Having a baby, especially your first, is one of the biggest emotional challenges of your life, so finding out that you are expecting twins, triplets or more is an even bigger challenge. You may not have been planning on having this number of children, or you may not feel ready for an instant family, You may also be worried about how you will manage and about how any other children you might have will react to the new arrivals. These are all completely normal feelings and are felt by most expectant parents of multiples.
A pregnancy with multiples will generally require a lot more care and monitoring than a singleton pregnancy. For this reason it is essential that mothers receive plenty of information and support throughout their pregnancy. If you are working it is important for both you and your babies that you slow down and allow yourself plenty of rest. Most women expecting twins are quite tired and uncomfortable from about 34 weeks, so this is generally when they start their maternity leave. Unfortunately, you are not legally entitled to any extra maternity leave if you are expecting multiples.
Many parents (in particular mums) are concerned about the birth of multiples. What are the chances of premature birth? How likely am I to deliver naturally? What are the chances of delivering the first baby vaginally and having to have a caesarean section for the second? How late can triplets be delivered? Do I have to have an epidural? These and many other questions are often raised at IMBA Expectant Parent Evenings when medical staff are available to answer them. These are also common questions which your doctor or medical consultant should be able to answer.
At information evenings we always make a special effort to highlight many parents very positive birth experiences with multiples. Although it is more complicated than with singleton births, there are very many good experiences to report…
After the birth, it is important for both parents and partners to be aware of the increased risk of Post-Natal Depression (PND) among multiple parents. Being aware beforehand of the symptoms and help available is advisable. From the perspective of IMBA parents, being prepared well in advance is probably the best advice. As multiples are often born earlier than singletons (37 weeks is term), have your hospital bag packed early. If your babies are born very early or need special assistance, it might be worthwhile trying to visit the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) in the hospital in which you will be delivering. Some hospitals organize tours of the delivery room and SCBU in advance. In others you may not be allowed in so it could be useful to read about some parents experience with babies in SCBU.
If you can’t source the information you are looking for on our website or in our Babies on Board or you need an answer to an urgent query, please don’t hesitate to ring our phone support line which is manned by parents of multiples themselves. We hope that through this site and through IMBA’s other support services, we will be able to help you prepare for the months ahead. We know from experience that although the news might be overwhelming at the start, once you get through the early days you will begin to experience the true joy of multiple births. Welcome to this unique club. The adventure is just beginning…
10 Signs that you are expecting twins (or more): http://multiples.about.com/od/pregnancy/tp/aatpsigns.htm