The number of twin and other multiple births is on the rise for various reasons, so the chances that you’ve “got twins” is actually a lot more likely than it was twenty years ago. This year, the National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, Inc. (NOMOTC) has declared April the first annual Multiple Birth Awareness Month in an effort to create awareness of the special issues facing families of multiples.
When I found out last fall that I was expecting twins, I assumed it was like any other pregnancy–or as my doctor put it–two for the price of one. I soon found out how wrong I was! Twin and multiple pregnancies often carry more risks, including preterm labor, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes. Pregnancy symptoms like nausea, fatigue, and swelling often increase as well. Dietary requirements are vastly different for multiples because of the way they gain weight, and may require the expectant mother to follow a 3500+ calorie diet and drink a gallon of water a day!
While your doctor should always be your primary source of information during pregnancy, here are a couple of great books at the Library about expecting and raising twins to supplement your knowledge.
When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets, or Quads: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy by Dr. Barbara Luke: Dr. Luke’s recommendations have been shown to result in higher birth weights, fewer complications, and healthier multiples. Includes recipes and nutritional supplement suggestions. Don’t let the dietary requirements scare you!
Twin Sense: A Sanity-Saving Guide to Raising Twins–from Pregnancy through the First Year by Dagmara Scalise: Includes topics such as preparing for birth, feeding, bathing, baby-proofing, creating the best sleeping environment, and traveling.
Check out these links if you’d like more info on the increase of multiple births or to learn more facts about multiples. Another great source of information and support is your local multiples group, and you can find a list here.
And just in case you were wondering–we’re expecting two girls in a few short weeks, twins don’t run in the family, and we don’t have names yet!