Sunday, January 1, 2012

Twin Advice: Pregnancy

Enjoy these last few months before the twins are born.
Go out to dinner, sleep in, take a vacation if you feel up to it, etc. It's so easy to get caught up in the pregnancy and getting everything ready. Your life with the twins will be great, but it will require a ridiculous amount of planning and scheduling to do even very simple outings, so enjoy the freedom and spontaneity while you still have it!

If these will be your first children, read books about caring for infants now, since you won't have time or energy after the babies arrive.
The ones that I found most helpful were:
-Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth

Enlist help.
You will want as much help as you can get for the first few months after the babies are born, and this is the time to arrange it. If you have family that is willing and able to help (and who won't drive you crazy), that is wonderful. If you can afford it, I highly recommend hiring a baby nurse for a while, particularly at night. I was very resistant to this idea the first time around.  On top of concerns about the expense, I really wanted to do everything myself and wasn't sure how I felt about having a stranger in the house for our first few weeks as a new family.  My mother-in-law gave us the services of a baby nurse as a gift, and it ended up being tremendously helpful and less intrusive than I was afraid it was going to be.  With the second set of twins, we had nurses come in several times a week at night for the first month. Even though I was breastfeeding and still up every 3 hours for feedings, it made a big difference to have someone else change the babies and get them back to sleep so I could simply feed them and go back to bed. If you call the labor and delivery floor of your hospital or talk to local mothers of multiples, they can give you suggestions about good people to use. Definitely spend some time interviewing anyone you are thinking of hiring to make sure that they are a good fit for you and your family.  

Take advantage twin discounts.
Many baby stores (including BabiesRUs, Pottery Barn Kids, and Restoration Hardware Baby & Child) have discounts if you buy two or more of the same item at the same time. This can save a lot of money when you are buying big ticket items like cribs. Some smaller, independent stores have similar programs, including a local shoe store, which has kept us coming back to them for what seems like a never ending parade of shoes. There are even some colleges that offer twin discounts on tuition!

Get a few premie or newborn sized outfits.
Most 0-3 month size clothes are sized for babies over 7-8 pounds. Since many twins are born early, and even those who are full term tend to be on the small size, it is nice to have a few of these smaller outfits on hand so your babies won't be totally swallowed up in their clothes for the first few weeks. You can always leave the tags on them and take them back if you are fortunate enough to have big, full term babies.

Get one of the full body pregnancy pillows.
I resisted for a long time because they are bulky, look ridiculous, and seemed like an unnecessary expense, but I definitely slept better when I started using one. Any investment you can make in getting sleep before the little ones arrive is a good one, since you won't be getting much afterwards. This is the one that I used, but there are several manufacturers that make similar products: Boppy Prenatal Total Body Pillow.

Elasticity Belly Oil by Belli.
Although 99% of my worries were focused on having a healthy pregnancy, I did find time to obsess about getting stretchmarks, and started using this oil. I have no idea whether it really helped me or whether I just have good genes, but I managed to make it through 2 full term twin pregnancies without a single stretch mark, so I am a believer. Plus it smells really good. Belli Elasticity Belly Oil, 4 FL. OZ.

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