Finding out you are pregnant with twins is an exciting yet daunting time for any mommy-to-be. So many questions are running through your head – what/when/how/should I? We asked the wonderful multiples specialists from Twin Love Concierge to give us the top six tips for expecting mothers of multiples to focus on before the babies arrive so you can be excited and not overwhelmed!
1. Be Prepared By 28 Weeks, 30 Maximum
That means having everything baby-related washed, all essential baby gear purchased, including the must-have products for twins, the pediatrician selected, sleeping arrangements figured out, and, if you will have help, their start dates in place. A 28- to 30-week deadline is especially important because many twin moms are placed on bed rest or deliver early. Having everything prepared means you only have to focus on yourself and the babies once they arrive.
2. Stock Up on Meals
Have meals prepared for at least two weeks. During those first few busy weeks, a proper meal is one of the first things to go for Mom and Dad. However, you must have healthy meals to eat, especially for nursing moms. Before your babies arrive, prepare some postpartum freezer meals. Also, ask friends and family who visit to bring you something yummy and nutritious for dinner that night. A really helpful tool also is the meal train — www.mealtrain.com — an excellent way for people to sign up to bring you meals. People add their names to a calendar, so there is no overlapping. You can order delivery, which is perfect for family and friends who live far away but want to help. And you can be specific about food allergies or drop-off instructions. If you feel uncomfortable asking people to sign up, have a friend do it!
3. Limit Your Visitors
Seeing people’s excitement when telling them you are expecting twins is wonderful. However, your first few days home after birth might feel overwhelming. Limiting the number of people who visit the hospital or home is appropriate. It takes energy to have people in your home; you might not feel up to it initially. If you are fortunate to have someone stay with you the first few weeks, moms, ensure it is someone you feel 100% comfortable with. You may be going through a lot emotionally and physically, and you don’t want to leave the room every time you need to feed the babies or ask a question about your body.
Helpful resources include the following:
- How to Deal With Houseguests as a New Mom
- What to Do (and NOT Do) When Visiting a New Baby
- Rethinking Visitors at the Hospital After Birth
- When To Let People Visit Your Newborn
- What to Do (And NOT Do) When Visiting a New Baby (Some reading for your guests!)
4. Follow the Same Schedule
It is crucial you get the babies on the same schedule. Always feed them and put them down for naps at the same time. If you are breastfeeding, work with a lactation consultant after you deliver to help you tandem feed. Even if you have days where you fall off the same feeding schedule, work to get them back on. So if one baby wakes to eat, wake their twin to eat, too. Having them on the same schedule will be a lifesaver a few months later. It will make your day-to-day so much easier and allow some YOU time when they nap.
5. Ask For Help
Taking care of a newborn is challenging. Taking care of newborn twins makes you a super mama! If you have the opportunity, ask for and get help. Whether a nanny, a night nurse, a postpartum doula, a friend, or a family member, an extra set of hands is a positive when caring for twins. Join support groups for multiples. There are so many great ones on Facebook and throughout your local area. Reaching out to other parents of multiples going through the same thing as you is so beneficial and often a great comfort. And take a pre-natal expecting multiples class. They are always a great way to meet other parents expecting twins and learn some of the essentials of preparing for life with twins.
Helpful resources include:
6. Believe in Yourself
Having twins is truly exciting, yet it can feel overwhelming at times. Take it one day at a time. The days may seem long and hard initially, but it goes by fast and gets easier!
And don’t compare yourself to parents of singletons. Their parenting experience is in no way similar to having twins. They may be able to have a more flexible schedule, or you may see Instagram images of them out to lunch with their baby, something that you haven’t been able to do yet. But you will have images of your babies holding hands, engaging in twin talk, snuggling up against you, and playing together, giving you much more free time than your friends with one baby. Parents feel pressure from so many outside forces; don’t add to that by putting pressure on yourself. Enjoy this special experience of being a parent to twins because it truly is magical.