Twins Born at Record Rate in 2014

Nancy Segal

Psychology professor Nancy Segal directs CSUF's Twin Studies Center.

As it does for most new parents, life changed for Melissa Dunn when she gave birth on March 23, 2014.

But for Dunn, and an increasing number of parents, the change was twice what it might've been: She had identical twins, Elissa and Emma.

“The intensity of things is completely different, having two toddlers teething versus one,” said Dunn, 31, of Buena Park.

“It takes a lot more time to get out of the house. You have to pack more, prepare more. It can be stressful.”

Elissa and Emma, now curly-haired and approaching their second birthdays, were part of a twin record set in the United States in 2014. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 34 of every 1,000 babies born that year were twins.

The rate is only a slight increase from the 33.7 per 1,000 births the year prior, but it set a new high in a nation where more and more women are waiting to have babies and turning to fertility treatments. Both factors can cause serious complications – and lead to multiple births.

“Twin births tend to be toward older moms,” said Cal State Fullerton psychology professor Nancy Segal, who researches and writes about twins as the director of the university's Twin Studies Center.

“As women get older, reproductive functions aren't as good as they used to be. It could be that two eggs are just part of the aging process.”

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