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Having twins is a surprise that most parents are caught off guard by. Carrying more than one baby increases your chances of a high-risk pregnancy. The high risk here isn’t necessarily something to worry about; it just means the doctors will closely follow your pregnancy. If you are carrying twins, here are a few tips for a healthy twin pregnancy that you’ll find helpful.
How to Take Care of a Twin Pregnancy – 10 Best Tips
Of course, the sudden news of twins by the doctor may have shocked you. You don’t know whether to be delighted or to worry. But what you must remember is that you have to take certain precautions and care tips. Below are some of the tips to care for yourself and your children during a twin pregnancy:
1. Eat Healthy and Eat for Three
The expression eating for two holds good for singleton pregnancies and the only extra energy needed is about 300 calories a day for a healthy baby. But, when you’re expecting twins, your calorie needs go up to 600 calories per day. That doesn’t mean eating junk food; focus on getting 5 to 7 servings of fruits and veggies a day. Lean protein is also good to maintain your sugar levels and avoid hypoglycemia. Prenatal vitamins along with 1mg of folic acid and iron supplements are recommended for all twin pregnancies. A weight gain of 16 to 26 kilos is normal for a mother with normal BMI.
2. Know What a High-Risk Pregnancy Is
Mothers expecting twins are often put into the high-risk pool. Although it sounds frightening, it doesn’t mean something will go wrong. High risk in your case could mean things like bed rest, preterm labour, and cesarean birth. Read about different precautions you need to take during a twin pregnancy to know more about it and make an appointment with a high-risk specialist so your questions and worries can be resolved.
3. Stay as Active as You Can
Staying active helps your body maintain good functionality and helps avoid back and joint aches. Gentle exercises such as yoga is also recommended to help tone your muscles and keep them ready for labour. Staying active also reduces your risk of gestational diabetes which is caused by your placenta secreting hormones which cause insulin resistance. Even if the pregnancy is complicated by partial bed rest, ask your doctor if you can continue with yoga and pilates to keep your muscle toned and avoid body aches.
4. Take All the Help You Can Get
A support system surprisingly makes a lot of difference to mothers, especially when babies arrive in sets. Anybody who offers to help, even if they don’t really mean it, should be assigned a task. Make a list of all the tasks that you can delegate; be it preparing food, doing laundry, dishes or changing diapers. If your mother has come to stay with you to assist you with all your needs, it would be an enormous help and the emotional support you can get from her would be unmatchable. If you can afford it, hire a housekeeper for the first few months postpartum, so you have more time for your babies.
5. Join a Support Group
Networking with other moms, whether in your neighbourhood or on social media, is a great idea to get relevant advice during times of stress. Being in multiple clubs can also be very helpful, as you may not always agree with the parenting philosophies of one club. Search for groups that share similar notions of parenting as you do.
6. Lay Down on Your Side
20 weeks into the pregnancy is when most mothers are recommended to start sleeping on their side, but when carrying twins, 16 weeks is suggested. The uterus growing in size can compress blood vessels, restricting the blood flow back to your heart. This can make you feel dizzy or weak. You may also experience more swelling than normal, so this is a good time to buy compression stockings.
7. Twins Do Not Mean Twice the Worry
As soon as you find out you’re having twins, you may start researching about it and reading about the risks and complications of a twin pregnancy. Although the risk is slightly higher, you will be closely monitored by your doctor. 90% of twin pregnancies make it past 32 weeks and deliver healthy babies, so try not to fret about it. A twin pregnancy can make you anxious, but your doctor will watch out for preterm labour, high blood pressure and other risks, and guide you well.
8. Find Good Resources
Read self-help books that offer plenty of twin baby pregnancy tips. There are many well-written books that give good advice on pregnancy and raising babies to their toddler years. You might also search for blogs and video channels that do the same.
9. Prepare Well in Advance
Going by numbers, 60% of mothers in case of twin pregnancies deliver before 37 weeks. The complications associated with twins usually occur in babies that are born before 32 weeks, which is about 10% of the case. Therefore, schedule your baby shower early and try to have your baby’s nursery ready by 30 weeks. Have a few baby outfits on hand but keep their tags on in case you need to exchange them, as you can’t be sure what size your babies might be. Once you’re over 30 weeks, have emergency numbers and your cell phone at arm’s length at all times. If your first responders are your neighbours, friends or family, have a contingency drill planned out.
10. Search for Professional Care
If you are up for it, hiring a professional nurse who is trained in caring for pregnant women is a good idea instead of a midwife. Trained nurses know better ways to deal with pregnant women who are at high-risk pregnancies. An added benefit will also be the ease at which you can get an appointment with the gynaecologist through your nurse. Regular visits to your doctor are imperative. Discuss with them everything about your physical and mental state and ask for advice specific to your condition.
Twin pregnancies need not be stressful. After all, you have been blessed with not one, but two babies. Make sure you take good care of yourself and your babies and ensure optimal health. With an optimistic attitude and good care, you can sail through your twin pregnancy to a healthy delivery.
Also Read: How to Take Care of Newborn Twins