Entries tagged with “identical twins”.
Did you find what you wanted?
Fri 4 Jan 2013
Many twin parents wonder if their twins are Identical or Fraternal — even when they have already been told one way or the other by their Healthcare Providers. The truth is, many parents have been misinformed by their Healthcare Providers, who may be perpetuating a common mistaken belief that separate placentas always equates to fraternal twins. But, when those close to the twins have difficulty telling them apart, one cannot help but wonder.
Recent studies have shown that twins are probably actually identical if the following are all true:
- Same Sex
- Same Hair Color
- Same Eye Color
- Often Mixed Up by those around them
Everyone seems to have an opinion. Just for fun, we’re posting pictures of twins over on our Facebook page, and guessing as to whether or not they are identical. So, come on over and add your twins’ photo and guess on all the rest!
We’ll feature the photos with the most comments in an upcoming slideshow here on our website — so check back!
Although you might suspect your twins are identical, Twin Zygosity Testing (or Twin DNA Testing) might be the easiest and most reliable way to determine if your twins are identical or fraternal.
Tue 8 May 2012
While most Parents of Twins report to TwinParenthood that it is important to them to know if their twins are identical or fraternal, the reality is that many are misinformed during prenatal scans, according to UCL researchers in a commentary piece in BJOG (a journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology).
Out of the 1302 families with same sex twins in the cited study who stated they had been given the information by health professionals based on the formation of the placenta as seen on the prenatal scan, 191 (14.7%) were misinformed about their zygosity.
It seems that correctly identifying if twins are identical or fraternal is trickier than some health professionals may realize.
It may be that some health care professionals actually perpetuate the common mistaken belief that all twins sharing a placenta are identical, and that twins with two placentas must be non-identical. But in fact, 25-30% of identical twins can have two placentas, according to the researchers. Separate placentas can develop in monozygotic twins when the egg splits within 2 days of fertilization.
Parents may have originally been told that their twins are non-identical (or fraternal) because of the formation of two placentas. But, if your same sex twins share eye and hair color, and are often mixed up by those around them, your twins may actually be identical. Twin Zygosity Testing (or Twin DNA Testing) might be your best option to determine if your twins are identical or fraternal.
Zygosity is the genetic relationship between two twins. With respect to genetic similarities or dissimilarities, twins are classified as identical or fraternal.
Monozygotic = 1 egg – identical twins (when one egg is fertilized by a single sperm cell and then splits).
Dizygotic = 2 eggs – fraternal or non-identical (when two eggs are independently fertilized by two sperm cells).
 van Jaarsveld C, Llewellyn C, Fildes A, Fisher A, Wardle J. Are my twins identical: parents may be misinformed by prenatal scan observations. BJOG 2012;119:517–518
Zygosity Test Giveaway
Our friends at Proactive Genetics have graciously offered a Zygosity test to one randomly selected TwinParenthood reader.
05/21/2012 UPDATE: Giveaway entry is now Closed. Thanks to all who entered! Our winner is Reagan K of Arcata, CA — Congratulations, Reagan!
Proactive Genetics offers a great service to parents of twins – for a fantastic price. The genetic testing is easy – gentle swabbing to remove cheek (buccal) cells – which contain adequate DNA to perform the zygosity test. And then mail it in. Easy-Peasy. Have questions about twin zygosity or zygosity testing? Check out thier informative Frequently Asked Questions About Twin Zygosity page.
Basic (required) entry: Please visit Proactive Genetics and find the first word on their website that begins with the same letter as your first name. Then, come back and post a comment here with the word, your first name, and tell us if you were told that your twins are identical or non-identical. Do you suspect that you might have been mis-informed?
Post a comment here for EACH entry.
- Basic Entry (above) is required before any extra entries will be counted.
- Tweet: Identical or Fraternal? 1 in 7 misinformed: http://bit.ly/JXPrWL @TwinParenthood DNA Test #Giveaway (ends 5/16) #tph #multiples #twintuesday
- Publicy share our Facebook giveaway announcement to your own timeline (share must be visible to “public”).
- Post a comment on one of our Facebook giveaway announcements.
- 5/14/2012 Update! We’re adding a new way to earn an extra entry: Post a photo of your twins on our Facebook wall and tell us (with the photo) if you were told they are identical or fraternal. (Please be sure to come back and post a comment here to earn your extra entry!)
As usual, the standard TwinParenthood giveaway rules apply — read them all here. Giveaway is open to US and Canada. Contest Entry closes 11:59:59 pm on May 16, 2012.
05/21/2012 UPDATE: Giveaway entry is now Closed. Thanks to all who entered! Our winner is Reagan K of Arcata, CA — Congratulations, Reagan!
Tue 5 Apr 2011
Posted by KathrynWhiteley under Twin Life
Authors note: Up to this point, TwinParenthood has pretty much exclusively featured articles about how to raise and parent twins. We are diverging from our normal format this week — to bring you more of a traditional mom blog to chronicle our trip to Washington DC for an NIH Twins Study.
