TIP #1: ASK FOR HELP
TIP #2: TALK ABOUT YOUR EMOTIONS Postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety are both much more common in pregnancies with multiples. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or having thoughts of harming yourself or others, seek medical care. It can be an intense time when hormones drop much harder than a singleton pregnancy and you feel yourself spiral. Asking for help from a doctor or finding a close friend/ family member to talk with will help you to feel more in control. TIP #3: GET ORGANIZED BEFORE THE BABIES ARRIVE
One great tip that a fellow twin mama had:
- Color code the bottom of bottles! In her case, one twin has gray bottomed bottles while the other has blue. This helps to ensure that you aren’t overfeeding one kid and underfeeding the other. Especially when you’re sleep deprived in the beginning, this can make a huge difference.
- It is so much easier when you’ve thought and prepped ahead. This way things tend to go much smoother when the babies are here and vying for attention.
TIP #4: HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
A baby nurse or postpartum doula that specializes in multiples can be expensive, but totally worth it if you can afford it. Ask around in your local community, do a Google search for a “baby nurse”, or try to find an agency that will send an at-home nurse to your house. You can request for the baby nurse to work around the clock or a shortened shift. Some will even come to live in your house. This hired hand will take care of the babies and their laundry (which is extremely helpful!), but will not shop or clean the house.
This can seem challenging, especially in those first few weeks of life. Having a schedule will greatly reduce those chaotic and often frustrating moments of parenthood where you think you finally have some peace of mind only to be instantly pulled from your rest by a crying child. Some great ways to get your kids on a similar schedule:
- If one baby is hungry, feed them all
- Encourage daytime play and nighttime sleep
TIP #5: RESIST THE STRESS
Get good at taking catnaps and not letting the little things get to you. Work on some breathing exercises to help alleviate some of the anxiety, frustration and stress of having multiple newborn babies. Here are some great ways to alleviate the stress:
- Save steps by spreading baby equipment around your house (swings, bouncers, burp cloths, etc.)
- Put your cell on “Do Not Disturb” during rest times (like evenings when getting babies ready for bed, or when they’re asleep)
- Keep your diaper bag stocked and prepare a checklist of everything you will need (pro tip: keep a second wallet with a backup cash in the diaper bag)
- Keep that medicine cabinet stocked. If a fever hits or a baby (or two!) get sick, then having Tylenol/ Ibuprofen/ Thermometers, etc. on hand and readily available will be a lifesaver.
All of these tips will help to ease the transition of bringing home your new babies. Keep in mind that many moms do not make it to 40 weeks’ gestation. Moms who are pregnant with multiples are automatically considered high risk and want to plan accordingly during their pregnancies, labor and birth. Ultimately this means more trips to the doctor’s office while pregnant and more monitoring, especially towards the end of pregnancy. Physical recovery from delivery can last longer, the hospital stay can be stretched, especially if, like most multiples, the babies are born early. Sometimes moms can expect a NICU stay with their little ones because of the premature delivery.
Moms of multiples often have another problem as well- they need to feed all these babies! That means, if a mom choses formula, twice the amount and cost. It also means that if breastfeeding, moms of multiples need to make sure they’re staying extremely well hydrated to provide milk for their babies. They’ll have to eat enough calories to make up for what they’re producing for the babies, and if pumping, they’ll have to make sure they stick to a very strict pump schedule to empty the breasts and feed their babies.
If you are a mom of multiples and need extra help with your new kids, please reach out and schedule your FREE postpartum evaluation today.