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When the shock subsides from hearing “it’s twins!” tons of questions are plaguing your mind. You wish you could just open your beginner’s guide for twin moms and start learning everything you need to
It’s important to be informed. The knowledge you gain here and in your further research will take away your fear of the unknown.
Even though everyone’s experience will be different, I put together a collection of all the questions (and answers!) I had while I was in your shoes.
Pregnancy and babies were topics that didn’t interest me. I never paid attention to my friends or colleague’s pregnancies or kids. I wanted nothing to do with it.
Until I turned 38 and had a midlife crisis. 😉
I had to do tons of research on absolutely everything. Just as an example: I even had to google “how to change a baby’s diaper!”
So yeah, I’ll even tell you a few of my personal experiences on becoming a twin mom – without the “scary stuff” because in my opinion there was none (except for the picture of my gigantic twin bump when you scroll down.)
What to do when you find out you’re pregnant with twins
I’ve never met a twins mom who wasn’t shocked when she first found out she was pregnant with twins.
But after leaving the doctor’s office, and the shock finally subsides, other emotions start setting in – ranging from pure happiness to anxiety and overwhelm.
The best thing you can do is give yourself time to get used to the idea before totally freaking out all over the place.
Personally, I went from shocked to happy and then felt ultimately overwhelmed.
However, I knew that if I was going to have a great pregnancy with a perfect outcome, I had to have a positive mindset which meant ditching the overwhelm.
How to handle overwhelm when pregnant with twins
First of all, ask yourself why you’re feeling overwhelmed. You don’t really know, right?
Chances are, it’s simply because you can’t wrap your brain around how on earth you’re going to handle taking care of two babies at the same time.
Or maybe you’re afraid of growing two babies instead of one?
The only way you’re going to answer your questions and quiet
Common Questions About Becoming a Mom of Twins
1. How do you hold two babies at once?
This is how you pick up and hold twin babies:
2. What do you do when both babies cry at once?
First – take a deep breath and try to stay relaxed. If you’re all worked up your babies will smell it on you, which distresses them even more.
You learn how to differentiate cries and know which cry is more important. Your mama instincts will tell you which baby needs to be tended to first.
My twins usually didn’t cry at the same time. It seemed if one was in distress the other one balanced it out by being totally content. This is still true even now as 3-year-olds. When one is being a monster, the other is totally sweet!
3. How is prenatal care for twin pregnancies different than for singletons?
Because it is a higher-risk pregnancy, twin pregnancies are followed with alot of extra care.
For me, this meant frequent examinations (ultrasound and blood tests) from an obstetrician every 3 weeks in the beginning. Later, I was examined by the chief
I also had extra monitoring for my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and gestational diabetes.
Basically, I had some sort of doctor’s appointment almost every week. But I really appreciated all the extra monitoring – it gave me peace-of-mind knowing everything was okay.
4. What are twin pregnancy symptoms like?
Logically, twin pregnancy symptoms are usually more intense than singleton pregnancy symptoms.
My personal experience included (starting from beginning to end:)
- extreme fatigue
- all-day nausea (stopped after 4 months)
- less lung capacity which makes breathing difficult all the time (especially when laying down…goodbye sleep!)
- swollen legs and feet
- getting really big – really fast!
- carpal tunnel
- acid re-flux
- premature labor
- extreme back pain
- thirsty all the time
- gestational diabetes
- hello, stretch marks!
- inability to stand for more than 10 minutes
That all sounds kinda scary, but don’t forget you have the secret weapon of pregnancy hormones. They help you see things behind rose-colored glasses and make you feel happy despite the discomfort.
Also the knowledge that it will someday be over really helps. 😉
5. How big does a twin bump get? The Last Weeks of Twin Pregnancy
Of course, everyone is different, but there’s the general rule saying a twin bump is 4-6 weeks larger than a singleton bump.
Even though I slathered myself with this awesome moisturizer, stretch marks could not be avoided. Those babies grew so fast in the last few weeks!
The last weeks of twin pregnancy are challenging to say the least. Here are my tips for staying as comfortable as possible during that time:
- pillows are imperative. My husband built a “nest” for me on the couch out of pillows and blankets. It was the only place I could sit comfortably (but couldn’t get out of on my own! ha!)
- Get a pregnancy pillow (if you haven’t already.)
- keep yourself busy during the day with small tasks. I spent all my time researching twin baby care and shopping for twin baby products.
- keep your phone or tablet next to your bedside at night – you’ll need something to pass the time during those sleepless nights.
