The Difference Between Fraternal and Identical Twins

The Difference between Fraternal and Identical Twins

Twin births are much more than having and raising two children at one time. Twins tend to be smaller and born earlier than normal births, and may need more trips to the pediatrician. There are special feeding strategies that you will have to figure out. Ask anyone who has had twins and has had a single birth and they will tell you that twins are a whole other ballgame. It is an act of pristine scheduling and juggling.

Raising twins require the realization that they are two separate individuals and not a package. In the case of identical twins, they may have started out the same person but now that they are two they will have their own unique ways and means. They will not have the same personalities or like the same things. They may have more sibling rivalry than other children. Twins may not like being separated (some have extreme responses and will need some work in interacting with others), and some schools will put twins in separate classes to stimulate interaction with other students who are not the twin.

Those twin “truths” are universal whether you have given birth to either identical or fraternal twins. They will hold true on either set. However, Identical and Fraternal twins do have some clear cut similarities and differences. Many things are developed via environment, and twin behavior is no different than other children developing. They will be affected by nurture as well as nature, but there are some very set things that can’t be molded. Many times you will not be able to tell by sight if your sets of twins are fraternal or identical. You will know however by the DNA and by the placentas expelled during delivery. Here are the other universal methods of determining identical versus fraternal twins.

Identical Twins
Identical twins are always the same sex, have an identical appearance, have 1 placenta,
1 or 2 chorion bags (cellular extra embryonic membrane), 1 or 2 amniotic sacs (membrane surrounding fetus), identical blood types, come from the same singular egg, have an extreme emotional bond with twin, and may develop their own “twin language” only they understand.

Fraternal Twins
Fraternal twins can be the same sex, or different sexes; have similar, but not identical appearances; have 2 placentas, 2 chorion bags, 2 amniotic sacs; have possibly identical blood types; come from two different eggs fertilized at same time; have no extreme emotional bond with twin; and will not have their own “twin language”.

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