Expecting twins can feel overwhelming, leaving you wondering where to start. Here’s what to do when you’re having twins.
I didn’t know any other twin moms and I had no idea what I was supposed to do next. How is this twin pregnancy different from my singleton? What gear will I need? And how will I get through the myriad of emotions washing over me?
Here’s what to do when you’re having twins
Consider the following advice from a fellow twin mom if you just found out you’re having twins.
Don’t push yourself physically
Carrying twins is much more tiresome on the body than a singleton pregnancy. I had been walking around the block and felt an urge to stop and lie down on the grass.
I brought it up to my doctor the next day: “Do I need to exercise?” Apparently not. If you’re expecting twins, you should focus on taking it easy rather than exerting yourself.
Above all, listen to your body. I sure did, and since that day, have kept exercise to a minimum. Because down the line, walking from bed to the dining room will feel just as exhausting (I kid you not).
Eat a ton of healthy food, not fatty food
I needed to gain a ton of weight (to make up for the measly two pounds I added during my first trimester phase). I assumed calories were calories, no matter its source. So off I went, eating burgers and 1,000-calorie chocolate shakes. And spoonfuls of Nutella every day.
So here’s what I would tell my former self with the hindsight I know now: Skip the bad food. Instead, choose high-calorie, “good fat” food. Stuff like avocados, sweet potatoes, eggs, nuts and healthy protein.
I also wish I had a juicer to blend platefuls of vegetables. Combining all those calories would’ve taken too much time and effort to chew. A smoothie or juice did the trick in a single, easy-to-down drink.
According to my doctor, twin pregnancy moms should aim to gain 24 pounds by 24 weeks. I met that goal, but by eating terrible food. Granted, calories are calories—better any calories than no calories when trying to grow babies.
Still, I wish I had been better about sticking to a healthy diet. Or found a more strategic way of consuming food other than downing shakes.
Apply for a handicap placard
Download a handicap placard application form from your DMV and ask your doctor to sign off on it. I got to use one towards the middle and end of my pregnancy, and thank goodness I did. Walking to places helped when the distance wasn’t too far off.
Buy the right gear
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What’s important to one person isn’t always important to the next. Instead, buy what you like and save money on everything else.
Buy as you go. You’d be surprised at how much childbirth will make you a hypocrite (“I’m never going to buy a swing!” Two weeks later: baby sleeps five hours in none other than the brand new swing you just bought).
Items you need two of
So what did I buy and/or use two of?
- Two cribs
- Two car seats (I reused my singleton’s car seat again up to its expiration date)
- Two bouncy seats for simultaneous bottle-feeding
- Two high chairs (this or this)
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Find other twin moms
Whether you’re a seasoned mom or a first-timer, carrying (and raising) twins is different. I couldn’t explain my symptoms to singleton moms without sounding like I was exaggerating.
So I sought other moms who knew what the terms momo, modi and didi were. They could relate to looking nine months pregnant at five. Find your tribe of twin moms to support you through the next few months.
Prepare yourself emotionally
Once you announce your twin pregnancy, you will receive a wide array of responses. Some you’ll be glad for, and others you’ll be mortified to hear. Some moms shudder at even the happy responses when they’re still grappling with the idea of twins. Still others are turned off when people “pity” them and list the hardships they’ll now face.
Everyone will be happy for you, no matter how they express their response. Yes, even the male co-worker who says, “Wow, you’re huge!”
Talk or write about your concerns
When my husband and I talked about adding to the family, I prepared for one more child, not two.
So when I learned we’d be parents of three kids, my mind began swimming in worries: How will we pay for everything? Who’s going to take care of the babies? What if I have pregnancy complications? Will the babies are born prematurely and have health problems?
These are all valid concerns, and some of my dire predictions did come true. Yet most turned out fine. Even though my twins were born prematurely, they didn’t spend any time in the NICU. They passed all the tests, and came home with us from the hospital.
We’re able to afford childcare and school for all three kids (tightly, but still doing it). And we hired a wonderful nanny to care for the twins.
I’m not one to leave life in the hands of the universe, but I do believe that things will work themselves out somehow. Write your thoughts down in a journal, or discuss them with your partner or close family and friends.
Adjusting to twins takes time. One day you’re celebrating with your husband then crying on the phone with your friend the next.
As with most things in parenting, we learn as we go along. You’ll find your groove during this pregnancy and beyond. Stick to the methods that work for you and not bothering with those that don’t. You can do this. You absolutely can.
Get more tips:
- Check Out These Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Twins
- How to Handle Twins after a Singleton
- Surprising Costs of Raising Twins You Never Knew
- How to Handle Twin Babies Alone
- Finding it Hard to Raise Twins? You’re Not Alone.
What are some of your concerns with having twins?
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