My top tips for preparing for parenthood with multiples - Mums NI - A Hub For Parents in Northern Ireland

My top tips for preparing for parenthood with multiples

My top tips for preparing for parenthood with multiples

My top tips for preparing for parenthood with multiples
Kelly McDonald
Written by Kelly McDonald on Wednesday, 13 June 2018 Posted in: Pregnancy & Birth

In January 2013 at a visit to the early pregnancy clinic with stomach pain, excessive morning sickness and severe pregnancy hormones I was told ‘Everything looks just fine’. Then there was a silence and a ‘oh I better get someone else to check, looks like there is 2 in there!.  I will never forget the day that we found out it was twins!

Of course we were delighted but there was a serious amount of worry going through my mind.  All I could think of – we’re going from 1 child to 3 and our eldest James had just turned 5.  We needed a car that fitted 2 baby car seats and a booster for our 5 year old, the equipment we would need for 2 babies, the childcare and the huge amount of nappies – approx. 10,000 in 2 years!!

There was the practical element of how do we cope with 2 babies and the overwhelming emotional worry of will we cope, how will our older boy take the news?

However the excitement of having twins was amazing!

My top tips for preparing for parenthood with multiples

Immediately I googled and came across a lot of scary articles including vanishing twin syndrome, twin to twin transfusion syndrome. Then I found the Tamba website. I became a member and got access to lots of great information about staying healthy in pregnancy, how to prepare for the babies arriving, routines, feeding and local clubs for multiple families.  With my membership I was able to access discounts for some of the things we needed to buy for the arrival of our babies – definitely a welcome saving when buying 2 of everything!

After 37 weeks +5 I was induced and had a vaginal instrumental delivery.  Toby and Eve were born a healthy 6lb 15oz and 5lb 8oz. Within 36 hours I was home for a family Saturday night watching tv and eating pizza - with the added bonus of 2 tiny bundles of joy!  

The early days were a blur and tiredness was an understatement but we had lots of help and support from family and friends.  However the world of twins never ceased to amaze me and of course we now had double the cuddles!

Toby and Eve will be starting Primary school in September and James will be doing AQE so it’s going to be a busy Autumn!  How we got from newborn to age 4.5 is for another blog post!

Since 2015 I have worked as the NI Coordinator for Tamba (Twins and Multiple Births Association).  Obviously my experience of being a twin mum has been a great benefit to my role as well as my 13 years working in the NI voluntary sector.  I love my job, its varied and most of all I love interacting with twin and triplet families and being part of their journey. Most of the Tamba employees and trustees are twin or triplet parents!

So my tips for expectant parents of multiples would be –

  • Don’t panic, it’s perfectly normal to feel scared and worried.
  • Talk to other multiple parents.
  • Join Tamba.
  • Join our facebook groups
  • Get to know your dedicated twin clinic health professionals at your maternity unit. Your twin clinic midwife will be your go-to for any worries, questions and general information.
  • Know what type of twins you are having.
  • Look after yourself, you are carrying 2 babies so you will definitely feel more tired, possibly more sick and your bump will most likely be bigger.
  • You are special – don’t compare yourself to a singleton pregnancy.
  • Talk to your employer as you may go on maternity leave as early as 30 weeks.
  • Look into tax credits, childcare vouchers, maternity grants, childcare costs etc to assess your options.
  • Find your local Tamba twins club – there is nothing better than sitting down with someone who is in your shoes or already has the t-shirt.
  • Fill your freezer!
  • Watch out for baby events – stock up on nappies.
  • Shopping - ask for Tamba discount when buying what you need for your babies. Definitely ask for advice from a parent especially if you are a first time parent.  Don’t get fooled into buying everything that the shop has for newborns.
  • Borrow or buy pre-loved. Perfect for prams and cots etc, they can be steam cleaned. Think of an extra few weeks maternity leave with the money you might save.  Never buy car seats or mattresses second hand.
  • Definitely buy some early baby or tiny baby sleep suits, vests etc.  And stock up! Dressing and changing 2 babies is fiddly and washing baskets fill up very quickly! Think simple outfits for practicality.
  • Have your hospital bag packed from around 25 weeks and keep an overnight bag in the car in case you are admitted at an antenatal appointment for dehydration, low bloods etc. It will save your partner the stress of packing a bag or you getting your fake tan pjs brought up rather than your new hospital ones!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any about the birth or pain relief.  The more you know, the more prepared you will feel.

Most of all enjoy your babies. Take lots of pics, together and as individual babies, and make sure you make time for yourself!

Tagged with: advice forum for mums, baby health, having a baby, multiple birth, pregnancy

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