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Expert Advice

Twins: The first 6 weeks

Everything you need to know and do to prepare for the birth and early weeks of your twins' lives.

By Jade Morley
I’m anxious about our twins' arrival but I'm excited at the same time.
Preparing for one newborn is daunting enough - let alone two (or more) babies!
When my first baby, Floyd was born, I remember very clearly the sleepless nights, total body exhaustion from the birth, the baby blues and his ever-increasing newborn demands.
There’s soon to be two new additions to our family and we already have our toddler who is 18-months-old.
I’ve tried to physically and mentally prepare for the first six weeks after the twins' arrival to t
The birth
Birth is a process a lot of women go through and it seems that although the outcome is the same, each and every birth is different for the individual.
Reflecting on the experience I had with Floyd's birth, I’ve found that the biggest mistake I made was having a birth plan that I thought would be the only way I wanted to give birth.
Please don’t read into this incorrectly, plans are great and I feel it’s very worthwhile to have one, but having a baby has taught me that it’s also a good idea to be open to the moment. Be open to a change of plans.
I found that throughout my first birth, when things weren’t going according to my birth plan I became disappointed with myself.
So, for this pregnancy, I am approaching it a little differently.
I am going to go with the flow. If I can give birth naturally, then that’s what I will do.
The hospital stay
After the birth of my twins I plan to have as many days in hospital as possible to help get my two new babies into a routine. I found the midwives so helpful last time. Because of their help, I feel they really started me on a path to successful breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding twinsI would like to exclusively breastfeed my twins. To do this it’s really important to look after myself. A good friend who is also a mother of twins, has set me straight about a few essentials:
  • A good quality breast pump: You can hire a hospital grade pump that can get the job done in under 8 minutes.
  • *A small white board: You are in major daze, you have just given birth to not one but two babies and you will not know right from left, let alone who has eaten, what breast they ate from and for how long. Pack your whiteboard in your hospital bag and get used to updating it each time the babies feed or have their nappies changed. This will save your sanity. For singletons a breastfeeding app will probably do the trick.
  • Research, research, research!: Most hospitals have a lactation consultant. Have them come to your toom and ask them for help. Even if you think you have breastfeeding under control, it’s so important to know how to breastfeed properly.
  • Tandem feeding: Breastfeeding one baby is an art but tandem feeding looks like a serious skill to do successfully. I follow a brilliant blog called Nesting Story by a mother of twins. She has created some awesome tandem breastfeeding videos that I highly recommend. I have purchased a twin breastfeeding pillow which will be my savior no doubt.
Husband/partner HelpMy sister also passed on some brilliant advice when I had my first baby and it worked beautifully. She said, “Someone needs to sleep to keep the other one sane”.
When my Floydy came into the world, both of us were awake through the night for the first week. After that I kicked my hubby out. I needed him to sleep. I needed him to be my rock; to wake-up in the morning and be on duty, cuddle me and tell me everything would be OK when I only had five or less hours sleep. I needed him to be able to let me rest during the day. I didn’t want us both to be zombies and to fight over who was the most tired.
Sleeping arrangements
At night, I have decided to place both babies in a cot in our room, both next to each other where they can be close to me. For day time sleeps they will be in their respective cots, in their own room. I also have a Bugaboo stroller that has two bassinets that will help with day time naps. This will also keep my very curious toddler at a safe distance away from them.
Accepting help
Instead of gifts ask your friends to provide you with dinners, some cleaning or just cuddles with your new ones. I will have an au pair to help with Floydy. He will also be at daycare two days a week. I have also enlisted the help of family to come each day to help in the beginning so I am not alone when my husband goes back to work.
You can do it!
I’m anxious about our twins' arrival but I'm excited at the same time. I can’t wait to meet my bundles of joy and I feel so blessed that I have been given this very rare opportunity of receiving twins. Most people are shocked when they find out I’m having two babies and to be honest the reactions are not ones of encouragement. Most people remark, “How will you do it?!" These reactions were my initial thoughts too, but now I know we can do it. We’ll bond as a family. I constantly remind myself, how lucky we are, that we get to love two little babies. It really is miraculous.
For more from Jade visit her blog at Floyd-Henry Morley or join her Facebook community.

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