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Identical twins

Identical twins result from a pregnancy in which a single egg divides into two embryos after fertilisation. This means the two babies in your womb share a placenta and an amniotic sac, though some cases of multiple placentas have been reported. The egg usually divides between the first two and eight days after fertilisation, but if the division begins after day 8 there is a chance you will give birth to conjoined twins, who commonly share important organs.

Unlike fraternal twins, the occurrence of identical twins is random and unpredictable as neither, race, heredity, previous pregnancies, fertility medications nor the mother’s age influences it. This means your family could have absolutely no history of twins and you could still be surprised with the news that you’re carrying two gorgeous babies!

Mothers of both identical and fraternal twins are known to have slighty shorter pregnancies than mothers pregnant with just one baby, which means their babies generally have lower birthweights, but once they start breastfeeding they’ll soon start packing on those pounds. Twins are commonly born between week 36 and week 37, so you mums pregnant with twins need to get the nursery ready about one month earlier.

Identical twins tend to indicate that you’re going to have a more ‘adventurous’ birth than most mums as you’re at risk for a few more complications, but don’t worry because adventure is the spice of life and with the right care and attention you’re well on your way to having two healthy babies.

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