So, you just found out that you’re going to have twins! Congrats!
Being pregnant with not only one but two babies is both exciting and mega-overwhelming.
Here are my top 10 tips for an easier and more enjoyable twin pregnancy!
Get a pregnancy pillow
A pregnancy pillow is a nice to have when you’re pregnant with one but an absolute must have when you are carrying twins.
Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Get a nice one, because you’re going to be uncomfortable for a good period of your pregnancy. You need something that makes it comfortable to lie on your side, and can hold you in place while also supporting that belly enough that you don’t feel gravity pulling you to the center of the earth.
People may tell you that you can just use lots of pillows to prop yourself up, but it’s just not the same. The ergonomic design of the pregnancy pillows (I’m talking the full U-shaped ones here) are made to support your back and your belly.
Get your support system ready.
Even the most supportive husband won’t ever understand exactly what you’re going through.
Even most singleton moms won’t, but they’ll have a better understanding than those who haven’t ever gone through a pregnancy.
You’re going to have a long road ahead so spend the time now to find a support group online (or in person) of twin moms. Keep searching until you find one that you can lean on and talk to about your struggles.
They can also offer advice when you run into troubles that you find embarrassing or weird. There are plenty of things that you don’t even want to tell your husband. It’ll happen.
Eat enough calories for you and babies, but don’t go overboard.
You’re going to get to the point where you want to eat all the time. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s completely expected. You’re growing two humans from scratch!
I’m not here to tell you to watch your weight while pregnant, but I will tell you to just be aware of how much you’re eating. Not because you’re gaining weight, because obviously you’ll gain weight, but because of how you’ll feel.
If you overeat, you’ll have a much harder time breathing, because your very limited space of your stomach and diaphragm will make it harder to breathe when your stomach is too full.
It can also put pressure on the babies, potentially causing Braxton-Hicks contractions.
Eat a well balanced, healthy (ish) diet.
Another point about eating — you’ll crave weird things. Like sometimes, really weird things. And sometimes you’ll want to eat something, taste it, and realize you want something else. That’s completely normal and fine! You have two different babies in there, with two different tastes.
You’ll probably want to eat a lot of junk food, simply because they are easy calories that the babies need. Try your best to eat a variety of healthy foods, because this can actually translate to your baby wanting/liking healthier foods after they are born!
You also want to support strong, healthy babies, and that starts with taking care of your own body by eating healthy and taking your vitamins and supplements (doctor directed, of course).
Pay attention to your symptoms, and potential causes.
You’ll experience a lot of different sensations throughout your pregnancy, and not all of them will be enjoyable. While it’s very fun to feel your babies move around and kick, it’s not overly enjoyable when they are making you feel sick to your stomach or dizzy all the time. Some things can be potentiated by environmental things that you may not even realize .
If you don’t get enough water or iron, you may be more dizzy.
If you eat too much salt, you’ll definitely swell more, which can make you feel sluggish and more tired.
If you overdo it on the caffeine, the babies may kick you hard enough to make you uncomfortable or even make you pee a little!
While these things aren’t anything to be alarmed by, they are things that can make pregnancy less enjoyable. Try to figure out the causes of your discomfort. There may not be any causes that you can find, which is totally fine! But being in tune with your body and what’s going on will help you have the most manageable and enjoyable pregnancy you can have.
Do your kegels!
Do your kegels, do your kegels, do your kegels.
Anytime you think about it, do 10! The more you do, the better off you’ll be. Not only for delivery (if you end up going the vaginal route), but also in the long run after the babies are born.
Multiples put a special kind of pressure on that pelvic floor, and usually cause some form of diastasis recti, which is where the abdominal walls separate. This causes the “mom pooch” that you just can’t seem to make go away after your babies are born, and can cause other issues like pelvic floor pain, leakage, and even back pain.
The more kegels you do, the more control and stronger that pelvic floor will be, which will make recovering your core that much easier. You’ll also get to enjoy laughing, sneezing, coughing, and other things pee free.
Try to exercise.
Obviously, if your doctor tells you you shouldn’t exercise, then don’t. But twins are hard on your body.
Walking around becomes very difficult, simply because of the pressure on your back and legs, as well as the change in your center of gravity. The best thing you can do is low impact exercise, even if it’s only 10-15 minutes a day. You don’t want to get your heart rate up too high, but you’ll feel so much better.
It can help with your mood, your stability when standing and walking, and even help with a better delivery. Again, the healthier you are as the mom, the healthier and happier your babies will be once they are here.
Have your “go bag” packed early.
I’m talking like at 28 weeks have your hospital bag packed and ready (and don’t forget those carseats).
Premature birth is much more common with multiples, and the worst thing that you can do for yourself and your spouse is to not be ready. There’s nothing worse than having to go to the hospital unprepared because you’re in labor when you weren’t planning to be. This isn’t to scare you!
Plenty of people make it to term – I made it all the way to 38+6 with my twins, in time to make it to my planned c-section!
But you don’t want your support person to have to leave you alone because you don’t have anything ready to go or have clean clothes.
Especially right now, because with all of the changes to hospital visiting policies related to COVID, you don’t even know if your support person can come back in with you after they leave.
Know your hospital visitation/support person policy beforehand.
Your OBGYN should be able to get this information for you. Right now, it’s an uncertain time to give birth. Masks, no masks, 1 support person but no visitors, no support person at all, everything is different from hospital to hospital. It’s best for your mental preparation to know what you are looking at going in.
If your OBGYN doesn’t have this information, you can always call the hospital that you plan to deliver in and ask for their policy regarding support persons and visitors.
Be ready to recognize and realize that you have two separate people coming out of you.
Twins are different. Even if they’re identical!
It’s easy to lump them together when they are just born because they are twins, and they will be on relatively the same schedule and their needs will be very similar because they are both babies.
Don’t let this fool you! There will be plenty of differences. This goes as far as skincare and sometimes even formula. Just be ready to have two different sets of everything, because what works for one may not work for the other. This makes life harder, but it’s the truth.
And you don’t want to try and force both babies to like/thrive with the same things when they just sometimes won’t. For example, my daughter can use regular Johnson and Johnson’s baby lotion or whatever lotion we have on hand. My son, on the other hand, can only use the Honest Brand eczema cream lotion, and the honest brand soap. He breaks out with anything else.
It’s an interesting thing, but something to consider!
Pursue your twin pregnancy Today
You’re going to do great, mama! Twins are so fun. While there are some things that are different or more difficult, a lot of things about pregnancy is the same. We are always here to help you get through, and reach out if you need help!
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I’m Peyton! I’ve been a NICU nurse working with our tiniest humans and their moms for several years now. From my work with lactating mothers as an RN and aspiring lactation consultant to my personal experience breastfeeding and pumping for my twins, I have lots of info to share! I’m passionate about all things mom, babies, and breastfeeding!