The number of twins being born into UK families has reached a record high.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were 11,505 multiple births in 2011, a third more than a decade ago and the most since records began in 1940.
The figures revealed the majority to be twins, but there were also 172 triplet births and three sets of quadruplets.
Experts believe delaying motherhood until later in life combined with widely available fertility treatments has caused the surge.
However, the rise comes as a shock after new guidelines for IVF clinics stated only one embryo should be planted into women where possible.
The rules came into play after the high costs associated with multiple births, which are usually more complicated than single deliveries, put a strain on the NHS.
“With approximately 11,000 IVF babies being born each year, this contributes significantly to the multiple birth rate,” said a spokesperson for the ONS.
If you’re expecting more than one baby check out our guide on all you need to know about multiple births, risks to be aware of, and the best double buggies.
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