Thursday, August 18, 2005

Seeing Double: Twin Infants

If you have twin babies, or any other number of multiples for that matter, there are a few things that are important to bear in mind. At the very top of the list is remembering to accept help from family and friends when it is offered. Do not be too timid to ask for it if it's not offered. All new mothers are exhausted much of the time for the first few weeks with a new baby, so taking care of two or more new additions to the family at once can be very demanding and strenuous.

The first preparations will actually be starting as soon as you discover that you are carrying multiples. You will be doing things such as researching where you will be able to buy a double stroller or double swing when it is time. When the time for the births gets closer, you will be buying more than one car seat, diaper supplies for two (or more!) babies, and the same for clothing, etc. It is a good idea to have as much of the planning done while you are pregnant as you can do instead of rushing around after the babies are born.

When the birth is past and the babies are home with you is when you may start having a problem with exhaustion. Take advantage of the times the infants are sleeping to give yourself some rest, too. There may be swings in emotions due to the hormonal changes after pregnancy, so be sure to stay rested and use any help that is offered to you.

One important thing you will need from the very first days the babies come home is some kind of a chart to keep track of certain matters. These include things such as the times each baby was last fed and changed, amounts that each baby ate, medications you may need to give (most likely not at first, but perhaps in later weeks or months). Sometimes an older sibling enjoys helping by making the chart. Just tell them which main headings you will need and they can do the project. You will need enough copies of the chart to last a while, so ask them to make multiple copies right away (by hand or computer generated) or have the master version photocopied.

Focus on the babies for a while. This is the time when a lot of new mothers decide that they want to be Super Mom and while in pursuit of that goal, end up getting even more exhausted and perhaps even develop new health problems. There will be plenty of time after taking it easy for a few months to become Super Mom, so it is wise to keep some of those projects for later.

One thing you will read often if you enjoy articles about multiple births is advice to network with other parents raising families with twins, triplets, or more babies. This is an important aspect whether it is a group near you physically or an online group because other people raising multiples can be a huge form of support for you and that is vital.

Last but not least, remember that planning some time with your partner is also a very essential thing to do during this time period.