Ever since Beyoncé broke the internet with her latest pregnancy announcement, the spotlight is back on twins. Of course, when one of the most famous women in the world is expecting not one, but two new additions, things get doubly more interesting and us, twice as nosy.
While the world awaits for more for details from the Carters — who knows what they'll hit us with next after these photos — we'll just be over here, busying ourselves with random but totally mind-blowing facts only twins and twin mothers experience.
1. A mother's chance of conceiving twins increases with age.
According to SELF, women release more follicle stimulation hormones (FSH) as they age, which stimulates the development of ovarian follicles, increasing the chances of releasing more than one egg during ovulation.
2. Twins start interacting with each other as early as 14 weeks in the womb.
Although every set of twins is unique, the majority share a special bond, and researches have attributed this to their early social interaction in the womb. Italian research has found that twins can show special behaviour towards each other as early as 14 weeks, discovering that they executed movements specifically aimed at each other.
3. One twin can absorb the foetal tissue of the other.
This is more formally known as Vanishing Twin Syndrome, and is when genetic or chromosomal abnormalities cause one embryo to no longer develop properly. Unlike a regular miscarriage, this usually goes undetected, unless the mother knows early on that she is carrying multiple babies.
4. Twins and mothers of twins live longer.
Multiple studies have discovered that twins and mothers of twins have longer life expectancies. Research from the University of Washington found that identical twins live longer than singletons, while mothers of twins, according to University of Utah research, have been found to be fitter for survival.
5. There are more types of twins than you think.
Aside from fraternal and identical twins, rarer types include:
- Mirror image twins: twins share asymmetric physical traits such as one with a birthmark on the right and the other on the left
- Superfecundation twins: twins with the same mother and different fathers, as a result of eggs from the same cycle being fertilised by different sperm
- Superfetation twins: the onset of a second pregnancy while a woman is already pregnant