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Twin test of mums' maturity


via dailytelegraph.com.au

Bit of a handful: Louise Ramsay of Helensburgh with twins Alana and Lily is helped by Multiple Hands worker Trish Cook. Picture: Bob Barker

WOMEN'S desire to have children later in life has spawned an unlikely bonus - more twins.

The number of multiple births is up 43 per cent in the past decade despite IVF clinics taking steps to prevent them.

"Ageing motherhood is an indicator of a high chance of multiples," Australian Multiple Birth Association Caroline Hutchinson chair said.

"The closer you get to 40, there is a much higher chance of having fraternal twins.

"In 2010, 4500 pregnancies resulted in twins; in 1990, 3200 sets of twins were born."

The increase comes despite IVF clinics transferring just a single embryo.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows multiple births were 1 per cent of all births in 1980; in 2010 that rate jumped to 1.5 per cent.

Louise Ramsay, who has six-month-old twin girls as well as sons Lachlan, 4, and Will, 3, relies on help from her parents and a volunteer from Multiple Hands, a new program to help families with twins and multiples.

"It has been a new level of busy," the 34-year-old said.



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