Are your twins future proof?

Are your twins future proof? Are they going to be able to function confidently  as individual adults as well as being part of a matching pair? Can they find a way to be a set of twins but also a husband / wife, a partner, a mum/dad, a colleague without their twin always being there or them putting the needs of their twin first? Twins might be born at the same time and develop in the same womb but do they really need to be together 24/7? I believe not. They need to be able to function separately ~ to form close relationships with other people, do the things that make them happy and see themselves as individuals. Naturally they are going to spend lots of time together growing up but it’s important as a parent of twins to help them develop the skills they need moving forward to be able to cope on their own as well as being part of a twin group. If at all possible allow the twins to regularly spend time one to one with an adult, either yourself or your partner. This helps them to find their own feet, and also gives them something to talk to their twin about when they get back together. If they have interests that their twin does not share this is fine, it is ok for twins to have different interests and make different friends. It’s also ok for them to go to parties without their twin or visit friends as an individual, without the other twin always having to tag along. They may at first miss each other and this is to be expected (although not all twins find it difficult) but they can receive support from yourself and other adults so that they eventually feel comfortable to be separate for periods of time. It is also ok for twins to have separate beds, separate rooms if you have the space and this suits you and them. I’ve even heard of twins going to separate high schools ,but this may not suit all twins. It helps them if you and other people close to them see them as two people who (perhaps) share a close bond not as one person in two bodies.     Share This:

Sleepless nights? Again?

Night times don’t need to be a nightmare! Many parents feel that night times are more of a nightmare and that they and their children just aren’t getting the required amount of sleep. Firstly establish WHY they’re waking up. The first thing to look at is WHY your child isn’t sleeping very long at a time? Sometimes this is easy to work out, they’re too hot or cold, they’ve filled their nappy or wet the bed, maybe they’re genuinely hungry or thirsty or even ill.  Other times it’s not so obvious so you might need look more closely at what is happening. Imagine your night time nightmare was actually a film script, with you and your partner and child in the starring roles. What actually happens? Your baby/child cries and naturally you want to go to him/her. How long do you leave it before you go through? Do you immediately leap out of bed or do you wait for a minute or two to see if they’ll settle back off on their own? Then what do you do? Do you put the light on, or just stay in the dark, do you talk to them or pick them up? What systems to you go through to get them to settle down again? It’s in here that the answer lies. Do they always want the same thing? Do they always need a drink or always need a cuddle, or always need a midnight snack? Do they seek comfort? Do they simply want to spend time with you one on one? Sometimes the middle of the night is the one key time when a child gets a parent all to themselves, with no distractions. Often we’re so busy doing everything that we simply operate in  parallel to our child (and in today’s society it’s hardly surprising when parent’s are expected to have a job, to maintain a house, be a parent, have a hobby, be a partner. There really is no wonder why sometimes the child’s only time to have their parent’s full attention is to scream at the top of their voice at 2 am! ) If you can work out why they’re waking up and what you do to solve the situation. Tonight take a step back and work out what is is that you do that settles them and see if from this you can work out why they’ve Read More …

How can I tell if I am in labour?

• Your waters may break resulting in either a trickle of fluid or it gushing • You may have contractions 10 mins or less apart getting progressively stronger and more frequently. • You may experience a ‘show’ in your underwear.This is a mucus plug which may be pink or bloodstained. • You may have vomiting and / or diarrhoea If you think you may be in labour call your labour suite for advice. The number should be on your antenatal notes. Share This:

Things to do before the birth of twins.

• Pack your hospital bag by about 32 weeks • Put the number of the labour suite in your phone or write it down an put it near your land line telephone so you can access it quickly if necessary • Find the number of your local taxi company and put it in your phone. Even if you’re hoping to go to hospital by car, it is handy to have a taxi number to hand just in case! • Put some loose change into a separate purse ready for the vending machine, the taxi etc. Put this in or on top of the hospital bag. • Plan who is going to look after your older children, feed your cat, walk the dog and water your house plants whilst you are in hospital. • Prepare a list of who you want your partner to call when the babies are born. Make sure he has the numbers to hand. • Set up the baby equipment you have bought. • Write your birth plan detailing whether you want no pain relief, pain relief on demand, all the pain relief available! Also detail what you want to happen after the birth do you want the babies handing straight to you if possible, do you want them washing before you have them brought to you. Do you want Dad to cut the umbilical cords if possible. • Stock up the freezer with easy to prepare meals for the first week or two when you get back with your babies. • Set up online banking, and learn how to order groceries online! • Create direct debits for your utility bills (if you haven’t already done so!) • Plan where you’re going to feed your babies both during the day and at night time and set up comfortable ‘feeding’ zones so you have everything to hand exactly where you want to feed them! Share This:

