Finding out you are pregnant with more than one baby can be overwhelming with a rollercoaster of emotions from shock, panic of how you will cope with two to joy and a feeling of being special. Extra babies need extra care and these are some tips to help you prepare for your pregnancy and birth.
- Join a local twins club – if you can’t find one near you there are lots online. It is a great place to get advice on which buggy to buy and to pick up bargains on other useful items.
- Start thinking about what type of help you might need after the birth especially if you don’t have family nearby. Homestart is a national charity that may be able to offer free support.
- Book yourself onto a twins and triplets antenatal course with Twinbirth twinbirth.co.uk where you will learn what your birth choices are, whether it will be a vaginal or C-section birth, how to breastfeed or bottle feed twins and how to look after more than one baby, plus lots of other time saving tips.
- You can find out how many appointments and scans you should be having by looking at the National Institute of Clinical Excellence patient guidelines for multiple pregnancies. Some hospitals put all multiple pregnancies on consultant care only but ask to see if you can see a midwife too. It is reassuring not to miss out on normal pregnancy care.
- Carrying an extra baby can give you more back ache so get your doctor to refer you to a maternity physio if you are suffering.
- Twins and triplets sometimes arrive earlier than expected. Researchers think that having a healthy, balanced diet can help reduce slightly the risk of prematurity so make sure you are eating properly. Iron, found in red meat and leafy green vegetables will help prevent anaemia which is more common in twin pregnancies.
- Get in touch with the two charities for people with twins, triplets or quads, both of which have lots of useful information for pregnancy and postnatally. They are the Twin and Multiple Birth Association and the Multiple Birth Foundation. Tamba does a great Healthy Pregnancy Guide for women expecting twins or more.
- Ask your midwife if she can put you in touch with others expecting twins or more locally to you. It is great to have a support network nearby to share the highs and lows of the early weeks with your babies.
- Twins attract a lot of attention – start preparing some witty responses for the endless questions you will be asked about them when you are out shopping.
- Finally enjoy your pregnancy. This is the start of your babies’ lives so try to spend a few minutes each day just imagining how your babies’ are growing and taking time to relax with your bump.
Multiple Birth Antenatal Teacher
Extra babies need extra care. Antenatal courses specifically designed for couples expecting twins or more run by antenatal teachers who are experts in multiple births. Learn how to look after your twins in the early weeks in a friendly, supportive environment.
Group courses held regularly in Loughton and Cambridge and private sessions available at your home in Essex.