Having Twins? Here's How to Prepare for Multiples

When you first find out you’re pregnant, a flood of emotions follows. Excitement, maybe a little fear, and then elation. You begin to mentally prepare yourself with all the changes that are going to come while wondering whether it will be a boy or a girl. Finding out you’re having one baby is at least slightly overwhelming to many new parents at first but finding out you’re having multiples is a whole different store. If you’re at your ultrasound and the technician says, “Congratulations, you’re having twins!” you’ll immediately begin to wonder how you’re ever going to manage. But don’t worry, if you’re having twins, triplets, or more, here’s how to prepare for pregnancy and delivery.

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  1. Try to Stay Calm

    When you first get the news that you’re having multiples, you’ll likely experience an intense range of emotions. When you only plan for one and find out that you’re having more, it leads to stress about finances, energy, time, and general overload. Take a few deep breaths and try to stay calm. While multiples will require a little more work, the process is so rewarding. Focus on the positives and start to educate yourself so that you feel more prepared to handle whatever comes your way. Find a way to recenter yourself and utilize it whenever you feel stressed.

  2. Have a Little Fun

    Not surprisingly, you’re going to feel overwhelmed at first. However, once you do some things to help yourself stay calm and accept the fact that you’re having multiples, try to have some fun. Start thinking about names, send out a creative baby announcement, plan a baby shower, and think about how you’re going to design the nursery. This will help you get excited and start thinking about all the positive aspects of multiples.

  3. Attend a Childbirth Class

    Attending a childbirth class is important if you’re a first-time mom, but it’s even more important if you’re having multiples. A childbirth class that’s specific to mothers with multiples will help you better understand what’s going to happen on your big day and will help you better recognize signs of pre-term labor. Just make sure that you schedule your class ahead of time since delivery often comes early.

  4. Don’t Buy Too Many Multiples

    You don’t need to have two of everything, your children will learn to share. Instead of buying two rockers, swings, and other convenient pieces of equipment, buy a variety of things so you can rotate your babies between them. This not only helps keep their attention, but it avoids excessive financial strains that come with stocking up on equipment. However, you will need to buy two separate car seats and highchairs for safety.

    You’re also going to want a dual stroller rather than two separate ones. Just imagine how hard it’d be to push both down the sidewalk at once. Luckily, there are great options for double strollers on the market that can help improve your mobility. Finding the right stroller option for you will depend on your lifestyle, how you plan to use the stroller, and whether you’ll use it during infancy or into toddler years.

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    During the first few months, infant twins can share a crib. However, you will eventually need to get separate ones. If possible, try to buy two beforehand as it allows you to set up your nursery more efficiently and gives you a chance to create unique areas for baby.

  5. Ask for Advice (and Help)

    Talking to your friends and family and asking for pregnancy advice is helpful, but if they haven’t had multiples, it will likely be a very different experience. Instead, turn to the Internet and find forums, groups, or meetings with moms who have either had multiples in the past or are expecting multiples. It’s a great way to get advice and reassurance that everything will be alright.

    Getting advice from mothers who have had multiples before is a great way to better understand what to expect, but once the big day comes advice isn’t all you need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you live near family, see if they will pitch in and help in whatever way they can. Having someone come to walk the family dog, bring by meals, or even clean up a little does a world of wonder for exhausted new parents. Chances are that your loved ones, whether friends or family, will be more than happy to help you during this transition.

  6. Do Everything You Can Ahead of Time

    One of the best ways you can prepare for multiples is to do as much as you can ahead of time. Try to be as prepared as possible by the time you hit 30 weeks so you can avoid unnecessary stress and ensure that things are ready in case of pre-term labor. Get your nursery set up early, order any equipment you’ll want, and have an early baby shower. The more you get done beforehand, the better you’ll feel.

    You should also plan to stockpile a few supplies. A single baby goes through a lot of diapers in one day—more babies equal more diapers. You don’t want to run out in the middle of the night with two crying infants, so do yourself a favor and stockpile whatever supplies you can before delivery day.

  7. Get Good at Scheduling

    As twins grow older, their interests may begin to vary. While they will likely share some activities, each of your children have their own personality. Try to get good at scheduling now as you’ll need to find a way to keep all your lives organized once they become mobile. There are tons of great resources available for family planning and scheduling, but the trick is finding something that you enjoy and that works for you. Otherwise, you’ll end up using it for the first few weeks and abandoning it.

  8. Prepare Any Siblings

    If you already have children, especially if they’re younger, you’re going to want to prepare them for when you bring home your multiples. Bringing home a second (and third) baby can be difficult for children to process. However, by taking a proactive approach and being strategic in how you introduce siblings, you’ll find that growing your family is not only fun, but extremely heartwarming to watch.

  9. Find a Medical Team with Experience

    You want to make sure that all your doctors, nurses, pediatricians, and anyone else in the medical team have experience with multiples. The development in utero can differ and multiple babies leads to more complications, which are best handled by someone who specializes in them. The same can be said for post-delivery. Development and milestones can differ from single-birth babies, so it’s reassuring to speak to someone who can explain and ease any concerns.

  10. Understand the Risks of Carrying Multiples

    When it comes to carrying multiples, the risk for complications inevitably increases. While this doesn’t mean that your babies won’t be healthy, it’s a good way to make sure that you’re prepared and understand any signs that require further medical assistance. Some conditions that are more prevalent in multiples include pre-term labor, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, placental problems, fetal growth problems, and developmental delays. If you have any concerns or questions, talk to your doctor. If you stay healthy, keep your prenatal appointments, and know what to look for in terms of complications, you’ll be okay. With that being said, pre-term labor occurs in about 50% of multiples and increases in risk the more babies there are. To ensure that you stay safe, familiarize the signs of pre-term labor, and contact your doctor immediately if you experience them.

  11. Pre-Book Your Post-Natal Support

Insurance companies differ on coverage for post-natal support but having it available can be a saving grace. Talk to your insurance provider to determine what’s include in maternity coverage and, if possible, try to book your post-natal support ahead of time. This gives you the opportunity to find a lactation consultant that you trust, hire a doula, or secure a baby nurse. Finding someone who has experience with twins is ideal, but it’s also important that you’re comfortable with whoever you hire.

Having twins is an exciting experience, but infancy and even toddlerhood can be overwhelming and exhausting. To make sure that you’re utilizing all your free time effectively and getting the rest you need, order your insurance covered breast pump from Byram Healthcare today. By creating a breast milk reserve, you’ll be able to get some rest while your partner takes a turn with feeding.