Marina Fogle and Dr Chiara Hunt discuss early life with twins
Giving birth to twins or multiples is joyous but for many, the prospect can be terrifying. Whatever anyone tells you, bringing up twins is challenging. Early life with twins is a challenge but one you should embrace. Everything is twofold – twice as many feeds, twice as many nappies, twice as much crying and, quite possibly, you feeling twice as sleep-deprived and overwhelmed. But don’t forget, without a doubt you have twice the smiles, hugs, first steps and giggles…twice the joy. And, of course, your babies will forever have a best friend and playmate.
Keep reading for our guide to making it easier:
Get your twins into the same feeding and sleeping routine
Although it’s hard, feeding twins together is not impossible and the sooner you master this, the better. If you end up feeding them at different times, there will be no time for anything else and it becomes easy for exhaustion and low mood to set in. Teach them to feed, settle and sleep at the same time. Most babies very quickly learn to sleep through each other’s crying, however, if yours are light sleepers background ‘white noise’ can really help.
Encourage the bottle as well as breastfeeding
This will enable you to share some of the responsibility of feeding with your partner and also give you some flexibility if your milk supply dwindles and your babies need top-ups.
Don’t feel guilty if you have to top up milk
If you’re not producing enough breastmilk, pump between feeds. This will stimulate your body to produce more milk. We all know that breastfeeding is best for babies, but supplying enough milk for two babies can be difficult for some mothers. If you find you have to top up, don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s tough enough being a mother to twins without feeling guilty about something you can’t control.
Get used to the sound of your babies crying
Remember, your babies can’t hurt themselves by crying. Mothers of twins all have to get used to the sound of their babies crying. It’s not because they’re negligent mothers, but often they’re busy with one child and simply can’t get to the other straight away.
Get as much help as you can when you have multiple children
Being a father of twins throws dads in at the deep end, which is a great thing. Most fathers of twins end up mucking in from day one because they have to. And don’t be afraid to ask favours of anyone else who offers – even if it’s just for an hour during the day, taking the babies for a walk in the pushchair to give you a break.
Most mothers of twins agree that having support from other mothers of twins is invaluable. It’s worth joining a local twins group. Have a look at the Tamba (Twins and Multiple Births Association) website, tamba.org.uk/clubs for details of groups that are local to you.
Dr Chiara Hunt and Marina Fogle are founders of The Bump Class. Their book, The Bump Class: An Expert Guide to Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond (£18.99, Vermilion) is available now.
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