Preparing for a Multiple Birth

Options for giving birth to twins. Some questions answered. Is it possible to have twins vaginally? Yes it can be possible to give birth to twins vaginally depending how your twins are progressing and how they’re lying in the uterus. If they are progressing well, you and your twins don’t have any medical complications, and one of them has his/her head down and engaged towards the end of the pregnancy, you may be encouraged to try a vaginal birth. It is likely that you will be encouraged to have an epidural so that should they need to top your pain relief up to full strength during the birth so you can have an emergency caesarean they can do so easily. However it’s more common for monozygotic monoaminotic twins to be given a caesarean due to possible complications but if you wish to discuss your options with your consultant or midwife then that’s fine. It’s important that you understand the reasoning behind whatever decisions you have to make regarding the birth. Will I have to have a caesarean with twins? Not necessarily. It depends on a number of factors, including how urgently your twins need to be born, how they are presented (how they are laying in the uterus) and if there are any other medical factors to be considered. If there are complications, or the babies are in distress, the twins are laying in an awkward position, are monozygotic monoamniotic or are breech, you may be advised to have them by caesarean section. If you attempt vaginal delivery and the labour does not progress as expected, or if there are any difficulties, or the twins need to be born quickly, you might have an emergency caesarean after attempting labour. I’ve had a caesarean with my older child, does this mean that I have to have another one with my twins? Not necessarily. It can be possible to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). If you would like to try this please ask your obstetrician for advice. How will a twin birth differ from that of a singleton? If you have them vaginally you will go through the pushing stages twice, but the first stage (the dilation) and the third stage (delivery of the after birth) is the same. With a twin birth the midwife/ obstetrician is likely to want to monitor your twins hearts closely for signs of distress Read More …

What to pack in your hospital bag if you’re having twins

  Pack the following for yourself: • An old baggy t-shirt or nighty for the birth. • Breast pads • Tissues • Your toiletries bag with soap, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, toothbrush, tooth paste, deodorant, comb, brush. Buy travel size bottles of shampoo, deodorant, etc rather than full size ones. Saves you lugging your whole bathroom cabinet with you! • An old flannel • 2x hand towels • Maternity Pads (or heavy flow sanitary towels) • Old knickers (not g-strings or anything very skimpy. Big granny pants are best) or disposable maternity pants • Dressing gown • Slippers • Fresh nighty/ Pyjamas. Pyjamas will be fine even after a c-section because they sit higher up than your scar. • Maternity/Nursing bra • Mobile phone and/ or camera • Socks For the babies • 2 packs of newborn nappies (if they come in a double pack already one pack should be enough for now!) It’s important not to over do it, because sometimes twins can be surprisingly big/small and need a different size of nappy to what you might think! • 4 pairs of scratch mitts • 12 body suits (vests) • 12 baby grows (sleep suits) • 2 baby hats • 2 towels • 2 cardigans • Nappy sacks • Sensitive wipes (check they are suitable from newborn) • Pleat of cotton wool • Baby soap, shampoo etc (check if suitable for newborn) • 6 bibs • Muslin squares (optional) • Carrier bags to put dirty clothes in. Share This:

What is a birth plan?

A birth plan is a document that you create to let your health team know what you would like to happen during the birth, on it you can outline who you want as a birth partner, whether you want no pain relief, or if you’re open to having some /all pain relief offered, whether you want lots of junior medical staff present or not. You can also outline whether or not you want your partner to cut the umbilical cord, and whether you would like your babies handing to you straight away after the birth (assuming they don’t need special care) or whether you’d like them washing and dressing before you have your first cuddle. Whilst it can be very useful, I would suggest you make it clear that you might change your mind on the day. Some people think they want no pain relief at all but when the day comes find they want lots of pain relief, which is fine. It should be a guide rather than set in stone! Some people don’t write a birth plan, preferring to play it by ear, it’s entirely up to you. Share This:

