NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO

Twin Birth Rate at All-Time High

Nancy Segal

Psychologist Nancy Segal directs the CSUF Twin Studies Center.

Every year, about 4 million babies are born in the United States, and, according to the latest numbers, more of them than ever are twins.

Health reporter Carey Goldberg at WBUR, an NPR news station in Boston, joins “Here & Now’s” Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the reasons behind this trend, as well as what it means for science.

“Because physicians are getting much better at successful pregnancies with fewer embryos — rather than implanting four, five, or six, as they did in the past, they’re now doing two or one,” says Nancy Segal, a CSUF psychology professor, twins researcher and renowned author of several books, including “Twins Reared Apart and Together: The Science Behind the Fascination.”

“And this leads to a very high success rate of either singletons or twins … which, twins are still high-risk pregnancies but much, much better (less likely to have more medical complications) than triplets, quads, quints.”

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Related story: The Orange County Register

More on Nancy Segal

Segal’s wide-ranging research has delved into the issue of nurture vs. nature in human development, specifically by looking at such cases as Elizabeth Ann Hamel and Patricia Ann Hunt, the world’s longest-separated twins, whom she reunited in 2014.

Her work with two sets of identical twins separated at birth and raised as fraternal twins in Bogota was recounted in the New York Times Magazine last year. Segal was featured in the memoir “Separated @ Birth” for helping Korean-born twins learn about themselves and honored in 2013 by the American Psychological Association for her book “Born Together - Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twin Study.”

 

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