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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Expecting Multiples

Under natural conditions, your chance of having a pregnancy with more than one baby is relatively low (approximately a 1.5 percent chance). However, the number of multiple births has increased dramatically over the past 15–20 years. There are two specific reasons contributing to this increase. The first one is the use of fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization. The second is the increase in later-age pregnancies, which carry an increased likelihood of multiple-birth pregnancy.

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: Twins, Triplets, and Multiple Births
Developed at the National Library of Medicine specifically for health care consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information targeting the lay public.

National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs
Use this Web site to find a local club, information about parenting both twins and higher order multiples, and support during pregnancy and beyond.


  • Double duty: the parents’guide to raising twins, from pregnancy through the school years. Tinglof C. 2009.
  • Twin Sense: a sanity saving-guide to raising twins—from pregnancy through the first year. Scalise D. 2009.
  • Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding & Caring for Twins or More. Gromada KK. 2007.
  • Multiples Manual: Preparing and Caring for Twins or Triplets: 1,002 Essential Tips for Expectant Mothers. Lorenz L. 2007.
  • Raising Twins after the First Year: Everything You Need to Know about Bringing Up Twins—from Toddlers to Preteens. Gottesman K. 2006.
  • Ready or Not . . . There We Go! The REAL Experts’ Guide to the Toddler Years with Twins. Lyons E. 2006.
  • Expecting Twins, Triplets, and More: A Doctor’s Guide to a Healthy and Happy Multiple Pregnancy. Franklin R. 2005.
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Children’s Health: Infancy through Adolescence. Krapp K, ed. 2006. Available in print at the Health Learning Center or electronically at  http://www.nmh.org/nm/health library virtual library .

Classes and Support Groups

Many classes and support groups are available through the Prentice Women’s Hospital. For information on the classes Great Expectations for Multiples, Breastfeeding for Multiples, and the Parents of Multiples support group, call 312.926.8400. The organizations listed in Internet Resources also provide support, education and advocacy.

You can also call our Multiple Specialist at 312. 472. TWIN (8946).

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Alberto Culver Health Learning Center at 312.926.5465 or HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateOctober 29, 2012