Raising Twins or More: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

A pregnancy of two or more babies is called a multiple pregnancy. Caring for just one newborn is a big job. Raising more than one baby means even less sleep, more work, and less time for yourself. From time to time, you may feel frustrated that you cannot keep up with work at home. Do not wait for stress to become a problem before you ask for help. Your family, friends, and doctor can help you find ways to cope.

Breastfeeding more than one baby can be challenging, but it helps to build the bond between you and each baby. It can give your babies better health. If you plan to breastfeed your babies, your doctor or lactation consultant can give you good advice.

Some women feel sad or depressed after having twins or more. Talk to your doctor if you feel depressed or have troubling thoughts.

Follow-up care is a key part of your children's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if any of your children is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your children's test results and keep a list of the medicines your children take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Be a good planner. Buying supplies, getting your babies in and out of cars and strollers, and keeping track of what your babies have eaten or done can become overwhelming with more than one baby. Diapers, naps, nursing, and everything else that is part of your babies' lives can take over your life and keep you from taking care of yourself, if you let it. Charts and systems to stay organized and efficient will help you to cope.
  • Get as much rest as you can. Do not feel guilty if you let chores go undone so that you can rest. Try to sleep when your babies are sleeping, rather than using that time to get chores done.
  • Ask family and friends for help. Then let them help with the babies, the house, and your family's errands.
  • If you are going to breastfeed, be flexible. You may be able to breastfeed all your babies, or you may use your breast pump or formula so that your helpers can feed your babies too. A lactation consultant can help you find positions and systems to make nursing work.
  • Bathing your babies can be a big job and can wear you out. Whether you bathe your babies together or one at a time, ask for help.
  • Consider joining a support group for parents of twins or more. Sharing your experience with other people who are in a similar situation may help you with the demands of caring for your babies.
  • Give each of your children time alone with you. If you have an older child or children, schedule regular time with each one.
  • Try to put aside time to be with your partner. It is easy to forget about taking time to be a couple, but life will be better if you take care of each other.
  • It is okay to feel negative about your life once in a while. But if you feel sad or mad often, talk to your doctor.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You feel you cannot stop from hurting yourself or someone else.

Watch closely for changes in your children's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You think one of your babies is not eating or growing well.
  • You are feeling so sad or tired that you are having trouble caring for yourself or your children.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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Current as of: July 26, 2016