You may have noticed a few more double strollers passing by you as you take your nightly walk at the park. Or maybe you caught the eye of a momma’s ‘heck-yes’ moment when realizing Costco’s shopping carts can contain both of her wiggling 6-month-old babies. Whether it was spotting a few more doubles at swim class, or the visit from your best friend surprising you with the ultrasound picture sporting two jelly beans, it’s no secret twins are on the rise.
While some women may be completely caught off guard at the news of two, others have anticipated the idea long before even conceiving. It has been suggested the overall increase in twins is due in part to the rise of assisted reproductive technology (the most common example being in vitro federalization or ‘IVF’) though there are other factors that may play a role. A 2012 study of twin birth rates suggests maternal age, weight, and even height as some of the other contributing factors. Yet, regardless of how these little miracles made their way into this world, there is an abundance of help, listening ears, and support to carry you through pregnancy, and the early months of life.
As is with any pregnancy, multiples and singletons alike, there are always risks of complications. Your midwife or doctor may suggest lessening your daily activity in hopes to avoid any encounter with preterm labor, or order a few extra ultra sounds to be sure both babies are growing at a steady rate. It is important for all pregnant women to listen to their bodies, and rest when you are tired, aching feet are telling you to do so. Taking the quiet moments before the babies arrive to research the ins and outs of newborn care, or all the best tips and tricks on breastfeeding from twin momma’s who came before you, will help ease your thoughts.
So, you’ve made it through your pregnancy and delivery (a feat in and of itself!) and now those angels, disguised as doctors and nurses, have given you the a-ok to head home and start your life with these two humans you’ve only just met. It can be scary, overwhelming, and in moments just plain hard. And that’s ok. It is ok, even encouraged, to need help. The sleepless nights can feel magnified because instead of encouraging healthy sleep habits to one baby, you’re doing double the work. Hiring an overnight baby nurse/nanny can not only help ease your sleep deprivation but also educate and teach you the skills to a peaceful night.
Whether you’ve just arrived home from your first appointment learning of two heartbeats, or you’re rocking baby A after a feeding at 4am, the most important message is to be kind to yourself. In the hard moments, the trying moments, and even the beautiful moments don’t forget about YOU. The saying “It takes a village” is a way of encouraging women and families to seek help you feel you need it. Surround yourself with others experiencing the same highs, and the same lows. Learn from the caregivers who have time and wisdom on their side. And lastly, embrace the perfect chaos of twins, there is no deeper bond.
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