5 Things That Can Cause Multiple Pregnancies

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Update: Amal and George Clooney have officially had their twins! Continue on to our original story below to learn more about the factors that make it more likely for people to have twins.
This story was originally published on April 27, 2017.
Our baes Amal Clooney and Beyoncé have more in common than being some of the most impressive women of our time: They're both expecting twins! Honestly, at this point, it seems like twins are almost a requirement to be one of the rich and famous. But it turns out that some people are just more likely to have twins, triplets, and beyond (a.k.a. multiple pregnancies) — and it doesn't always have to do with your level of celebrity.
Most commonly, you end up with multiple pregnancies because more than one egg has made its way down your fallopian tubes during ovulation. As the Mayo Clinic explains, fraternal twins are the result of two eggs that are fertilized by two different sperm. In this case, each fetus ends up with its own placenta. However, in the less common case of identical twins, one egg is fertilized and then splits. From there, it develops into two separate fetuses that may or may not share a placenta.
Having twins is definitely a challenge — and not just because you get to deal with twice the diapers. It means you'll probably have all those usual pregnancy symptoms (e.g. morning sickness) earlier on than those carrying only one pregnancy. Having multiple pregnancies also puts you at a higher risk for several complications, including preterm birth and preeclampsia. After giving birth to your multiple bundles of joy, you're also at an increased risk for postpartum depression.
Of course, everyone's pregnancy goes differently. And having more than one pregnancy at a time doesn't automatically mean you're sentenced to nine months (plus) of total agony. If you do end up with more than one bun, though, your doctor will want to see you for check-ups more often and may do a few more tests to make sure everything is going smoothly.
Whether or not you're hoping to score double, read on to learn more about five factors that increase your odds of having multiple pregnancies.
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.