Being pregnant and having a new born is a sweet, joyful time filled with many rewarding moments. However, as any new parent will tell you, it’s also a time filled with lots of unsolicited advice and seemingly helpful comments that can cause lots of confusion and anxiety in a pregnant woman. This is especially true when pregnant with twins.
During my pregnancy, I came across multiple myths about twins from friends and relatives, some of which surprised me and some left me totally bewildered. Thinking about them now, I find it funny how I believed each and everything I was told about my twin pregnancy.
Now that my twin boy and girl are three-years old, here are few myths about twins that I would like to clear up for my readers. Also sharing few facts which may prove beneficial in educating parents entering parenthood with two little bundle of joys.
1. Myth: Twin babies are hereditary. Twin babies are considered a gene effect.
Fact: ‘Do twins run in the family?’ – That’s the most common question I have always come across! And my hilarious answer to it always is ‘Yes, they run in the family and make everyone run behind them too. ?
The myth that twins are hereditary is half-true. The chances of having twins increase if someone in the family has borne twins. However, a woman can give birth to twin babies with no such family history too.
2. Myth: Twins share common traits. They are a copy of each other
Fact: ( Imagine how easy a parent of twins’ life would be, had that been the case! )
The characteristics, behaviours, likes and dislikes are influenced a lot by the surroundings, role played by people and genetic factors. My kids share many common traits, yet have unique interests and hobbies. One is good in athletics and sports, other excels in language and art. It is always wise to give an environment conducive for the twins to develop individual personalities.
3. Myth: Twins have ESP i.e. Extra-Sensory Perception. It is generally believed that twins can feel about each other or read each other’s minds.
Fact: This is the most common myth about twins! Thanks to the movie Judwaa! However, it is not true. (Though I wish it would be! I would face much lesser sibling fights at my place!)
The fact is twins share a closer bonding than normal siblings. Due to this intimacy and shared experiences, they have chances to anticipate others thoughts, actions and feelings. However, assuming they have telepathy or a special connection is too far-fetched!
4. Myth: Twins learn and grow at the same pace.
Fact: Each child is unique in his /her way. It is not necessary twins may learn and grow at the same pace. Each child varies in his/her learning abilities. My twins achieved their milestones (like speaking, walking, etc) at different times. One learnt to walk first and other started speaking first.
5. Myth: Normal delivery is not possible with twins.
Fact: This is not true as not all twins are delivered via C-section. C-sections are probably more common in case of twins but this doesn’t mean normal deliveries aren’t possible at all.
6 Myth: Twins have the same skin colour.
Fact: Surprise! Surprise! Twins can have different skin colours too. Couples who have mixed ethnicity parents may give birth to twins with differing skin tones.
7. Myth : One twin is usually stronger /smarter, the other is weak
Fact : Most people believe this but in reality it’s not true. Each child is unique. One could be good in arts, the other in science. Each child has individual strengths and weaknesses and we can’t really label them this way.
8. Myth : Twins are always competitors
Fact : Sibling rivalry is common in any two kids and not just twins. (My sister and I who are one year apart would fight the same way just as my twins do! Not something that I am proud of but it just helps to reiterate the point that this belief that all twins turn out as fierce competitors isn’t true.) In all honesty it’s elders/parents and others around them who induce competition and comparison in kids.
9. Myth: Raising twins is difficult. They are double trouble!
Fact: I would say – to each his own. Raising twins is as difficult or as easy as you want it to be!! Twins are usually more work and you may find your hands always full, but calling them ‘trouble’ isn’t fair. There are many ways you can simplify your life with twins. To start with, I have personally enrolled my kids in the same school and same extra-curricular activities that save a lot of my time to shuttle between different schools/centers.
10 Myth: With twins a pregnant woman experiences bad morning sickness.
Fact: Although I suffered from terrible morning sickness, I know many twin moms who did not suffer the same at all. Morning sickness occurs due to the physical and hormonal changes a mother undergoes during pregnancy. It is mainly a passing phase. Not all women suffer from morning sickness during pregnancy.
11. Myth: Early delivery.
Fact: Again not always true. There are women carrying twins who have delivered after completion of their full term i.e. 38 weeks.
So which one of these myths about twins did you believe in? Now that you know the facts, don’t forget to share it with your friends.