Finding out that you are pregnant can be an exciting time for a lot of people. However, for others the news may come as a shock and you may be feeling a mixture of different emotions.
These emotions can be heightened if you find out that you are expecting twins, triplets or quads and it can take time for you to adjust to the fact that you are going to give birth to 2 or more babies. It is important to invest time in caring for your emotional and physical health during your pregnancy as this will give your babies the best start in life.
Register for antenatal care
As soon as you know you are pregnant it is important that you register for antenatal care. You can do this by contacting your GP or midwife. It is important that you attend all of your antenatal appointments so that your health and that of your unborn babies can be monitored.
During your pregnancy you will be offered a number of appointments by your midwife. If you are unable to attend your midwife appointment it is important that you contact them so that this can be rearranged.
Some vaccinations such as the flu vaccine and whooping cough vaccine are recommended during your pregnancy in order to protect yourself and your unborn babies.
Healthy diet, exercise and drinking fluids
Eating a healthy diet, remaining physically active and drinking plenty of fluids are important for you, whether you are pregnant with a single pregnancy or a multiple pregnancy. Despite being pregnant with twins, triplets or quads you will not need to eat much more than you would if you were pregnant with only one baby, but you will notice you may gain more weight than if you were pregnant with only one baby.
Look after your emotional health
Looking after your emotional health during your pregnancy is as important as looking after your physical health. You may notice that you feel more emotional than usual. This is entirely normal and is usually related to increased hormone levels. If you are feeling low or overwhelmed please do not hesitate to speak to your midwife or Health Visitor.
Taking time to prepare for the birth of your twins, triplets or quads will help you make the transition to becoming parents. It is recommended that you:
- Make practical preparations for your babies arrival, because twins, triplets and quads can be born early.
- Try to have your hospital bag packed and ready from the 26th week of your pregnancy so that you are ready if your babies are born early.
- Explore local support groups or online support information forums to talk to other mums who have given birth to twins, triplets and quads, as they will be able to offer you lots of practical support and advice.
- Consider who will be around to support you following your babies being born because extra support will be needed during the first few weeks.
- You do not necessarily need to buy two or more of everything. However, you will need to buy two or more of the same items that your babies will use at the same time e.g. car seats, cots and high chairs etc. Some companies offer twin discounts when buying duplicate items. If you are buying second hand items please remember to consider safety aspects associated with buying second hand goods. It is not recommended to use second hand car seats. If using second hand moses baskets and cots, always make sure that you buy new mattresses.
- Take time to consider and plan your maternity leave because being pregnant with twins, triplets and quads will be tiring.
- Take time to rest and relax particularly towards the end of your pregnancy.
Being pregnant with twins, triplets and quads will be physically demanding, and if you are employed it is important that as you proceed through your pregnancy you keep in touch with your employer regarding your physical limitations or any risks that your job may present to you.
If you are in permanent employment you will be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay from your employer for 9 months and you will be entitled to take up to 1 year’s maternity leave. Despite you having twins, triplets or quads the maternity leave that you are entitled to, is per pregnancy and not per child. This means that you are entitled to the same amount of maternity leave as a women having just one baby.
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