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Do Twins Always Come Early?

by Kenza Moller

It's been a while since the world first learned of Beyoncé's second pregnancy, and speculation around her due date has reached an all-time high. Neither Beyoncé nor Jay-Z has shared when their twins are expected to arrive, so fans have been doing their own investigative work. According to E! News, Beyoncé is in her third trimester and her babies are already due later this month — but others say that since she's expecting twins, it could be even earlier. Do twins always come early, though?

Not all twins come early, but according to the March of Dimes, women who are pregnant with multiple babies are six times more likely to give birth prematurely than those carrying only one baby. The mean gestational age at birth for twins in 2005 was 35.2 weeks for twins, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and according to a Child Trends analysis of CDC data, more than half of all twin births in 2013 (56.6 percent of them) were preterm, or born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Another 15 percent of twin pregnancies tend to be very pre-term, with birth occurring before 32 weeks' gestation.

So no, twins don't always come early — but having twins reach a full 40 weeks of gestation is rare, and many doctors consider 38 weeks a normal term when it comes to twins. As author Carley Roney wrote in an excerpt of The Baby Bump, Twins and Triplets Edition for The Bump:

Your uterus is a pretty amazing place, but even the womb has its limits. The more baby (plus fluids, plus placenta) in there, the more distended it can become, which means you have a higher chance of breaking your water, developing preterm contractions, or having your cervix dilate.

There's been plenty of speculation around just how far along Beyoncé is in her second pregnancy and when the Carter twins are due to arrive — seriously, people are looking at her tattoos and jewelry for a sign of a due date. However, since twins can be born several weeks early and no one is sure just how far along Beyoncé is, it'll be hard to pinpoint a date.

Still, isn't the anticipation what makes the arrival so fun, anyway? And when the world finally gets to see little Blue Ivy with her new twin siblings, everyone will immediately forget how long they had to wait for it.