This week, we are on an adventure. We’ve travelled to Washington DC with both of our sets of twins so that our girls can participate in twins studies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Just the beginning to a long day...
The twin study includes blood draws, cognitive testing, and MRI’s. I guess they are doing something to correlate identical twins intelligence and their cognitive abilities with MRI images. Interesting stuff. I’ll write more about that if we learn more details today.
As I am writing this morning, one of my boys (T-man, age 10) is sleeping here at the hotel while Dave and the other 3 kids have already headed over to NIH to begin the twin studies. T-man was sick last week, and traveling cross country was a long trip, with a time change. He’s wiped out. We’re hoping to join the others in a couple of hours.
We were really pleasantly surprised to walk out of the airport to mid 80 degree weather yesterday. But, by this morning I guess they figured out we were here from Seattle and someone turned on the rain. Now we feel right at home.
So, the most challenging thing so far has to be the end of the night last night and the tired kids this morning. Last night they were in party mode. Jumping and bouncing off the walls of the hotel room. It was after midnight before we finally settled in — with much scolding from mom and dad. This morning, none of them wanted to get up, but we had our twins studies appointments we had to keep. Next time, we’ll plan to come at least one day ahead of the planned appointments to make things a little bit easier.
I’m looking forward to learning more about the twins study and letting you know how it went for the girls. I also hope to find out today if they are still looking for more participants — so I can share that with all of you.
Sun 3 Apr 2011
Do you know the zygosity of your twins?
Take our quick Facebook poll — are your twins identical or fraternal? Maybe they were in separate sacs but look a lot alike… or maybe you are newly expecting twins and don’t know yet. Or, is it complicated? If so, leave a comment to tell us why.
While you’re there — don’t forget to click the link to take you to our Facebook Page and give us a “like”. We have a fun Question of the Day and feature 5 new fan photos in the filmstrip daily. Come check us out!
Thu 10 Sep 2009
Posted by KathrynWhiteley under Twin Life
Getting out and about with twins, triplets or more is a difficult undertaking. But, when you add all the attention it generates, it can be downright draining. Many parents of young twins or higher order multiples ask,
“When does all the attention begin to slacken? When does the Carnival End?”
For most everyone, regardless of your particular multiples, the attention begins to lessen a bit somewhere around age two, and gradually fades as the kids approach school age. By that time, the attention has reduced quite a bit. This is pretty universally true whether you have identicals or fraternals, twins, triplets, or more. The degree to which it reduces is directly related to several factors:
- How alike do your multiples look? Are they identical? Are they fraternal – but look very similar?
- How close in age do they look? Some twins look like one might be older.
- Are they the same height?
- Do they dress alike?
- Are they the same gender?
- How many children do you have in your entourage?
- Are you still using a double, triple or bigger stroller?
For some, the extra attention will be a life long thing. This is true for those with higher order multiples, and for those who look very alike. But, even for those sets of multiples, the attention does slacken as they get older. Older kids just don’t have that universal appeal that babies have.
Many parents of twins struggle to get errands completed in the early years, but love that people recognize how special twins and multiples are. May D, of Lenexa, KS says, “I don’t want to make people feel like they’re irritating me because it [is] nice that people think twins are special. But, it could turn a short run to the grocery store into an hour long trip if I stopped to talk to everyone who says ‘Twins! Oh they’re so cute!‘ ”
In an informal survey conducted on twitter and twinParenthood.com, parents cited the following questions as the most commonly received:
- Are they twins?
- Are they identical?
- Do twins run in your family?
- Are they all yours?
- Who was born first?
- Were you surprised?
- How do you do it?
And the most common comments received:
- You’ve really got your hands full.
- Wow. You’re really busy!
- Twins! How cute!
Many parents are amazed at some of the questions or comments they receive. Some of the more unusual or intrusive:
- Are they natural?
- Did you have a C-section?
- Do you plan to have any more?
- Did you have your tubes tied? / Did your husband have a vasectomy?
- Glad it was you and not me!
And while nearly all parents of twins are occasionally taken aback by the intrusive questions of strangers, most feel that the majority of people are friendly and just curious about multiples. To keep things light and on a positive note, the majority of parents like to respond with funny one-liners delivered in a friendly tone.
- Q: Do twins run in your family?
- Q: Are they twins?
- A: Yep. Buy One, Get One Free!
- Q: Really? Twins? But they look so different!
- A: Yes! Almost like they’re two different people!
- Q: Are they natural?
- A: As opposed to…? or
- A: 100%! or
- A: Nope! They’re plastic, pretty realistic, huh?
- Q: Which was born first?
- A: They’re Twins! or
- A: We’re not sure, we think they were switched at birth!
- Q: How far apart are they?
- Q: Were you surprised?
- A: No, we put in an order for twins!
- Q: Did you use I.V.F.?
Two years goes by so quickly, and soon you will be missing the attention your crew drew when you were out and about. No, really… it’ll happen. So, try to enjoy it and keep the attitude that those with singletons or none at all are just a little jealous of that specialness of multiples.
