QUESTIONS MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED BY EXPECTANT PARENTS
• Will I automatically have a Caesarean section because I’m expecting twins?
Not necessarily. Many of our twins were born by vaginal delivery. You will of course be guided by your midwife or doctor, but if you have strong feelings about your type of delivery, be sure to discuss them with the health-care professionals.
•Will my babies be born prematurely?
Again, not necessarily. A perhaps surprising number of our twins have been born at full term and with good weights. Of course the likelihood of a slightly early labour is greater than with a singleton as the babes simply run out of room. But this is not always a cause for concern. In fact even our ‘earliest’ twins, who were born at 26 weeks, are now very healthy, bright little 2 ½ year olds.
• Will I be able to breastfeed more than one baby?
Yes. Many members have successfully fed twins exclusively with breast milk – either one after the other or both at the same time. Those with triplets have found that by mixing breast and formula they have been able to breastfeed all their babies at some time during the day.
• Should I dress my twins alike?
This is a matter of personal choice; most parents find that outfits bought as presents will usually be the same, whatever their choice. There is definitely a cute factor (as well as a convenience factor) in matching outfits, to which most parents succumb especially in the early days.
On the other hand, empirical evidence shows that approaching twins as a unit, rather than as individuals, can lead to identity problems in later life (particularly with monozygotic twins). This can be compounded by identical dressing. In practice, however, most of us find that once our children reach the age of about 2 ½, they have strong views about what they want to wear (especially the girls!).
• Do I need to buy two of everything?
On the whole, yes! Occasionally you may find that some bigger toys or games (eg dolls house, kitchen, train set) can be shared without too many squabbles. For everything else (from about 12 months) it’s just not worth the aggravation! Some of the members with babies have a great list they can share with what you'll need in the early days and in what volume!
• Steam and microwave sterilizers are very efficient and timesaving.
It is no longer recommended to make up bottles, but to make them when they’re needed- we would recommend that you clean and sterilize bottles before bed, fill them with boiled water. Measure the required amounts of milk powder into milk dispensers, then it’s quick and easy to make a room temperature bottle when the babies need them.
• Bottle feeding two at the same time:
Although some people don’t like the idea of cuddle-free feeding and prefer to feed one baby after the other, many of us found it easiest to sit our babies in ‘bouncy chairs’ and hold a bottle in each hand. Or you do a hybrid of this with one babe in arms and one in a chair.
You can also get twin feeding pillows that our members have had mixed experience with. They generally become more useful when the babies are more able feeders at 3mths+.
From about 4 months you can use the Poddee feeding system. These have a bottle teat unit which the baby sucks on, dummy style, and a long straw leading from the teat into the bottle unit. Therefore the bottle can be on the floor or in a holder – no hands required. Some people swear by these for feeding multiples; some babies don’t get on with the teats (which are quite small and soft). The main drawback to them, as far as we can see, is that they are a bit fiddly to clean.
• Bathing two at the same time:
2 change mats in the bathroom will be a great help so you can lay one baby safely & comfortably while bathing the other baby. A baby seat for the bath is also very helpful (as they get older you can put 2 seats in the bath as you feel able).
Until your babies arrive you won't know if they'll be able to sleep together. Majority opinion seems that 2 babies in one regular cot works well. Whether that's head to head or side by side. You'll know when the time comes to move them to separate cots, normally when one baby is disturbing the other!