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Managing with Multiples

January 26th, 2015 | By: Melissa Stanton
How to cope when you’re expecting twins, triplets or more.

In This Article

Managing with Multiples

I can spend hours talking about the joys and challenges of raising twins (I have twin girls, and an older boy), but first I usually try to assuage an expectant mom's fears and address her main concerns about delivering multiples. Here's my two-minute pep talk about managing with twins–or more.

Managing with multiples

You will manage as a mother of twins, in ways you never thought possible, but don't try to do it all alone. Here are five ways to get the help you'll need:

1. Network A smart first step in planning is to seek help from other moms of twins. (Look for a mothers of twins or multiples group near where you live.) These moms will be able to share their tricks of the trade, including tips about doctors and baby gear, and they'll be sympathetic to your current worries and future juggling act. There are also great sites online, such as multiplebirthscanada.org, which includes a network of local support groups.

2. Shop around If you can afford help, consider hiring a doula or baby nurse for those early days and weeks after the babies are born, when you'll be recovering from both the pregnancy (which might involve a period of muscle-weakening bed rest) and the delivery (often by Cesarean).

3. Family ties If family or good friends are willing to help, say yes. When you have multiple babies, extra hands can be essential for feedings, diapering, bathing and cuddling. Having at least one other adult around can give a weary new mom a much needed break. Most of all, don't be afraid to ask for–and accept–help, wherever you can find it.

When my twins were small, my husband lived out-of-state during the week for his job. When several of my girlfriends, each one a mom herself, offered to take turns spending a weeknight at my house and manage an overnight shift, I said yes! The twin-care routine that was exhausting to me was actually fun and exciting to my friends. They got to cuddle babies, they felt good about being helpful, and each was proud to have survived a shift without waking me in defeat.

In a nutshell: Don't say, "Oh, thanks. I'll be fine." And if someone asks how he or she can help you, be specific: You can say, "It would be a big help if you could stay with the babies while I go to my six-week check-up." Or, "I could sure use help at bath time."

4. Neighborhood watch Several veteran moms of multiples (including me) report that young teen and pre-teen neighbors can be great helpers. While still too young to babysit, a 10 or 12-year-old can entertain a baby or two while you do laundry. Or they can push a second shopping cart when you take the twins to a store, or trail after one toddler at a park while you track the other.

5. Let it go Another tip for managing multiples is to cut yourself some slack. Dirty dishes will pile up. You won't cook great dinners. Your baby weight might linger. Don't stress about it. You'll be working a double-shift and doing the best you can.