- magnesium spray and lavender oil help to calm your nerves and help you fall asleep.
- if you are experiencing carpal tunnel, make sure your doctor prescribes wrist braces for you. Do not take “no” for an answer – the braces help so so much! If you can’t get a prescription, you can buy these on Amazon, but they may not be the perfect fit.
6. What can I do to avoid preterm labor with twins?
- get specialized medical care. Try to find an obstetrician who specializes in twin pregnancies. Mine saved my babies’ lives by recognizing the signs of premature labor way before I did!
- rest and sleep as much as you can. Make time during the day to nap and go to bed early…very early.
- drink a lot of water. If you just can’t do plain water, try spiking it with sparkling apple juice or freshly squeezed lime juice (and also helps with nausea.)
- eat as much as you possibly can, but focus on real whole foods.
- avoid stress. Even positive stress like going out with friends.
- remember – brooding those babies is the most important job you will ever do in your life. Don’t even think about feeling guilty about being “lazy.” Growing (two!) babies is exhaustingly hard work! Hard work that others don’t see or understand. So if your fella, friends or family don’t get it, then tell them to shove it (in a nice way, of course!).
- it’s also a good idea to plan to deliver your babies at a hospital that is equipped to care for premature babies. It’ll give you that extra peace-of-mind that pregnant mamas need when they’re lying wide awake at night.
7. How do you know if you’re having preterm labor?
If you have any of these symptoms see your health care provider right away.
- constant, low dull back ache
- spotting of any color
- unexplained diarrhea
- contractions that make your belly tighten (may or may not be painful)
- pelvic pressure
Getting help quickly is the most important thing you can do. While you’re waiting, make sure you lay down and reduce stress as much as possible.
8. Can you have a natural birth with twins?
Of course! It happens every day.
But be aware that cesarean delivery is common for birthing twins.
I think it’s important to be prepared for both cases. Even if you’re certain you’re going to have a natural birth, make sure you’re informed about c-sections so you’re not shocked or disappointed when it turns out to go that way.
9. How do you tandem nurse twins?
This video helped me believe I could do it too:
Tandem breastfeeding twins is not a task for the faint of heart. I highly recommend researching the topic to the point of exhaustion if you plan on succeeding.
I also highly recommend researching breastfeeding after c-section.
10. What products make life easier with newborn twins?
Here are my very favorite twin baby products that made my life so much easier.
- Twin Z Pillow: The only c-section-friendly breastfeeding pillow on the market, made especially for multiples. This slightly less expensive one is great too.
- Though a double bassinet for twins isn’t really necessary, I highly recommend the Graco twin bassinet and playard. It’s portable so you can have it wherever you are – whether it’s next to your bed, in the living room, or in the kitchen while you’re making dinner! Genius!
- boppy pillows for “parking” your babies for bottle feeding or just chillin’ on the couch.
- a tandem stroller system. Why tandem instead of side-by-side?
- I loved clipping the car seats right into my stroller without having to wake my babies.
- I hate bumping people off the sidewalk with a side-by-side stroller.
- My babies didn’t care that they couldn’t see each other in their tandem stroller. Even though we did have the option to turn the front one around to face each other, we rarely used it.
- Not being able to see or touch each other also helped reduce fighting when they were toddlers.
- BTW – it is often argued that tandem strollers are heavy and don’t do corners very well. I can’t confirm that. Mine was very light-weight and could turn on a dime!
- a very large changing table that will accommodate both babies is awesome. I found myself having to change both diapers at the same time almost every day. Luckily I had an IKEA desk with built-in drawers and loved it a lot. Just put two changing pads on it, and you’re good to go!
- when your twins get big enough for an umbrella stroller (which are much easier to haul around) be sure to get these stroller connectors. I don’t care what the reviews say – those things are genius!
Be sure to put these items on your baby registry!
Have you started your Amazon Baby Registry? Create one here and don’t forget to pick up your free welcome box!
11. When does raising twins get easier?
Call me crazy, or maybe I’ve twisted my reality around to make my life as a twin-mom-friendly as possible, but the only “hard” thing about raising twins is having to repeat all the mundane tasks twice.
Change the diaper…twice
Soothe the baby…twice
Dress the baby…twice
Feed the baby…twice
Put baby to bed…twice
That and the fact that they NEVER take off running in the SAME direction!
I know you’ve heard this answer before, but it just doesn’t get easier! In fact, the easiest time I’ve had was when they were newborns up until the time they could crawl.
