Two mamas of twins provide their top tips for the birth and arrival of multiples.
When I found out I was having twins I couldn’t believe it (my first daughter was just 3 months old — yikes!). Working out the dates meant that the twins would be born before my eldest was one year old, meaning three babies all under the age of three! Scary I know, but I felt so blessed that I had to look at the future as an adventure.
So – for any of you faced with similar circumstances, here are my top tips to help a pregnant mama of twins be prepared for their arrival.
1. Your first stop should be Singapore’s fantastic group for parents of twins and multiples, Twins Plus.
Singapore mama Priyanka calls this her lifesaver! Having started in 1995 with a handful of mothers with multiples, today it’s blossomed into a non-profit volunteer group made up of a real mix of women all working together to provide members with the support and guidance needed when raising multiples. There’s nothing quite like listening to a fellow mum of twins talk about the daily chaos of her day, and realising your days are just the same! Twins Plus meetings are instant confidence and morale boosters. Last year’s count showed the group representing over 220 families across the island, of which there were 190 families with twins and 25 families with higher multiples (that’s a whopping 458 kids!). Apart from holding regular playgroups for multiples of different ages, Twins Plus also holds an annual garage sale (keep an eye on their Facebook page for deets!), as well as social activities and an informative resource library for parents.
2. You will most probably have a C-section as this is the most common way to deliver twins in Singapore’s hospitals.
Says Priyanka: “My gynae at Mount Elizabeth hospital did discuss the possibility of delivering twins naturally, but she warned me that most times, it was advisable to have an elective C-section, as the second baby being delivered usually bears the brunt of the stress during childbirth. In the end, we decided that it just wasn’t worth stressing out the babies and I delivered my twins through a C-section”.
3. Buy preemie baby clothes.
The little bundles of joy won’t fit in standard new born onesies as they’re usually born teeny tiny! It’s best to be prepared.
4. While pregnant, take note and listen to your body.
You will feel the twins moving; I knew that my son was on the right side and my daughter was on the left side. I knew which was quiet and which was kicking away. I would recommend getting as much rest as possible as you won’t get any once the babies are born (If you’re not feeding one baby you are changing the other ones nappy). Not to scare you mamas but I never had any sleep in my twins first year as they would wake up throughout the night and at different times – but it goes fast I promise!
5. When the twins were first born, I let them sleep in the same Moses basket together so as they could feel each other as they are used to being together.
The bond between twins and multiples is amazing and they often love to sleep together. Initially their crying will wake each other up, but eventually they get used to it and they sleep through and love being close to each other.
6. Research good help as believe me, you will need a good nanny.
I personally found it hard breast feeding both babies. Even though I managed the first 2 months, I wanted my husband and family to enjoy feeding the twins too. This meant the babies were on the same schedule so I always needed two pairs of hands. And then there’s bath time with 3 kids!
7. If you do choose to breast feed, I would recommend the Medela breast pump which is a comfortable, silent and efficient breast pump.
The Swing Electric Breast pump combines a multi-award-winning design with the latest technology. The electric breast pump is very quiet and therefore represents the ideal solution for regular and discreet breast pumping. With the Swing Breast pump you can pump more milk in less time (honestly sometimes you’ll feel like a cow!). The pump is easy to use: easy to assemble, use and clean. The quiet and compact design, ideal for discreet pumping.
8. Purchase a good stroller.
I bought the Mountain Buggy Duet which I love and still use today for the twins who are two. The Duet fits through a standard door frame and comes with bassinets and chairs that face forward. Perfect.
9. Aden + anais swaddles are perfect for swaddling, temperature control and versatile to use as a cover up when breast feeding and a sun shade on the stroller.
With so many beautiful designs and styles once you buy an Aden + Anais product you will want the entire range of products. My twins were so happy swaddled and I’d cover their stroller to keep them sleeping or lay them on a swaddle to practice tummy time. Many kids also love using them as a comfort blankie at night.
My final tip is to enjoy the moment. It’s a special and unique experience having twins so remember to step back and take it all in. Create lots of bonding time and cherish the feeling as the memories will last a lifetime but the twins are only babies for a very short time.