So, you’re expecting twins? Congratulations! You’ve probably gone through the entire gamut of emotions since you found out – fear, excitement, shock to name a few. Every twin pregnancy is different, but here are a few tips based on my own experience, which I hope you might find useful.
Join the multiples community.
One thing you’ll soon learn about twin mums is that we have each other’s backs. Your best source of advice is going to be other twin parents. So go out there and find them! Add me on Twitter and drop me a message to say hi, I’ll do my best to answer any questions or direct you to any resources you might find useful.
Look for your local twins club, as they will often have ‘bumps and babies’ events or coffee mornings to welcome expectant mums.
TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Birth Association) is an amazing resource. They run twin antenatal courses and seminars and a twin helpline and their online publications on multiple pregnancies and the early years are really useful. Also, become a member and you can access exclusive discounts across a wide range of retailers to make shopping for your little ones that little bit less expensive.
Take it easy.
Even if you feel well and ‘normal’. Now, I can’t say for sure that anything I did or didn’t do in my pregnancy caused my bleed at 29 weeks or my PPROM at 32 weeks (read more about those here), but in hindsight I wish I had taken things easier. You don’t have to try to be superwoman. Growing two babies is hard work enough without pressuring yourself to keep a perfectly spotless house or put together all the nursery furniture. Take a break and leave the donkey work to your partner. You’ll soon rediscover heavy lifting when you’re carting two car seats, a huge changing bag and a double pram around. (Hello biceps!)
Buy a Pregnancy Pillow.
If you are a firm front or back sleeper, try to get into the routine of being on your side early on, as the need to sleep on your side eventually is inevitable! I bought my Theraline pillow at 16 weeks and it made a huge difference, I loved sleeping with it! (So much so that I think my husband began to feel like the third wheel!) It’s not just for sleeping either – use it to prop yourself up in bed to read, or on the sofa to make yourself comfy. I took mine into hospital with me, and I still use it now to prop up the babies for feeding!
If you can, it’s great for taking the weight off your bump, getting some exercise and relaxing too. (Not to mention cooling off if you are in the later stages of pregnancy over summer). If you are a beginner don’t push yourself too hard. Try a few lengths in the slow lane and rest between lengths if you need to.
Know what care you’re entitled to.
The National institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for multiple pregnancies are available to read here. I found them invaluable to refer to at different points in my pregnancy. Here you will find out what screening, scans and antenatal appointments you should have based on the type of twins you are expecting.
If you’re planning to take antenatal classes, plan the dates carefully.
When I booked my NCT classes initially, I just filled in a form online going by my due date. It wasn’t until I received the full course dates that I realised the classes would be taking place between 32 and 36 weeks of my twin pregnancy. With 50% of twins being born early, it’s better to be on the safe side and aim to finish your classes well in advance.
Arm yourself with information. You don’t even necessarily need to read the entire books at once, go chapter by chapter as you progress on. Here are two books I found useful:
Make preparations early.
Finish the nursery, research and buy your pram, car seats etc. Buy clothes in a few sizes, just in case. Pack your hospital bag/s! I had put together a suitcase with the basics for myself (toiletries, pyjamas, dressing gown etc) by 28 weeks, and ended up using it very shortly after! It’s not a bad idea for you and your partner to always have a set place to put your phone/keys/wallet either! It doesn’t hurt to be prepared, and then if you do need to rush into hospital, it’s one less thing to worry about.
Bump photo whilst decorating the nursery at 27 weeks!
Talk about your worries.
Whether with your partner, a family member, friend or health professional. There are so many ‘what ifs’ in twin pregnancy and it can really make your head spin at times. You may also think of questions for your consultant/midwife between appointments, so keep a list.
And finally – if this is your first pregnancy…
Make the most of time with your partner.
Enjoy meals out together and trips to the cinema. Maybe even a short getaway. Enjoy leaving the house on the spur of the moment with nothing but your purse, phone and keys! I know it sounds such a cliché, but until the babies arrive you can’t truly appreciate how much everything is going to change.
You can find all my other twins-related posts here
You might also like to read:
Find your local twins club:
If you found this post useful or have any further questions about my experience, I would love it if you would leave me a comment below!