One, two, three … wait, what? The day the technician started counting babies during your ultrasound is certainly one to remember. Suddenly, everything is different. You won’t need just one crib, but two (or three, or four). It means more diapers, more bottles, more spit up — and more joy. Herein lies your first lesson in parenthood: Be flexible and ready for surprises. Life is about to change in a big way.
We have some tips to help you prepare for your pregnancy with multiple babies.
Breathe and Get Organized
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when preparing for any pregnancy – much less one with multiple babies. So it’s important first to take a step back and assess your plan. Outline everything you need to do to set up your pregnancy for success, from ensuring your health care is up to date and making doctor appointments to sharing the news and starting to shop for gear. You’ll need to be even more strategic now when you add items to your baby registry.
Find the Right Doctor
Even if you already have an OB/GYN you like, you may want to find a high-risk perinatal specialist as well. Parents.com explains, “Chances are, the first words you’ll hear after finding out you’re carrying more than one are ‘high-risk pregnancy.’ But don’t panic: It just means you’ll need to be monitored closely by your doctor, as multiple pregnancies carry a higher rate of health problems, including preterm labor and preeclampsia.” The Arizona perinatal specialists at Valley Perinatal strive to deliver better outcomes for high-risk pregnancies. For example, Dr. John Elliot at Valley Perinatal has guided and delivered 22 sets of quintuplets.
Take Care of Yourself
Prioritizing a healthy pregnancy is critical for both you and your babies. Along with finding the right doctor, make sure you are eating healthy, staying active and getting plenty of rest. We know that can be a challenge between pregnancy cravings, exhaustion and insomnia. Fortunately, there are great resources to help you stay on track throughout your journey. For example, the Twins & Multiples Association recently published a Healthy Multiple Pregnancy Guide.
Make a Birth Plan
According to the March of Dimes, roughly 60 percent of twins and 90 percent of triplets are born before 37 weeks. “It is unusual for multiple pregnancies to go beyond 38 weeks, so if you are expecting a twin birth or more than two babies, you will need to consider your options early,” National Childbirth Trust advises. If you’re having twins, you will likely be given the option between a vaginal or caesarean (C-section) birth. If you’re having more than two babies, or have other complications in your pregnancy, your doctor may recommend a planned C-section. Either way, it’s important to be prepared for an early arrival – and get familiar with the neonatal intensive care unit at your hospital if your babies are premature.
Prepare Your Home
When you’re determining what to buy or register for, there are certain things you can get away with having just one of (such as a changing table), but for many items, you’ll need multiples (including high chairs and bouncy seats for each baby). And decorating the nursery can be a little more complicated if you’re traditional and expecting both boy and girl babies. Luckily, there are many stylish gender-neutral options available today, such as a modern black-and-white design or bright animal theme. Everyday Family recommends starting with a neutral palate, then giving “each child’s individual space (i.e. their crib and the surrounding area) a personal touch by adding wall art, a mobile, and toys of a specific theme.”
Are you ready to find the right Arizona perinatal specialists for your pregnancy? Talk with your OB/GYN about co-managing your pregnancy with Valley Perinatal Services today. Contact us online or via phone at (480) 756-6000.