The news that she will give birth to twins may be a reason of joy for the young mother, but at the same time, it may constitute a reason for concern about how the family will cope with more children at once. Suddenly, all the worries seem to be double, and bringing twins into the world seems to be a double challenge.
In the following lines, we will try to understand more about twins and we will learn how we can take care of them in a timely manner. All the information can also be applied to triplets or any multiple pregnancies.
How do twins occur?
Identical twins (monozygotic twins)
- Monozygotic twins (identical) occurs when a single sperm fertilizes an egg in the early stages of development, which divides into two parts, each giving birth to an embryo.
- Identical twins have the same genes, and therefore the same sex.
Non-identical twins (fraternal twins)
- Also called fraternal twins, they occur when two different eggs are fertilized by different sperm, so that when fertilization occurs there are two different embryos.
- Each of these embryos develops with their own placenta and amniotic sac. In addition, each twin has a separate place in the uterus.
- Fraternal twins can have the same sex or different sexes.
- Fraternal twins are very similar at birth but over time begin to resemble increasingly less.
- Siamese twins are extremely rare.
- Siamese twins arise from the same egg, which is not fully separated in the early stages of embryogenesis.
- The result of incomplete separation is the permanence of a structure that connects the twins; some of the conjoined twins can be separated by surgery, but if vital organs are common, the chances of survival are minimal.
Preparing for the birth of twins
Before the birth of twins, careful preparation is recommended:
- Once you find that you have twins, you should think of them as two different babies, so that you can have a stronger emotional relationship with them.
- You can reinforce this relationship by finding out from a doctor or ultrasound images, which is the position of each of the two children, and feeling their movements separately.
- It's good to share the emotional burden with the loved ones, telling them about your physical and emotional changes.
- Read more about twins and their methods of care.
- Do not refuse help from loved ones; you might need it more than ever.
- You can accept help for ironing clothes, cleaning, shopping or cooking, because any aid you receive will allow you to have more time to give to the little ones.
- It is best to store food for the immediate moments after coming back from the hospital.
- In the first weeks, you will need lots of help, so is the time to be with loved ones to share tasks.
- Given that twins are often born prematurely, plan the prenatal classes ahead, to be sure you have time to finish them.
- It is advisable to train the other children so they would not be surprised by the birth of twins, if you're not at the first pregnancy.
As the quantity of breast milk increases when a surplus of demand exists, the vast majority of mothers of twins can successfully cope with breastfeeding the little ones.
- Breastfeeding has many advantages, including that it provides the best nutrient intake for the babies and protects them from infection.
- The mother of twins must rest as much as possible, eat healthy and in sufficient quantities.
- Babies can be breastfed at the same time or separately. Simultaneous breastfeeding provides more time to rest between the meals of the little ones.