What about you? What are some of the funny questions, comments, or answers you’ve experienced? Leave us a comment to share your funniest (or most painful).
Tue 4 Aug 2009
Posted by KathrynWhiteley under Twin Tips - school
Every new school year, multiples parents face one of the most important decisions effecting their twins, triplets, or higher order multiples’ education and mental well being. Should they be placed in the same classroom? or be separated?
In this article, Part 4 in our series on “Twins and Multiples in School — Together or Separate”, we’ll talk about helpful steps to ensure you are making an informed decision.
- Begin your annual evaluation in early spring each year. Schools often require parent input forms to be completed in Spring for the following school year.
- Gather information about the reasons to keep twins / multiples together or to separate them in the classroom. Evaluate your multiples for each item on the lists. How do they measure up?
- Seek input from many different sources who have been involved in the care-giving or education of your twins / multiples.
- teachers (current, past, special classes / sunday school, etc.)
- caregivers, babysitters, etc.
- Professionals from whom your multiples have received services (such as psychologists, pediatrician, tutors, and/or school specialists)
- What are their perceptions? Try to ensure you are listening to their input rather than adding your own perspective. Children often behave differently in the various environments in their world. How they behave in class can be significantly different from their behavior in your home.
- are your little ones outgoing, or shy?
- play only with each other? or with other kids?
- is one more dominant than the other(s)?
- Consult your multiples. What do they want? Do they want to be together in class? or to be separated? Often they have insight into their own relationship and need to feel that they had input into the decision (especially true for older children).
- Obtain information from potential educators. What is their policy (or practice) on twins/multiples? Why? It is important to understand the reasons for their position, so that you can respond accordingly.
- school principal
- school administrators
- school counselors
- administrators of the school district
- Document your preference in writing for the school, providing bullet points supporting your request. Also make note of any factors that might indicate the alternative position, along with possible solutions for how those circumstances can be mitigated or minimized. Presenting a well researched and thought out position will increase the chances that the placement of your twins will be carefully considered by school administrators.
Taking the time to make a careful evaluation will pay off in enhanced learning opportunities for your twins / multiples. As the dynamics change, a new evaluation is necessary each and every year. The reasons you based your decision upon last year might no longer apply.
The next article in this series, part 5, will discuss what to do if your twins or multiples’ placement is contrary to your wishes, or you are not consulted in the decision.
Read the full series:
Copyright 2009 Kathryn Whiteley – http://twinParenthood.com
Mon 27 Jul 2009
Many twin and multiples parents worry that they’ll have trouble telling their newborn twins, triplets, or higher order multiples apart. Often times, even fraternal twins are hard to distinguish.
And yet, “identical twins” are not completely identical. There are many differences in appearance. Typically, one twin will be narrower in the face — the other rounder. Some identicals are even “mirror image” of each other.
The good news is that most parents quickly learn the subtle physical differences between their twins / multiples, and it is mostly friends and outside family that have difficulty.
Still, there are techniques to make it easier for everyone in your multiples’ lives to tell them apart. Having some of these techniques in place will be especially helpful when part-time caregivers come to your aid.
- Hospital wrist bands. Keep the hospital wrist bands on for a couple of days after returning home.
- Assigned colors. Assign a color to each of your twins, triplets, or higher order multiples.
- Dressing in assigned colors. Purchase clothing in the assigned colors and dress each accordingly. It can be fun to dress twins in matching outfits, differing by assigned color.
- Paint a toenail. An age old, tried and true method to tell newborn twins / multiples apart is to paint a toenail on one or more of the babies (in your chosen assigned color for each, of course). Why a toenail and not a fingernail? When the babies begin to suck their fingers, you can avoid ingestion of the polish.
- Color code your charts. If you keep charts for tracking feedings and sleep schedules, highlight each infant’s chart with their assigned color. (Check back for a future article on the subject of charting your infants’ schedules.)
- Color code your cribs. Choose bedding in the matching assigned colors, and place colored labels with their names over the cribs. If they share a crib, always place each infant under their name on either the left or right.
Tip: Take lots of pictures when your twins, triplets or higher order multiples are young, but be sure to label them to indicate who is who. Although you might easily tell them apart now, you might have more difficulty when you look back in a few years.
When our babies were young, we soon were easily able to tell them apart. We tried to take a lot of pictures, but didn’t always have time to go in and label the photos to identify who was who. Big mistake. Now that they are older, we look back at early pictures and often can’t tell them apart! At the time, we were easily able to key in on the differences, but looking back is more difficult. Often times, it is the color coding of the outfits in the pictures that lets us know.
Even with techniques in place, mix-ups can (and do!) happen. The trick is to be extra careful to check your charts and schedules and double-check which baby you’re holding. This can be critical in the case of food allergies, for example. One of our identical girls had a severe allergy to milk, the other not. A mix up did happen once, which resulted in our little sweetie vomiting after her feeding. Fortunately it worked out fine, but was pretty scary for a few hours.
How about you… what have you done to tell your newborn twins apart? Have you ever mixed them up?