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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Expectant Father of Twins or more - Helping in Pregnancy
Expectant Father of Twins or more - Helping in Pregnancy
Finding out that you are going to be a father of twins. triplets or more can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. You may be asking yourself many questions like :
  • How will having twin babies (or more) change my life?
  • How will I pay for all the things that twins or triplets will need?
  • How can I be a good dad?
  • What can I do to help during twin / triplet pregnancy?
Questions like these are normal. Here are some things you can do.

1. Go with your partner to her antenatal visits.
The consultant and mid-wife will need to know your medical history. too. Get to know the people who will be taking care of your partner and babies during the pregnancy.

Before you and your partner attend your first antenatal appointment. write down any questions you have and discuss them with her. And don't be afraid to ask those questions during the visit. If your multiple birth is only diagnosed at the first visit. then make a list of questions for the next one or ask for an appointment with a multiples specialist so you can discuss your questions in more detail with an experienced health professional.
  • During the prenatal visit at the end of the first trimester (months 1-3 of the pregnancy). you can hear the babies" heartbeats.
  • During the second trimester (months 4-6). go with your partner if she needs an ultrasound (a test that uses sound waves to take a picture of the baby). You should be able to see your babies heads. arms. hands. legs and feet although depending on how many there are. you may not get a full picture of all of them. You may even find out the sex of your babies. Your babies will start to seem very real to you.
  • During a third-trimester (months 7-9) prenatal visit. ask the doctor. midwife or nurse how you can help during labour and delivery. A multiple birth will involve a lot more people than a singleton one normally does and you should be aware of signs of pre-term labour and medical conditions that may affect your partner such as pre-eclampsia.
2. Watch. listen. browse and read.
Information is key to preparing for twins. triplets or more. Many parents are understandably nervous and somewhat anxious about a multiple pregnancy and how they will cope with twins or more. Educating yourself will help answer all those questions and give you valuable information that will give you more confidence. Use the Internet and read books about twin pregnancy and multiple births. labour with twins or more. potential complications and being a parent of multiples. You can also obtain leaflets and videos from Tamba and the Multiple Births Foundation. Twins UK have a whole range of parenting books that will help you understand your pregnancy and prepare you for the arrival of your twins. triplets or more. For a more lighthearted read try Fatherhood The Truth ! Join a local twins & multiples club or an online group where you can chat to both expectant parents and those who already have multiples - this is a fantastic source of information too.

3. Help plan for the babies.
Talk to your partner about what you both want for the babies. Decide where the babies will sleep and make that part of your home colourful and welcoming for them. although ike everything else. you may need to be flexible about your planson-going. Prepare well in advance by stocking up on supplies and thinking about what will make life easier once they arrive (eg changing stations upstairs and downstairs).
Shopping for specialised equipment for twins can be difficult as high street stores do not stock these products. Twins UK was founded by a mum of twins to help other parents looking for information and products that help to make their lives a little easier. Buying for twins or more can be expensive but there are ways in which you can try and minimise some of the expenditure.

If you are worried about not having enough money. here are some tips to help you:

  • Most families like to buy something for the expectant/new parents so take advantage of these offers to get the basic equipment you will need like a double buggy. car seats. cots. bouncing cradles. feeding equipment. bedding. clothing etc Check out our Essential Equipment Lists for Twins for more information on what you may need to buy for the first year.
  • Another alternative is to ask family members and friends if you can borrow cots. a changing table. toys and baby clothes. Many people are between kids or don't plan to have any more kids and are glad to let you use their baby"s things. Twins may share a cot for 6-8 months which will give either give you time to save up for another one or you may only have to buy one new one.
  • Check out secondhand shops and your local twins & multiples club. You can also find equipment through adverts placed on twins" related web-sites like www.tamba.org.uk or www.twinsclub.co.uk
  • Put a small amount of money aside each week to help pay for baby things. Even 10 a week can add up to make things easier once the babies arrive.
  • Stock up on all the basic essentials like nappies. wipes. creams - you can by these a few at a time each week or when there is a special offer which helps to spread the cost.
  • TwinKits have been specially designed to help parents of twins and more save time. effort and money. They make a great gift item for parents of twins and really help friends and family who often find it difficult to find an appropriate gift for twins.
4. Go to childbirth education classes with your partner.
Also called Parentcraft Classes. these will be available in your local area but are generally geared towards parents expecting one baby. For parents expecting twins or more. it is advisable to try and find a multiples specific class if at all possible. Your partner"s labour and delivery may be quite different from that of a singleton delivery and you need to know how you can help your partner through this period. Ask your consultant. midwife. health visitor. local hospital or twins & multiples club contacts about childbirth classes near you and if there are any specialists that you can talk to. If you are prepared to travel then there are a few multiples classes around the country. Contact the Multiple Birth Foundation for more information on hospitals that provide classes and they also run one in London on a regular basis.

