11 old wives tales about conceiving twins that may actually be true

Share this article

These days when you are expecting twins, you are usually met with one of two inquiries: “Oh, did you go through IVF?” (to which the correct response is to roll your eyes and waddle away); or “Do twins run in the family?”

Yes, conceiving through IVF and having twins in the family can increase your odds of having a multiple birth, but there are plenty of other factors that can help your chance of conceiving twins as well. Sure, they are considered old wives’ tales, but, hey, they’ve been around for thousands of years. There must be some truth behind them!

conceiving twins

What are the odds?

While the global average of twinning is around 13 per 1,000 births, Australia’s figure is at 12.5 per 1,000 births. This equates to one birth in 80 being a twin birth with 4,730 sets of twins born in Australia in 2015. While this may seem like a lot, the twin population only represents 1.6 percent of all births.

Last year there were 84 sets of triplets and higher order multiples born, representing .003 per cent of all births.

So, how you can increase your chances?

You can’t guarantee anything in life, especially in pregnancy, but here are some ways to boost your probability of a multiple birth:

1. Indulge on the dairy


Protein found in dairy products can increase the odds of conceiving twins by upping the chances you will release multiple eggs.

2. Up your intake of folic acid

Taking Folic Acid While Pregnant Could Lower Your Child’s Blood Pressure

Doctors recommend that all pregnant women take folic acid for one month before conception but the supplement has also been linked to increasing the odds of twins when coupled with fertility drugs.

3. Switch to sweet potato


They are a delicious alternative to regular potato and are packed with potential multiple-birth making material. Try this amazing stuffed sweet potato recipe for dinner tonight.

4. Try to conceive straight after being on the Pill

the pill contraceptive

After you stop taking the birth control pill, your body may release multiple eggs as it re-regulates to its natural hormone production.

5. Gain weight

Feet on scales on wooden floor

Women who are a little bit on the heavier side have better odds of conceiving multiples than skinnier women. It is also thought that women who are tall have a better chance of conceiving twins, but I doubt wearing a pair of high heels is really going to trick your body into giving you twins. You never know though. Any excuse to buy a new pair of shoes is a good one.

6. Wait to procreate

Black and white photo of hands holding four newborn baby twin feet.

While fertility decreases with age, your chances of conceiving twins slightly increases with every passing birthday. Your odds are at 3 per cent at age 25 to 29, 4 per cent at age 30 to 34 and 5 per cent at age 35 to 39.

7. Just keep conceiving

Image source: Justine Bradley, Healthy Mummy Community

The more kids your have, the better your odds of the next being a multiple.

8. Consider cassava.

conceiving twins yuca

This is a root vegetable (also known as yucca) that is supposedly the super food for super ovulation. Women from the town in Nigeria with the highest twin birth rate in the world eat stacks of yucca. Doctors explain that cassava peelings contain phytoestrogen which can increase a woman’s FSH levels and improve the chance of releasing more than one egg.

9. Drink Bourbon (pre-pregnancy of course)

Glasses of scotch on wooden vintage background

Not even joking. It’s one of the food and beverages listed with the highest levels of phytoestrogen. Other non-alcoholic super ovulation foods include soy beans, tofu, tempeh, soy beverages, linseed (flax), sesame seeds, wheat, berries, oats, barley, dried beans, lentils, rice, alfalfa, mung beans, apples, carrots, pomegranates, wheat germ, rice bran, soy linseed bread, ginseng and anise.

10. Force oysters down your partner’s throat

Oysters on white plate

They are high in zinc and this helps with sperm production. The faster they can swim, the greater the likelihood of being about to fertilise an egg or two. Not big on oysters? Other alternatives that contain a lot of zinc include green leafy vegetables, cereals, bread, seeds and wheat germ.

11. Extend your breastfeeding efforts

Sophie Breastfeeding

Women who breastfeed and produce prolactin are more likely to conceive twins. Of course, breastfeeding can put your own menstruation system out of whack, especially during the first year. But hey, you never know!

pregnancy mobile app

Supporting Mummies-in-the-Making through a Healthy Pregnancy with our 28 Day Challenge

Designed by mums just for mums!

Pregnancy Workouts
Guided workouts from professionals to suit different stages of pregnancy

Pregnancy Meal Plan
Fully customisable to support you and your family

Get motivated, stay motivated
With support from MyCoach and MindPower features

Feel Supported 24/7
In our private support groups with other mums just like you

Join Now
Share this article

Be part of our friendly and supportive community

Want FREE delicious recipes, fitness tips and great specials?