Having twins or triplets will be one of the most intense experiences of your life. There will be so much wonder, love, and pride. Yes, there will be difficult days full of exhaustion and anxiety, but there will be double the smiles and laughter.
Multiples are extra special. The friendships and relationships they will have with one another is life long, deep, and so very worth it. Yet sometimes there is a lack of information for these special parents. These tips and tricks have been compiled from some of our parents.
Pregnancy Tricks and Tips:
- Exercise regularly and start early. Gentle walks, water aerobics, and squats can keep you limber and strong.
- Shop around for a medical team that listens to you and you can trust.
- Use chiropractors, acupuncturists, and physical therapists to work out the kinks of pregnancy and to facilitate good body mechanical, good posture, and alignment for exercise.
- Plug in while to a great podcast while exercising. Suggestions: Preggie Pals, Twin Talks, Birth Stories on Demand.
- Talk to the women around you about birth and newborns. Take a childbirth class. Hire a doula with multiples experience. And surround yourself with powerful birth energy.
- Use alternative care to assist with stress and sleep. Mediation apps, essential oils, herbs/homeopathy, and prepare for the unknown to promote sleep.
- Pack your hospital bags at 30 weeks as multiples can arrive early and there can be unexpected complications even if you do everything ‘right’.
- Meet with a lactation consultant with multiple experience early. Be prepared to nurse, pump, and even supplement in the beginning.
- I know this one sounds silly but figure out who will take care of your babies if and when you return to work. Childcare is expensive but most importantly you want to be able to leave the babies with someone you trust.
- Ultimately, do everything early and then you can rest.
- Stock up on food and cleaning supplies.
- Prepare the nursery.
- Have postpartum supplies ready.
- Do birthday and holiday shopping early.
Labor Tricks and Tips:
- An experienced doula is critical for most parents, especially with labor and/or a vaginal delivery.
- If your babies do not arrive the way you ideally wanted, it can be hard to remember the most important parts of your plan. A doula can assist with holding and facilitating your intentions and plan.
- Consider a birth photographer. Even newborn pictures in the NICU can be critical after the fact.
Breastfeeding Tricks and Tips:
- Rent a hospital-grade pump front the beginning and start pumping right away. Pumping helps the body to increase the milk production early so that your babies have enough milk as soon as possible.
- When in the hospital meet with the lactation consultants every day. Even if things are going well, it is nice to see them and hear that everything was going well.
- Know that every nurse or lactation consultant you meet with will have a different skill or tip to share. Listening and working with them will help you to find what works best for your family.
- Once you get home, you may need to reach out for in-home lactation support. Knowing and developing that relationship prior to birth can reduce your stress levels.
- When pumping, do it in sight of your babies or while looking at pictures or videos of them. It can help your milk letdown and increase your pumping amounts. Also wrapping yourself in a blanket that smells like them can help.
- Know that formula is not the enemy. It can be used as a bridge while your milk is coming in or be used long term if needed.
Postpartum Tricks and Tips:
- Yield to motherhood. Listen to others and find your own way.
- Fuel and hydrate your body. By nursing twins, you will be burning 1,000 calories/day and will need 64+ ounces of water. If you are challenged consider a nutritional supplement (link to Ensure plus, organic)
- Say yes to friends and family setting up a meal train. If you leave a cooler at the door, then when the meals arrive, they will stay warm if you are unable to get to the door immediately.
- Say yes to supportive friends and family who want to help out.
- If your support network is lacking, consider a postpartum doula or mother’s helper.
- Schedule activities for the children and pets at home. When they keep to their regular schedules, they will be more patient at home.
- Shower daily.
- Walk outside when you are able. Exercise combined with a change of environment will do wonders for your mental health.
- If you are recovering from a cesarean, be gentle with yourself. It can take 6-8 weeks to heal.
- Audio books (audible) and blogs are an easy way to stay current when at home.
- Use an app to track diapers and feedings if necessary.
- Join both group and on-line parenting groups. Someone is always up when you are.
- Schedule newborn photo shoots to capture these first few months.
- Schedule a baby sitter and go on date nights with your significant other. Don’t lose this precious time with them.
Other Tricks and Tips:
- You don’t need two of everything. In the first 3 months, the babies will share a crib. And they may share other items like a swing or play chair too.
- Everything doesn’t need to be new. Consignment shops are great, as are clothing swaps with other families.
- You don’t need a lot of toys.
- Invest in a well-fitting hands-free nursing bra. This will give you back 30 minutes every time you sit down to pump.
- Remove all negative influences from your lives. Trust your body, your babies, and your instincts.
You have got this!