Thursday, January 13, 2011

Twins on Board!

When you recover from the shock of bump becoming bump-bump, you may have lots of questions.  In times past twin (or triplet or more) pregnancies were not treated much differently than singleton pregnancies.  Now we know there are some important considerations when planning for your babies' births.

Members of PEHP WeeCare who are expecting twins are offered a book, When You're Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads by Dr. Barbara Luke and Tamara Eberlein.  I was privileged to hear Dr. Luke in person and she was quite amazing.  Her book is probably the best resource out there for multiple gestation pregnancies and she is one of the few to address the additional nutritional demands, including prenatal vitamins, when twins are expected.  If you're not a member of WeeCare you can find the book at local bookstores or online or

One thing Dr. Luke emphasizes is the need for rest - actual "lying-down" rest.  You are not being lazy; you are gestating!  Women may feel light-headed due to circulatory stress because when you're vertical your body is working against gravity to pump extra blood back to the heart.  The increased catecholamines (stress hormones) can trigger preterm labor, a major concern with multiples.  So, lie down at the first sign of dizziness but ideally a daily dose of horizontal rest will be part of your life.  I know, easier said than done!  Recognizing that positions for sleep may be hard, use pillows to support and allow you to be in a comfortable place with knees bent, head slightly elevated and not flat on your back.  

The What to Expect series also posts a segment online about multiple gestation at What to   If you would like to view some online videos of twin births, we have them on the lower right sidebar or you can click here.
Don't forget that you can breastfeed two babies!  We had a WeeCare mom who successfully breastfed triplets for a full year.  Get the help you need but give your babies what only you can - wonderful, perfect food with specialized antibodies at the perfect temperature and without risk of intolerance that can come with many formulas.  Read this blog for moms.

One of our WeeCare moms reported that feeding her twins presented a challenge because one baby wouldn't nurse while the other one was a champ!  This is why we say you just never know from one baby to the other how it will go.  Anyway, her friend came to help her and said, "we're going to do this!"  She encouraged the dual nursing and found that the baby would nurse much better when her sister was also nursing.  They've been together a while and maybe they don't want to be separated for feedings now.  Good tip! Best Blogger Tips

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