds of fertility and ultimately a healthy pregnancy. However, as science advances there are now techniques that check the health of an embryo before implantation, therefore multiple embryos no longer have to be implanted. This puts many doctors and expecting parents at ease, because although twins are a blessing and desirable for many, they do pose some risks during pregnancy. These risks include: more intense morning sickness, spotting, not as much kicking, more weight gain, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, premature labor, and greater possibility of cesarean section. But not to worry, although these risks are intimidating, they are risks of all pregnancies whether singles or multiples. And many of these symptoms can be avoided or decreased with an easy fix like consuming more folic acid, more frequent doctor visits, or considering children earlier in life as there is a higher prevalence of twins in your forty’s. So like the san Diego woman mentioned above, embrace the paradox and let the countdown begin!