Home > Birth > Pregnancy > Congratulations! It’s Twins! Now What?

Real mum Madalaine McCarthy Wright, shares the things that have helped her…

‘Do twins run in your family?’ is a question that I get asked frequently. And the answer? That would be a firm no.
So, to say I was shocked when the sonographer casually announced there was two, is an understatement.

Eight months into twin mum life and things feel a lot less scary. But rewind a year, and I could have really done with reading this.

Navigating the News…

I hadn’t been in the greatest rush to have a baby. So finding out one was two, took some time to process.

“I felt very overwhelmed at the prospect of carrying and birthing two babies and my biggest piece of advice for anyone processing the news of a multiple pregnancy is to do your research. It can be scary – you will now be classed as a high-risk pregnancy and should be under consultant-led care – but understanding what I needed to know when it came to possible risk factors, birth options and extra scans, led me to feel in control at a time that life felt quite the opposite.”

Packing for Hospital…

“Twins are usually born earlier than single babies, so I was advised to have my hospital bag packed by 30 weeks. The advice I dutifully ignored, leaving my husband to do the packing after my waters broke the day before my planned c-section. Luckily, I had prepared what I wanted to take, and it was the little luxuries that I included that made a 2-week hospital stay more bearable.”

What to Pack for Hospital…

“I packed a few luxuries paired with some essential high-waisted knickers that helped me feel more held together.”

Tips on Recovery After Birth…

“One of my twins needed two weeks under neonatal care post-delivery, so I was in hospital for longer than expected. This allowed me some extra time to heal from my c-section, but my biggest tip for recovering post-birth is to take it slowly. Easier said than done when you have two babies to care for, but keep on top of pain relief, move little and often, and try to look after yourself also!”

“And that goes for after the initial postpartum period too. Your body has gone through a lot, and twin pregnancy is physically demanding– double the babies mean double the hormones for the first-trimester sickness and double the weight further into your pregnancy, which is why it’s essential to prioritise recovery where you can. At 14 weeks postpartum, I booked in with a women’s physiotherapist who assessed my pelvis, spine, pelvic floor and abdominals for Diastasis Recti and provided me with exercises for the areas that needed strengthening – something I’d recommend to anyone after birth.”

How to Shop for Two and Save Money…

“Babies are expensive and although twins mean double the babies, it doesn’t have to equal double the cost too. Facebook Marketplace is great for items that are in perfect condition. In some cases unused, and you can get baby clothes on Vinted that still have the tags on for a fraction of the price. Spend your money on the items that you’ll get lots of use out of and put your money you’ve saved towards something nice for yourself. Or loads of coffee.”

The Best Things I Bought…

“While you don’t need two of everything, there are a few items that I couldn’t have lived without. A prep machine for night time feeds was a lifesaver and mitigated having to boil kettles at 3 a.m. And I couldn’t have lived without my double-feeding pillow. I still use it when I need to prop them up for a few minutes, which means that I can feed them together, saving me time between feeds.”

You’re not alone!

“I’m the first to admit that I’ve struggled along the way. From the initial news to finding my pregnancy physically tough to caring for two babies at once, it can be hard and at times feel isolating. But there’s so much support out there.”

“Twins Trust (https://twinstrust.org) is a great place to start and offers advice to twin parents through pregnancy and beyond. From first aid classes, to help with breastfeeding and sleep, they also offer antenatal courses as NCT classes don’t tend to apply for twins/triplets. On the other end of the birth spectrum is Bliss, a charity set up for parents of premature babies and with multiple births more likely to result in early delivery and time spent in neonatal care, Bliss can help to provide families with the support that they need. (https://www.bliss.org.uk).”

“Finding a community of mums has also been a necessity for me and my local twin club has been a lifesaver. There’s nothing more reassuring than a room filled with 10 other twin mums (plus their 20 babies) to make you feel less alone in navigating the world of multiple motherhood. You can find your local twin club here (https://twinstrust.org/supporting-you/clubs/find-a-club.html).”

How I Navigate Bedtime…

“When it comes to bedtime, I’ve found routine to be crucial to everyone getting as much sleep as possible. My house is more ‘mum-led’ than ‘baby-led’, which isn’t for everyone. But I firmly believe that you know what’s best for you. I put my twins into their own room in separate cots at four months despite being told that I shouldn’t, and it helped hugely sleep-wise. But whether you choose to sleep train, co-sleep, rock, or feed to sleep –everyone will have an opinion, so you do what works best for you and your babies.”

What Happens When They Both Cry…

“Without a doubt, the hardest part of being a mum to twins has been only having one pair of hands. Hopefully, in time, this will mean that patience comes more easily to them, but it’s horrible only being able to console one at a time. My only tip is to take a deep breath, decide who needs you most in that moment and remind yourself that they are loved, cared for, and you’re doing your very best – a vital mantra for all mums to follow.”

It Will (and You’ll) Be Better Than You Expect!

“While the period leading up to the birth was an incredibly daunting time of my life, becoming a twin mum has been an initiation into the most special club that I didn’t know existed. If someone had told me that everything would be okay, I’m not sure I would have believed them. Don’t get me wrong it’s bloody hard. But a year down the line and having two babies has been the greatest gift imaginable. I’ve coped better than I expected, the lack of sleep hasn’t been that bad and I’ve loved every minute of being a mum to my twin little boys.”

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