5. Help your partner stay healthy during pregnancy.
  • Help her eat lots of different foods. Good choices include whole grain breads. cereal. rice and pasta; skim or low-fat milk. cheese and yogurt; low-fat meat and chicken; and lots of fruits and vegetables. And watch what you eat. too! If you eat right. you'll make it easier for her. See also our Pregnancy and Nutrition Tip Sheet for healthy eating and weight gain for twin and triplet pregnancy.
  • Quit smoking. If you smoke. you are blowing out secondhand smoke. This smoke isn't good for your partner or the baby. It can hurt the baby when it's inside your partner's uterus and after birth. Also. pregnant women who smoke are more likely to have babies born too small and too soon. If you both smoke or even if one of you smokes. now is a great time to quit. Get help from your doctor if you need advice on giving up for good.
  • Help your partner stay away from alcohol. It's best for women not to drink any alcohol during pregnancy because it can cause birth defects. Help your partner stay away from beer. wine. "shorts" and mixed drinks. You can help by giving her healthy juices and water to drink or by making fun nonalcoholic drinks together. If your partner drinks a lot of alcohol and can't stop. get help for her.
  • Help your partner stay away from illegal drugs as these can hurt your babies. Get help for your partner if she uses illegal drugs. If you use illegal drugs. stop now for your babies" sakes.
  • Talk to the doctor about drugs and herbal products. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines can also hurt your baby. Your partner should tell her consultant and mid-wife about any medicines she is taking. She also should check with her doctor before taking any new medicine. The doctor will make sure that any prescription or over-the-counter medicine she is taking is safe for the baby.
  • Make sure your partner stays away from dangerous household products. Keep paint. paint thinner. solvents and pesticides away from your partner. Don't let her empty a cat's litter box.
  • Exercise during pregnancy. Exercise is a great thing you can do together. Walking is easy and cheap. and it can be done almost anywhere and swimming can be relaxing as the water helps carry the weight of your growing bump. Check with your partner's mid-wife to find out the safest kinds of exercise you can do together.
  • Help your partner get rest and lower her stress. Letting your partner rest when she needs to is good for her and the babies. You can help by cleaning up. shopping for food and making meals. Take a nap or cuddle together. Talking together about your hopes and plans for the babies can help lower stress.
  • Understand the changes that are a normal part of pregnancy. Pregnancy causes many changes in how a woman feels and in her body. You may find that your partner is happy one minute and sad the next. These fast changes in feelings are called mood swings and are common during pregnancy. Your partner also may be tired a lot of the time. That's because it's hard work to carry a new and growing life inside of your body.
6. Continue to have sex if you and your partner wish to do so.
Your partner may want to have more sex or less sex than before she was pregnant. Her desire for sex may change as her body changes. Many people find that sex feels different during pregnancy. As her belly gets bigger. try different positions. Find one that's comfortable for both of you. Talk to each other about what feels good. Remember. as long as your consultant / mid-wife says it's okay. it"s safe to have sex during pregnancy. It won't hurt the babies.

7. If your partner chooses to breastfeed.
support her decision. Breastmilk is the best food for your babies. It has everything that your baby needs to grow and be healthy and there is no reason why your partner cannot breastfeed twins. triplets or more provided she has full support. Find out about breastfeeding multiples together as it does take patience and perseverance to breastfeed twins or triplets. Talk to your doctor. midwife or breastfeeding counsellor about breastfeeding twins or triplets and once they have been delivered make sure your partner"s wishes to breastfeed are made clear to the hospital who should be able to arrange for support for her. Twins UK also provide some useful equipment for breastfeeding and expressing with twins or more.

We have a range of multiples specific books including breastfeeding information or attend classes on breastfeeding with your partner - it may be difficult to find a multiples specific class but make sure you ask to talk to someone that has experience with tandem nursing techniques as support from breastfeeding counsellors is very important in making a mother feel comfortable and confident in breastfeeding twins or more.

8. Remember to book your time off work.
You should have discussed taking Paternity Leave with your employer but you may also want to consider taking a few extra weeks if at all possible as your partner will find it difficult to cope alone in the early weeks/months with twins and even more so with triplets. You may also want to draft in extra help but be aware of your partner's wishes as too many helpers can be overwhelming and stressful.

9. Enjoy the pregnancy with your partner.
Yes. there are added complications with a multiple birth which you need to be aware of but having twins or triplets is a really special event and you should try and enjoy the pregnancy and spend some quality time with your partner before the big day.

10. Good Luck for the Birth Day - Life will NEVER be the same again !


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