Are you ready for twins again?

Written by Carissa Mason, with input from Shaie O’Brien, Australian Twin Registry

New South Wales mum Caromy McLean was still breastfeeding her first set of twins when she found out she was pregnant with a second set. “I had four in nappies for a year”, Caromy says. She and husband Andrew are proud parents to two sets of fraternal twins – Hughie and Katie, aged five, and Carys and Holly, aged three. “Life with two sets of twins is pretty challenging”, Caromy says. “I’m kept busy wrangling pre-schoolers while running between swimming, ballet, karate and preschool – not to mention renovating the house we’ve bought.”

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Delayed interval delivery in multiple pregnancy

Written by Assoc Prof Mark Umstad - AMBA Patron, Obstetrician, Gynaecologist

The risk of premature delivery in multiple pregnancies is high. Approximately 5% of twins and 12% of triplets will deliver before 28 weeks gestation.

Premature delivery exposes these babies to an increased risk of either not surviving or surviving with a significant handicap. In multiple births, all of the babies are delivered within a short period of time, typically under 30 minutes between delivery of the first and second twin during a vaginal delivery; this period is reduced to just one or two minutes between each one of the twins, triplets or quadruplets at caesarean section. In certain circumstances, the premature birth of one twin (or triplet or quadruplet) may not necessarily require the remaining babies to be delivered immediately.

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Epigenetics and twins

Written by Assoc Prof Mark Umstad, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, and AMBA Patron

Classic twin studies compare similarities between monozygotic (identical) and dizygotic (fraternal) twins. For any condition in which monozygotic twins are more similar than dizygotic twins, there is an implication that there is a more significant genetic than environmental influence. Because twins share many aspects of their environment including the uterus, parents, home and schooling, differences can be assessed in relation to how similar their genes are. In recent years, it has been recognised that there is more to this “nature versus nurture” concept. This is where epigenetics has developed.

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