A ten-step guide to having twins

How to conceive twins tips and tricks

“Oooh, twins, I’d love those too.” Twin moms hear this A LOT. I am never quite sure how to respond though – but okay, I’m happy to help, so here are my 10 best tips and tricks to conceive twins.

People are forever stopping twin moms in their tracks to say stuff to them. Some are desperate to tell you they’d NEVER want twins of their own. Then there are others who are keen to share that they really WOULD like twins, too. I have actually been asked by a woman how she could best go about getting pregnant with twins. I am always at a loss for words, in EVERY one of these situations. Usually, I don’t have enough time to respond, because I’m in a supermarket and the twins have started pulling boxes of eggs off the shelves. So anyway, it is clearly an important topic for some women hoping to conceive twins naturally (or with a little help). You might be one of them yourself, hoping for twins. Or maybe you are a twin mom desperate for a suitable reply to this overly intrusive query. Let’s go: this is how to have twins*, in ten easy steps. 

* Careful! This only applies to non-identical twins, there is no way to influence the odds for identical twins.

1.     Live a healthy life.

Studies show that women who conceived twins naturally, lived longer and healthier lives. It is likely that healthy women tend to have twins more often. Want to boost your twin-bearing potential? Give up smoking, booze and snacks, and go for a run.

2.     Eat and drink plenty of dairy: milk, yoghurt and cheese, etc.

Apparently women who eat dairy have better odds to have twins. Grab yourself another yoghurt, babe!

3.     Eat sweet potatoes.

In Africa, there are areas where an amazing one in 22 women have twins – (In the Netherlands the number is one in 80 or 90). Some people believe the high number of sweet potatoes consumed are the cause. Who knows, but it’s a tasty reason, for sure.

4.     Take folic acid.

If you take folic acid before you’re pregnant, you double your chances of having twins

5.     Have loads of kids.

The more kids you have, the greater the odds some of them will be twins. It’s simple probability but just having been pregnant before means you’re more likely to have twins. Another fun fact: if you already have twins, you’re more likely to have another set of twins.

6.     Get pregnant when you’re fairly ancient.

Women between the ages of 35 and 39 are three times more likely to have twins. On the other hand, fertility does decline as you age, so you will not want to put of trying to conceive for too long. How about combining this tip with number 5 and carry on trying ‘til you’re about 40 years old. Watch out: this will also increase your chance of having a huge brood of kids, besides boosting the twin potential.

7.     Feed your husband plenty of green veggies.

You might produce two eggs, but your other half needs to have top class sperm, in order to fertilize both of them. That healthy lifestyle of yours must apply to him, too. Green vegetables (and oysters!) contain heaps of zinc and are regarded as boosting sperm production. Not to mention: enough sleep, exercise and as little stress as possible – all of these make for healthy sperm. Off you go, the doctor has ordered a holiday for you, where you can try and conceive the much-hoped-for twins.

8.     Nurse your child for ages.

Women who nurse their children for a long time, keep producing prolactin, which in turn boosts your twin potential. Good thing, too, because that means you get your milk factory up and running for when you do have twins. If you decide on breastfeeding them, you’ll be producing a litre and a half a day.

9.     Have two eggs placed back.

This doesn’t happen anymore, usually, in the Netherlands, but if you have fertility treatment: ask for two eggs to be placed back. This boosts those twin odds, again. Interestingly, less than one in four twin moms in the Netherlands and Belgium conceived twins after fertility treatment – a poll I conducted of some 1,000 twin moms.

10.  Be careful what you wish for.

Do you believe that wishing, prayer or hoping will increase the odds of twins. Go for it! Be careful what you wish for, when you follow these ten steps. Having twins is amazingly thrilling, but it is a heavier burden, physically and (for most mothers) mentally, than having one child. Your body has to carry twice as many babies, you have an increased risk of premature labour (over 60 percent of twins are born pre-term) and there are generally increased (serious) health risks to both you and the children. If you want to find out what having twins really means – before you embark on this ten-step programme – why don’t you read my twin book (currently only available in Dutch).

Translated by butterflywords.nl 


Janneke Jonkman

Janneke is the face behind My Little Dutch Diary and writer of the Dutch twin book 'O jee, het zijn er twee'.