12. How do you keep your house clean as a twin mom?
As a new mom (especially to twins) you will find sleep to be the most important thing you wish you had more of. So don’t listen to those unicorn moms telling you their “twin mom productivity hack” of getting your housework done while your babies are napping.
Try to nap when your babies are napping and do your housework in small blocks whenever you get the chance. You’ll have enough opportunities up until the time they start getting mobile in which case you might have to create a designated safe room in your home where you can park them for a few minutes while getting stuff done.
13. How do you get your twins to sleep at the same time?
I’m not saying to do what I did, because some silly mamas might call it “the crying-it-out method.” And I wouldn’t say I let them “cry-it-out” because when I left them alone they occasionally cried a bit (to see if mama would come back in to entertain them) before finding their way off to sleep.
Whatever I did, I did it right (for me and my family.) My twins are 3 years old now and ALWAYS sleep at the same time. In fact, I think it might be easier for twins to fall asleep (as opposed to singletons) because they’re never alone and have no reason to be frightened of solitude.
You can read more about what I did here. Basically, I had them sleeping in their own beds (newborns together in one crib in their own room) from day one. I also made sure bedtime was at the same time every night. The same thing for naps during the day.
Resources for Twin Moms
Free Baby Stuff for New and Expecting Moms:
One of my most popular blog posts is this one with all the free baby stuff for new and expecting moms.
Cuz having a baby is expensive and having TWO is even worse!
So give yourself a break and grab some baby and pregnancy freebies here.
Multiple Birth Discounts
Check out this post from Twinversity to find out more about multiple birth discounts.
Online Prenatal Class for Couples:
This course is taught by Hilary Erickson – a labor and delivery nurse who really knows. Though this course is not specifically for twin pregnancies, there’s a lot you can take away from this course without having to leave the house.
The best thing about Hilary’s course is that it tells you everything you need to know without scaring the crap out of you.
Check it out here.
Books for Twin Moms:
These are the only two twin pregnancy books I read and think are awesome:
It explains exactly why your babies suddenly start acting differently. It was SPOT ON in explaining my twins’ behavior. Especially when they suddenly went from content to irritable for many many days!
Though my daughter was always a day or two earlier than my son in showing developmental progress, both of them had the same behaviors for the same reasons and that’s why I know that The Wonder Weeks is NOT hokuspokus!
It was such a relief to have this book by my side for the first year.
Twin Mom Ninja Trick
Get daddy on board and your life will be a lot easier. And I mean WAY on board. So be really nice to him and TRY NOT to criticize his way of doing things. Just be happy HE IS doing things!
For us, the big game changer was that I insisted he be the only one there when the babies were born and the weeks thereafter. No one was there to help us and that really forced us to function as a team and bond quickly as a family.
So don’t let your mom or sister move in to help you with the babies. They won’t always be there, but HE (hopefully) will.
An advantage to having a c-section is that your hubby will probably be the first to hold the babies skin-to-skin right after they’re born. My husband says that’s what melted his heart and made him feel important as a new dad.
He also took time off work and was first-in-charge the first 4 weeks while I was recovering from the operation. I don’t know what I would have done without him.
I STILL don’t know what I’d do without him. He’s always there and it makes my life so much easier and our kid’s lives so much happier because mommy isn’t always stressed-out to the max.
Even if your husband works all day (which, if you ask me is like being on vacation!) do everything you can to make him WANT to come home, grab the babies and go for a walk while you take a well deserved break. That’s what mine did and that hour of time to myself was GOLD.
It also made me a much more pleasant person to be around for the rest of the evening.
What to research when you’re pregnant with twins
Being informed about what’s to come will help reduce your fear and anxiety and make you feel like you can tackle anything.
- twin baby care
- twin baby products
- check out multiples discounts and freebies
Tips for Twin Moms
- make your pregnancy the most important job you’ve ever had (because it is!)
- ALWAYS listen to your mama instincts REGARDLESS of what ANYONE says (even your mother, father, husband, or doctor!)
- get your babies on the same sleep schedule (so important!)
- routine is everything – it helps your babies feel more secure and relaxed when they know what’s coming.
- get help where you need it – even if it’s a cleaning service, grocery delivery or meal service (especially in the last few months of pregnancy!)
- be sweet to your man – you’ll need him now more than ever!
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Being a Twin Mom
There will come a day in the near future, where you’ll feel sorry for people who only have one baby. You’ll think “ugh, how boring!” – no really, believe me. It’s always better with two!
Cheer yourself up with a free hooded towel. Use code motherslittlehelpers50 here!
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Also check out my Twins Pinterest Board – it’s FULL of useful tips and information.