Parenting Fun

– Enjoying every moment of parenthood!!

Life with twins – Our boys at 7 weeks!!

Our twins are more than 1.5 months old now. Things have slowly started falling in a routine. We had our 1st month doctor visit (couple weeks ago). Kids are doing well. Now at seven weeks both the boys have started

  • Following our eyes. We have put a mobile in the crib which they seem to enjoy.
  • Have become very social. Delight us with their coos and aahhs.
  • Enjoy tummy time. Lift and turn their head while lying on their tummy. 
  • Show “walking”, “climbing” and “grasping” reflexes.
  • Enjoy bath time. As long as they are in their bath tub they are really peaceful ;)

I want to write elaborately about my twin pregnancy and delivery. I hope I will digitize my experience. Meanwhile if you are pregnant with twins and have any questions, shoot me an email at myscawls at gmail dot com. I will be very happy to help you.

Twin pregnancy: Twin/multiple gestation are considered to be “high-risk”. This doesn’t mean that its really risky. Its just a term that doctors use in general. You can absolutely enjoy healthy and safe pregnancy (more than singleton!). Though twins tend to come early, 35 weeks is considered full term for twins.

I had a very healthy (touch wood) pregnancy and carried our boys till 37 weeks. Eat healthy. Pack lots of proteins and avoid empty calories. Exercise, meditate and relax. Walking was my form of exercise. I was busy doing all the household chores till 36 weeks. That’s when my inlaws came to help me. I was driving till 34 weeks. After that my huge tummy didn’t let me sit behind the wheels :)

Most of us have lots of questions regarding twin pregnancy. Many frighten [at least some did to me ;) ] us with whatever they tend to know. Here are a few questions that I have tried to answer from my experience.

1. Twins always come early! Be ready from 32 weeks.

Not necessary! Not all twin pregnancy ends early. If you are healthy, eating well, taking proper prenatal care you should be good. Many moms have carried their twins till 39 weeks too!

2. Twins are always tiny and weak.

Again not necessary. Our boys were very perfectly healthy and weighed 3kgs each. It all depends on the nutritious diet you take.

3. You have to be on bed rest through out your pregnancy.

Nope. It depends on your general health. I was keeping myself active till delivery. Did household chores, went for walks (short but multiple times), kept moving till the D-date. Moderation is the key. Listen to your body and do not over-do.

4. Twins will always end up in NICU.

No. If your lil ones are healthy and full term, you can skip NICU. My OB says “Each day spent in the womb is two days less spent in NICU”.

5. You have to eat more when you carry twins/multiples.

True to certain extent. Drink LOTS of fluids to keep you very hydrated. Eat lots of protein rich foods. Avoid EMPTY CALORIES.

Life with twins (coming home twin bundles):

When my elder son was born, I had absolutely no help. As a FTM I learnt everything from changing diapers to soothing the crying baby. Am glad I didn’t receive any help cause it made me a confident mom and I absolutely enjoyed handling my baby single-handedly. I even thought that taking care of our second child all alone would be a cakewalk for me… but god had other plans ;) Yes, we got TWINS!!! Life with twins is very challenging but definitely doable.

Life with twins is very different from that of a singleton. Here you have to handle 2 babies at the same time. Lots of work, sleepless nights, tiresome days yet its absolute delight to watch adorable lil babies flashing their cutest smile :)

All that the newborns do is eat, sleep, poop and pee. Sounds simple isnt it? But you will be surprised to see how these lil humans sap your energy and keep you engaged 24X7!

Breastfeeding: The first question that comes when we talk about nursing twins is – Should we feed them simultaneously or one at a time? This depends on the mother. I felt feeding simultaneously to be more comfortable than tandem nursing. To me “football” hold worked well. Engorgement, sore nipples and latching issues may hinder breastfeeding and make it a difficult task. But be patient. Take necessary help from lactation consultant and eat healthy.

Thanks: www.netplaces.com

Thanks: www.netplaces.com

Twin tip: I would suggest football hold with tandem nursing. I start feeding the baby who is awake for 10-15 mins and once properly latched, I wake up the other one for nursing. This  has helped me in tackling the latch issues.

Twin nursing pillows may be of great help. I use boppy pillow (already had one) along with soft pillows on either side.

Lanolin creams are god sent! Use it to avoid sore nipples.

Bottle feeding: To avoid nipple confusion, introduce bottles after 2 weeks. I started powdered formula when lil ones turned 2 weeks old. Some brands have infant and newborn formulas. My Ped suggests to use newborn formula till babies are 3 months old.

Twin tip: Use pre-prepared liquid formulas for first couple days before starting powdered formula. Few brands come with ready to feed nursettes. You may need sometime to adjust to the life with twins. Using ready to feed nursettes saves your time of sterilizing baby bottles and preparing formula.

Getting twin babies on schedule: Keeping twins on a schedule make things much easier to handle. Whenever one baby wakes up for feeding, wake up the other one too! I feel that having a time lag of 10-20 mins in their schedule works perfectly fine too. More than that messes the schedule and causes things to go haywire.

Twin tip: Maintain a twin schedule chart for feeding, changing and napping. I maintain one for my babies too. This chart makes my life much easier. This helps me to alternate the babies at breast for each feed and gives me an idea of when babies would wake up for the next feed.

Burping: Coaxing the gas bubbles out of baby’s belly is THE toughest task. I use different methods

  1. Carrying baby on your shoulders and gently tapping baby’s back.
  2. Making him sit on your lap (supporting the neck) and gently massaging his back.
  3. Laying him on your lap (facing away from you) so that you put pressure on his intestine.

Twin tip: Our boys enjoy tummy time and I make use of it whenever boys get gassy. Making them lie on their tummy (even after feeding) helps them release the gas. My Ped suggests that its perfectly fine to make babies lie on their tummy immediately after feeding too. If your kid doesn’t enjoy tummy time, pls avoid this.

Poop/Pee: Breastfeed babies may go without passing stools for even a week. But formula fed (even supplementing) should poop at least once in 36-48 hrs. If your baby finds it difficult to pass stools or cries uncontrollably call your ped.

Twin tip: Here are few tips that I follow when my babies struggle to poop.

  • Take few drops of any baby oil (I use pure castor oil) and very gently massage your baby’s belly in clockwise direction. This seems to be very effective in our case.
  • Gently bend his legs close to his tummy (as if he is squatting). Do it couple times.
  • Pedal his legs. Make sure to do this gently.
  • Place cotton ball dipped in warm water near the rectum. Do not use hot water for this. Else you may burn your baby’s skin.
  • Even tummy time works for us.

Ideally you should see seedy yellow poop. But my Ped says its ok if the poop is soft and/or greenish in color. You should be alarmed if you find red/black/white chalky stools.

Newborns may have orange-ish pee. This is not a red flag but it means that the baby is not properly hydrated. If your milk doesn’t kick in soon, try supplementing with formula.

Some days are really good. Our boys sleep well, poop and burp well (great relief!). But some days are terribly bad! Those are the days when babies get fussy and test our patience. “This too shall pass”  has become my mantra now :)

Mommy’s Tip: Avail any and all help that you can get from parents/in-laws/siblings or friends. The more the helpings hands, the easier it gets :) Am really happy to have my parent-in-laws to help me out during this period. Their presence has totally freed me off the secondary chores and I get ample time to spend with my little ones!  Thank you!!

Will come up with more updates as and when time permits…..

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