Sometimes people assume that a twin pregnancy means that you are “done” with building your family. However pregnancy after twins can and does happen. Perhaps, like me, you’ve been having so much fun as a twin parent that you consciously decided to add a third child to the mix. Or, perhaps a second pregnancy was a complete surprise… congratulations! In either case, many factors of your second pregnancy are sure to be different from your first:
Remember how tired you were when you were expecting twins? Crawling under the covers for those lazy afternoon naps and early bedtimes was a necessity back then, but with pregnancy number two it is a luxury. You now have two other human beings dependent on you to meet their basic needs, and they have little concern for how tired you might be. Since you probably won’t have as much flexibility to sleep when you’re tired this time around, try pacing yourself to get through your day.
when you have two little ones who demand your constant and full attention, morning sickness can be a bear. Not only may you feel terrible while you’re trying to tend to your twins’ needs, but your twins may also not understand what is going on and why mommy is hugging the toilet. Try to find ways to distract them and assuage their fears that mommy will be okay. Importantly, also try to identify those remedies that work for your morning sickness. You will be a better caregiver for your twins if you take care of yourself, too.
it’s normal to gain more weight for a twin pregnancy than for a singleton pregnancy, yet every pregnancy is different. If you gain a comparable amount of weight for your singleton pregnancy as you did with the twins, don’t beat yourself up. Check in with your doctor, and as long as there are no medical concerns, shift your focus from the scale itself to living an overall healthy, low-stress lifestyle.
the sheer nature of carrying multiples places expectant moms into the “high-risk” category. While there may be other reasons you might be considered high-risk, generally carrying a singleton can mean a downgrade in your risk assessment. Barring any medical complications, this means fewer doctors appointments, which gives you more time back to yourself… or your twins!
that overwhelming desire to prepare your home for the new baby is a common trait for most pregnancies, however the act of nesting is virtually impossible when your twins undo all of your organizational handiwork. Engage your twins in small tasks that would be helpful to you while promoting their independence, and if able, enlist others to help you watch your twins so that you can get things done around the house.
chances are you already have almost everything you need for the new baby, given all of the gear you acquired for your twins. However with one child you may need to think about things in a different way. For example, if you were using a double stroller before, you’ll need to downsize to a single stroller—which may mean getting a carseat adapter if you didn’t already have one because you used a snap n’ go frame with your twins. Depending on how old your twins are, now may be the time to upgrade them to toddler beds, so you can free up a crib for the new baby. Also don’t forget the carseat configuration—whether or not you’re having to purchase a new vehicle to manage your expanding family, make sure you have carseats that can fit appropriately in your car in accordance with all legal requirements.
during your first pregnancy, you probably were very in tune with your body and spent a lot of time looking up how the babies were developing, what sort of fruit they resembled, etc. This pregnancy, you barely have time to keep track of how far along you are. Before you know it, you’re 9 months pregnant and realizing you need to find childcare for your twins so you can go give birth to their sibling. Remember to periodically check in with your body and the life it’s creating, perhaps even sharing these special moments with your twins so they begin to appreciate the shape of things to come.
not only is there a need to introduce the concept of a new baby to your twins, don’t forget to take time to make important family memories with your twins before their lives are forever changed by the new baby’s arrival.
About the Author
Lori Bacon – PT, DPT, TLC’s Associate for the San Francisco Bay Area and the East Bay, is the proud mother of fraternal twin girls and newborn son. Lori is also a practicing physical therapist, and as a member of a helping profession, she particularly enjoys being able to connect with and educate her clients. Lori was thrilled to find out she was expecting twins, but without any family or support network nearby, she proactively sought out whatever information she could find on preparing for twins. From her unexpected birth experience she quickly learned that life with twins would prove to be chaotic, and being knowledgeable about different equipment, processes, and milestones was one way to feel in control. Lori holds a leadership position in her local MoM group, and is excited to have another avenue through TLC to help parents of multiples in northern California. Lori believes that being a parent of multiples is both a privilege and a blessing, and she looks forward to being able to support and empower others as they navigate what can be an overwhelming but magical journey. You can reach Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our services in San Francisco and the East Bay.