Having twins – mom times two

Having twins - mom times two

A woman usually finds out early on that she is not only pregnant but doubly pregnant. This often raises more than twice as many questions, especially in the early stages of pregnancy – and it’s pretty busy when you’re only expecting one child. Almost every 60th pregnancy in Germany is a twin pregnancy; over 20,000 twins are born in Germany every year.

Identical twins are less common than fraternal ones.

Although we almost automatically think of identical twins when we think of twins, it is much more common for twins to be fraternal: They are formed from two different egg cells that are fertilized by two different sperm at more or less the same time and then their mother doesn’t just start mating after the share the birth (like other siblings), but nest together in the uterus during pregnancy. These twins are related in the same way as any other sibling, which means they don’t necessarily look very alike, can be opposite sexes, and have very different interests.

In the case of identical twins, division of the fertilized egg cell at an early stage during the first days of pregnancy results in two embryos being formed that are genetically identical, i.e. have the same hereditary disposition and often look confusingly similar. They are always the same gender.

 

Peculiarities of pregnancy

Being pregnant with twins already has a few unique features during pregnancy:

  • Obtain all check-ups. Having twins can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. With regular check-ups by your gynaecologist, you are on the safe side.
  • You don’t have to eat for three or go easy on yourself. Your doctor can give many tips to help you feel good about yourself during pregnancy.
  • A doctor experienced with twin pregnancies, a hospital familiar with twin births and a midwife who has often cared for twin mothers will be able to take away many of your worries, provide you with all the essential information and make you feel good. Surround yourself with these crucial helpers early – it will calm you down.
  • Unfortunately, twins tend to be born a little earlier sometimes. Therefore, start your preparations for the new arrivals early and do not plan to start until the last week of pregnancy.

Prepare everything

Many prospective twin moms already see themselves sinking into mountains of laundry and diapers – but what do you need?

Buy everything twice? Consider whether dressing your children in the same wardrobe is practical. Do you both want to change clothes when a child has been spat on? Before you buy vast amounts of laundry, consider contacting other twin moms and asking about their experiences. Often, generously dimensioned initial equipment and even just a cot at the beginning is entirely sufficient.

Note the delivery time: Twin strollers often have longer delivery times – plan for this when you buy. Does this also fit in your car/stairwell/bus / through the door?

Essential Supplies: Many moms of twins swear by bouncers and nursing pillows needed to feed two hungry children. Make a list of items you think are essential, and talk to experienced twin moms about the pros and cons of these purchases. If you are still deciding, buy a used one first.

Choosing a name: Ernie and Bert, Max and Moritz, Fritz and Fritz – such names make it difficult for your children to develop their identity. Perhaps you can also make friends with names that – especially in the case of identical twins – do not add to the confusion. Your children will thank you later.

 

Schedule help early

When you get out of the hospital, you’ll be glad to have a few helping hands to lend a hand – especially if you’ve given birth by cesarean section, for example.

  • Check with your health insurance company whether they will cover the costs of household help supporting you for a few hours a day or a week. Find them before the birth and instruct them, then your new everyday life will start with less stress. In addition, some volunteers come to the house and do the work for you in some cities.
  • Some parents opt for an au pair to better cope with the new requirements. Contact an au pair agency; she will help you with the selection and the formalities.
  • Your husband should discuss with his employer that he needs vacation time around the time of the birth (two or three weeks is a good thing). It would make sense to keep this period flexible since twins are often born earlier and rarely wait until the due date.
  • Discuss this with parents, siblings, and friends who can help you initially. This can be a shopping service; you will also be welcome to cook something from another source. If you already have children, someone could do something nice with your older child so they don’t feel unimportant.

 

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