Preparing for life at home with multiple newborns (twins or more) can be exciting but also overwhelming. The Brigham's Comprehensive Care Center for Multiples is here to help with expert advice.
The Comprehensive Care Center for Multiples provides patients and their families with ongoing clinical, emotional and educational support in preparing for and getting through the postpartum period. Our specialized care team also helps families transition to life at home with multiple newborns. Watch the above video to learn more.
Adapting to Parenthood with Multiples
The following suggestions can make your hectic life a little easier as you adapt to parenthood with multiples.
Nutrition: After a multiple birth, it's important for you to eat a healthy diet. If breastfeeding, you will require even more calories than during your pregnancy. It can be challenging to find the time and energy to shop for groceries or prepare nutritious meals, so consider signing up for a grocery delivery service and leaning on family and friends to do your shopping and prepare meals. For more information visit our Nutrition page
Breastfeeding: Mothers of multiples often struggle with breastfeeding at first. Our lactation class at the Center for Multiples offers guidance on breastfeeding, and you can receive additional support from our nursing team during your hospital stay. Following discharge, you can call 617-308-1536 to schedule outpatient lactation support. Learn more on our Lactation page.
Sleep: Getting enough sleep will be critical not only for your babies, but also for you. Sleep affects many aspects of a mother's life, from lactation to mental health, so make it a priority. If you have a partner, make sure he or she gives you some time to yourself. You might also consider a night nanny service so you can sleep through the night.
Exercise: We recommend avoiding vigorous exercise until your six-week postpartum visit. However, it's fine to slowly resume activities like walking and yoga as you feel more comfortable. You may also swim once you no longer have vaginal bleeding.
Mental health: Mothers of multiples are at higher risk for postpartum depression. We encourage you to let us know if you have any signs or symptoms of depression. Our social worker can guide you in addressing your mental health and other issues unique to multiple parenthood. Learn more on our Social Work page.
Social support: If family members and friends are available to help you out at home, offer them specific tasks to handle, such as helping with laundry, running errands or preparing meals. We can point you to community resources if you don't have a strong support system in place.
Self-care: It's easy to focus only on your babies' needs, but don't neglect your own well-being. From eating right to getting adequate sleep and exercise, make sure you are mentally and physically strong enough to care for your babies. And remember: You cannot do it all on your own, so try to reach out for support.
Spirituality: You may draw strength from being part of a faith community or your own personal practice. If you would like to speak with a chaplain, the Brigham has chaplains from a variety of faith backgrounds who are trained to work with both people of faith and those with no identified religion.
Sexuality: We recommend avoiding sexual intercourse until at least your six-week postpartum visit. Beyond that, the decision on timing should be up to you based on your comfort and preference.
In addition, we encourage new families of multiples to consult reputable chat boards such as What to Expect. You may also take part in our online postpartum support group — for more information, please see our Social Work page.