Since 1975, the number of twin births has jumped more than 75 percent. It rose from 9.5 twins out of 1,000 births in 1975 to 16.9 in 2011.
One of the factors that can make a woman more susceptible to having twins or multiples is being an “older” mom. (When I say older, I mean women over the age of 35.) Many women are turning to fertility treatments to get pregnant, which also increases the likelihood of having multiples.
Another factor is that women are more overweight than they were decades ago, which can make them more likely to have multiples.
Family history can also factor in. The prevalence of twins on the mother’s side of the family can double the chances of her having twins.
Today, nearly 4 percent of babies are born as multiples and 95 percent of these are twins.
Lightning can strike twice. If you’ve had a set of twins once before, your chances of having another pair increase.
Such was the case for Nia and Robert Tolbert from Maryland. The two are already proud parents of a 6-year-old son, Shai, and 2-year-old twin boys, Riley and Alexander.
Nia figured their family was complete, “but we were in for a surprise,” she said. “Robert and I have always joked about having a large family, but we did not plan to have any more pregnancies after the twins.”
In August, though, Nia discovered she was pregnant again.
“During my routine ultrasound, my technician began hinting that there may be more than one baby brewing,” she recalled. “When she said there were three I was shocked. I told her I never thought I’d see ‘baby C’ on a sono pic!”
And apparently neither did Robert. Nia broke the happy news to the daddy-to-be in a loving, adorable way. Before heading off for a girls trip with friends, she prepared a sweet package. Inside was a love note, the sonogram photos, and three onesies labeled 1, 2 and 3.
When Nia was finally able to get in touch with her husband, nothing prepared her for what he told her.
“He shared that he was happy, but he’d ‘fainted!’” she laughed.
With the initial shock over, the Tolberts were ready to welcome their three baby girls to the family.
“We’ve just been making adjustments and space for our three little blessings arriving soon the best we can,” Nia said. “We know our home is going to be full of noise and laughter and love for quite some time!”
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