Twin Pregnancy ~ what to expect when you’re pregnant with twins

You may be feeling like you’re on an emotional roller coaster right now, one minute feeling delighted, the next in floods of tears not knowing if you’ll be able to cope with one (more) baby let alone two! This is perfectly normal and totally understandable. This feeling usually passes after a while, especially when you find out more information and arm yourself with useful tips and advice from other twin parents’ who have already been there and done that! If it doesn’t, please see your GP or midwife for advice. How will I know if I am expecting twins? The main way is to have an ultrasound dating scan  (’sonogram’) which will also tell you how many babies you’re carrying. Many women ‘just know’ they’re having twins, even before they get sent for a scan. Signs that you *might* be pregnant with twins include: Feeling very tired, Extremely irritable, Weepy, Having very sore breasts, Severe morning sickness, Looking big for your dates. Some people find that they have very severe pregnancy symptoms, but others have either very mild symptoms or none of the above. The most accurate way of telling if you are pregnant with twins is via a scan. If you think you have a likelihood of having twins, please see your GP to discuss having an early scan.   How long does a twin pregnancy last? Twin pregnancies are said to be ‘term’ at 37 weeks. Triplets  are said to be ‘term’ at 34 weeks. So a multiple pregnancy can be shorter than a singleton pregnancy. However, some twins do go to 40 weeks.   Can I be having twins, there isn’t a history of twins in the family? Absolutely! It is possible to have twins without there being a strong history of twins in the family. Especially if you’ve had assistance in some way to get pregnant, like IVF etc. However if you do have a strong history of dizygotic (non-identical or ‘fraternal’) twins in the family you do have a stronger chance of having twins. Why am I so big for my dates? This is because twins grow at the same rate as singletons for the first 26 weeks of pregnancy! This rate will start to slow down after 26 weeks. I’m frightened, everything seems so daunting! Help! You can ask questions on the Twinsonline Facebook Page  and via Twitter www.twitter.com/twinsonline_uk Here you can get informal, Read More …

Scans and antenatal tests in twin and multiple pregnancy

When you are expecting twins you will be offered more ultrasound scans than with a singleton. You might have scans at 6,12,16,20,24,28,32,35 wks with twins. It largely depends on where you are, and how you are and your twins are progressing. You might find that if you’re having identical twins you get scanned weekly or fortnightly (or even daily depending on your individual circumstances) towards the end of your pregnancy. You will also be scanned more frequently if your twins are not growing at the expected rate.It can be possible to tell whether or not your twins are identical through ultrasound scans. It can also be possible to tell whether your twins are going to be both girls, both boys or one of each! Scans are particularly vital if you’re having monochorionic twins as it checks for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. You may also be offered a Nuchal Translucency Scan Some areas have an optional nuchal translucency scan available. This should be done at 11-14 weeks and takes measurement of the fluid in the back of the neck using detailed ultrasound technology. It can give some idea of the likelihood of your twin having Downs Syndrome (triosomy-21). It is personal choice whether or not to have it done. In some areas you might have to pay a fee. You will be offered a range of screening tests including the Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test at around 16-18 weeks gestation. This is to help detect signs of a neural tube defect such as spina bifida. Discuss with your health team how the results will be affected by your multiple pregnancy as it can come back with a false positive result due to the fact you’re having twins/ triplets.You may also be offered the Triple test. This measures hormones in the body such as human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and oestriol.  It can help assess the likelihood of your babies having down’s syndrome.Attend your antenatal appointmentsYou will be expected to provide a urine sample at each appointment. This is enables your urine to be screened for signs of protein, sugar, infection and keytones. It can also be useful in detecting gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. You will also have your weight checked to ensure that you have not suddenly gained lots of weight. Your fundal height will also be measured to make sure that you bump is growing at a reasonably steady rate. You will Read More …

How will my twin pregnancy differ from a singleton pregnancy?

You will find that you will usually get bigger quicker, wear maternity clothes sooner than with a singleton pregnancy. You may have more severe pregnancy symptoms (although not all twin mums do) You will be scanned more frequently than with a singleton, especially if you are expecting monozygotic (’identical’) twins who are sharing a chorion. You’re more likely to be seen by a consultant. Twin pregnancy is also usually slightly shorter than a singleton pregnancy. You may need to go on Maternity Leave sooner than if you were having one baby. However it largely depends on how your pregnancy is progressing and how strenuous your job is. What happens next? Once you’ve established your pregnant you normally get invited to a ‘booking in’ appointment where you meet the midwife at around 10-12 weeks. In this appointment you will have your blood pressure checked your urine sample will be tested and your weight checked. Your midwife will take a blood sample to determine what blood group you are and if you are rhesus positive or negative. You will also be asked about your family medical history and about any previous pregnancies. You might find out very early on that you are pregnant and have quite a wait before you go to your booking in appointment. If this is the case and you have questions for your midwife in the mean time please don’t hesitate to contact him/her or your GP. If you have any health worries at all, go to your GP, midwife or A&E if appropriate. If you have vaginal bleeding, severe morning sickness, severe or prolonged headaches (especially after 20wks), any sign of swelling seek medical attention urgently. It can be useful to buy a small notebook to jot down any questions you might have for your health team about your twin pregnancy. Make sure you leave plenty of space to jot down the answers to the questions and take a pen with you! Share This: