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Live and laugh harder: Do twin mothers live longer and are they happier?

Live and laugh harder: Do twin mothers live longer and are they happier?

Live and laugh harder: Do twin mothers live longer and are they happier?

Do mothers of twins hold the secret to a longer, happier, and healthier life? Twin parenthood is a crazy journey filled with unique challenges and extraordinary moments. One of the random facts I stumbled upon at some point over the last few years is that twin mothers live longer.

I'm not convinced! Neither is my pelvic pain, my abdominal separation, nor my slightly-worse-for-wear emotional state.

From enduring myths to scientific studies, the idea that mothers of twins experience a distinct advantage on their life path is a super cool topic. So let's delve into the science, the myths, and the happiness and health aspects of being a twin mum.

The "Myth" of Twin-Mother Longevity

The myth of twin-mother longevity has deep historical roots in various cultures. In some ancient societies, twins were considered a particular blessing, believed to bring good fortune and prosperity to their families. This belief likely contributed to the myth that mothers of twins enjoyed extended lifespans. While this myth is heartwarming, it's important to recognise that longevity depends on a multitude of factors beyond the number of children one has.

Back in 2011, there was some interesting research published suggesting that mothers of twins:

  • Live longer
  • Have more children
  • Are generally older at the time their last child is born.

I gotta say though, the research was based on women born between 1807 and 1899! I do wonder whether this is still accurate now given what are likely significant advances in medicine since then?

Are Mothers of Twins Happier?

We have to remember at this point that multiple births are still quite rare. The latest Australian data demonstrates that multiple births account for only 2-3% of all births each year.

While scientific studies specifically focusing on the happiness of twin mothers are limited, anecdotal evidence and personal stories offer insights into the unique joys of twin motherhood. Many twin mothers express immense happiness in witnessing the close bond between their twins, the shared laughter, and the sense of completeness that having twins brings to their lives.

Non-scientific observations often highlight the extraordinary moments of happiness, such as watching twins interact, play, and support each other. The challenges of twin parenthood may be outweighed by the rewarding experiences that come with it. The laughter and love that fill a household with twins are immeasurable, often resulting in a happiness that transcends the difficulties.

Can we say definitively that mothers of twins are happier? Probably not. But on a personal level, I wouldn't change anything.

The Physical and Emotional Demands of Motherhood

The physical and emotional demands of motherhood are not unique to mothers of twins, but they can be intensified. Sleep deprivation is HUGE, as newborn twins can end up on different sleep schedules. Managing the needs and routines of two babies can be overwhelming, leading to increased stress levels, and emotional distress for parents and caregivers.

As children get older, even something juggling a standard bedtime can be difficult with two toddlers (as I write this my twins have come down 3 times asking for water when they were supposed to be asleep an hour ago...). That's nothing on the increased financial burdens placed on multiple birth families, and the ongoing strain this can place on personal relationships. It's a topic on which some admirable research has been done in the past to encourage discussion on the issues facing multiple birth families.

However, these challenges do not define the entirety of twin motherhood.

Scientific Studies and Health Outcomes

Scientific studies have explored various aspects of twin pregnancies and their potential impacts on maternal health. Research has shown that mothers of twins may have a higher risk of developing pregnancy-related complications. 

One study published in the Journal of Women's Health found that mothers of twins were more likely to have a C-section delivery compared to mothers of singletons. This suggests that the mode of delivery may be influenced by the unique circumstances of twin pregnancies. For me, a C-section was the only option as both my girls were breech, so it was the safest option for all of us.

Another study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology examined the long-term health outcomes of mothers who had twin pregnancies. The study found that mothers of twins had a slightly higher risk of cardiovascular disease later in life, but the difference in risk was relatively small and may be influenced by other factors.

So, what's the verdict?

The question of whether mothers of twins live longer, are happier, and healthier is multifaceted. While the myth of twin-mother longevity persists, the reality is shaped by various factors, including individual experiences and choices.

Twin motherhood is a journey filled with extraordinary moments of happiness and challenges that test one's strength of character in so many ways. Whether mothers of twins live longer or not, the happiness and fulfillment found in raising twins is priceless.

From Twinnerly®, we celebrate the incredible journey of twin motherhood. Regardless of the myths and scientific studies, one thing is certain: the love shared between twin mothers and their children is immeasurable, and that, in itself, is a beautiful and enduring gift.

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