Learning to Survive Multiples Part 2
Twin support for your family
Welcome back to part 2 of learning to survive multiples. If you missed part one, find it here. Taking a deep breath and allowing yourself to feel all the emotions you are experiencing is okay! You've got twins on the way and while that is twice the work, it is also twice the fun!
In part one, we go over some common experiences with twins and how you can navigate those experiences. More tips on adjusting to two babies:
- NICU. You do not know how much, if any, NICU time your babies will require. Knowing that you have a reliable resource at your finger tips along with the amazing NICU staff, you can rest easy from the chaos and find solutions and answers easily. The Premature Baby Book by Dr. Sears is also a fantastic resource for families who have NICU time, be it expected or unexpected. Knowing what to expect with your premature little ones will be helpful along the way.
- Feeding. With twins, feeding might be a trial and error in the beginning. You may end up breastfeeding, formula feeding, acquiring donor milk, or a mix of all three to feed your babies. In that adjustment time, imagine taking away the stress and moments of doubt by having the presence of your understanding postpartum doula who is ready to provide resources and answers that fit your unique situation.
- Sleep. We touched on sleep a little bit in part one. Do they sleep together? Do they need to sleep apart? Can they be swaddled? The list goes on. How can you get your babies to sleep better, together or apart? Regardless of whether or not your babies are sleeping well, the amount of time dedicated to them shortens your day time and your time at night for sleeping yourself. Bringing a Postpartum Doula into the mix allows you to get real sleep at 1-7 nights a week, whatever is the best schedule for you. Your partner might be home at night, but they have to work during the day, you cannot really sleep during the day because twins equals 24/7 care for two babies. Sleep is very important and you do not have to go without it.
- Extra concerns. When you are finally able to bring your babies home, they may have extra medical needs or require extra care. While you are trying to recover from pregnancy and delivery, while caring for two babies, and also having extra requirements for care, an extra set of hands can be the difference. The Premature Baby book goes over some of these scenarios and what to expect with them.
- Focus on YOU. Last, but certainly not least important is caring for you. Your family just grew by two babies, it is a lot of work and a lot to take in. While Placenta Encapsulation isn't possible for dads, it is an excellent option for postpartum mothers who want to see their recovery time enhanced. Be sure that if you cannot go the Placenta Encapsulation route you have time for you. You may be recovering from a vaginal birth, but you may also be recovering from a cesarean birth. They both take time, so allow yourself that time you need.
Navigating postpartum, and even pregnancy, with twins can take a lot of energy and work. Do not hesitate to reach out for help at least in the firs few weeks you are home. The NICU staff is excellent, but they are not coming home with you.