preparing for the birth
Twins can come early, so it’s a good idea to get everything ready for the birth in plenty of time. You’ll want to start your antenatal classes at least a month earlier than if you were expecting one baby. The NHS offers parentcraft classes, but if you want a bit more advice on twin-related matters, you could book onto a Tamba (Twins and Multiple Births Association) antenatal course. It’s also a good idea to get your bag packed and your birth plan written by week 26.
how you’ll feel
Being pregnant with more than one baby does make extra demands on your body. For one thing, you might have worse pregnancy sickness. You’ll have more blood in your body as well, so your heart will need to work a little bit harder.
Carrying two babies can be extra tiring, and as they grow they can push on your diaphragm, which can make you feel a bit breathless. So you might need to think about slowing down a bit. Maybe consider going on maternity leave earlier, and give yourself plenty of time to rest. Try to eat healthily and take some gentle exercise. You’ll also be getting extra care from your midwife and doctor, including regular scans.
You do have a slightly greater risk of some conditions, such as pre-eclampsia, but most twins are born healthy. Your doctor will tell you what to look out for, but a few warning signs include:
- severe headaches
- vision problems
- pain in your upper abdomen
- swelling of your feet, ankles, face or hands
Give your doctor a ring if you have any of the above, so they can get you checked out.
getting ready for your newborns
You’re going to be pretty busy when your babies come. It can help to start planning ahead. Can you batch cook and freeze some meals? Where do you want your babies to sleep? Can anyone offer a bit of extra help in the early days? And then there are names to choose for your twin babies…
what to buy
You’ll want to get everything ready in plenty of time, not least because you probably won’t fancy trawling round the shops for much longer. You’ll need two of some things, such as car seats. You could go for two Moses baskets, or keep your babies together in one cot for the first month. It’s a good idea to try out a few prams for twins to see which types you prefer. A sling is also handy, and you’ll want to get a few tiny baby clothes in.
Twins and multiples clubs are held across the UK. You can find your nearest group on the Tamba website. Tamba’s members forum is also a great place to ask advice on anything from breastfeeding to what pram to buy.