raising multiples

Shopping for Multiples….

Posted on January 20, 2018. Filed under: Clothing & Equipment for Twins and Triplets, Jumelle Twin Tracking App, Quadruplets, quintuplets, raising multiples, Triplets, Twins | Tags: , , , , , |

Whenever you are shopping for your babies, as a matter of course, ask if the store gives any discounts for twins, triplets, etc.  You will be pleasantly surprised how many stores will give 10-15% discounts on your purchases because you are purchasing in quantity.

This will not likely translate into any for a twin or triplet stroller, but I would ask anyway.  This also goes for carseats.  They may so “No,” but it is worth the try.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Happy Shopping!!

 

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EXPECTING MULTIPLES? THEN YOU GOTTA DO THIS……….

Posted on January 14, 2018. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Multiple Birth, Multiple Birth Prenatal Class DVD, raising multiples, simultaneous breast feeding, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

AS SOON AS YOU KNOW YOU ARE EXPECTING TWINS OR MORE, see if your community offers any multiple-birth prenatal classes and both you and your partner SIGN UP RIGHT AWAY. Your healthcare provide should be able to refer you to any. DO NOT wait until later in your pregnancy as you never know if/when you will be placed on bedrest, making taking a class impossible. A multiple-birth pregnancy is NOT like a expecting a singleton and singleton classes are traditionally taken much later in that pregnancy. A multiple-birth prenatal class needs to be taken as early as possible so that you learn things about your pregnancy and how to act accordingly, e.g. nutrition and how much you need to be eating; signs and symptoms of premature labour, and so much more. This is not meant to scare you, but to empower you! Knowledge can be translated into power and knowing as much as possible about carrying twins, triplets or more WELL BEFORE they arrive just makes sense. If you do not know if there are any classes in your community and live in Canada 🇨🇦️, check in with Multiple Births Canada 🇨🇦️ at http://www.multiplesbirthscanada.org They have a list of many of the Support Chapters across Canada. 🇨🇦   Also check out my own Site at http://www.jumelle.ca   There is in depth FREE information on it as well.
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DOES BREAST SIZE MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO PRODUCTION?

Posted on January 14, 2018. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Short answer: No. Whether a woman is large or small breasted, when the demand is there, the supply will follow and her breasts will provide enough supply to nourish her babies. One of the most common things I hear though, is that one breast is a better producer than the other, sometimes insignificantly, sometimes quite a bit. If this is your case, put your stronger sucker on the lower producing breast to help improve its supply. And of course, keep well-hydrated and nourished.

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I am expecting Twins/Triplets/More. Now what?

Posted on January 7, 2018. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, Multiple Birth, raising multiples, simultaneous breast feeding, Triplets, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

AS SOON AS YOU KNOW you are expecting twins, triplets or more, there are some important steps to be taken.  Here goes:

-Find out if the babies are monozyotic (identical) because you need to know as soon as is possible if any of the babies have Twin–to-Twin-Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS).  EVEN WITHIN TRIPLETS, QUADRUPLETS OR MORE.  If yes, you will be under the umbrella of “High Risk” and both you and the babies will be followed very closely until birth.  Find out all you can about TTTS so that you are informed and know what questions to ask of your healthcare professionals.  My Site at http://www.jumelle.ca has an in depth article on TTTS.

-Join your local Twin and Triplet support chapter.  They will have a ton of information to share and it is nice to be with others making the same journey.  In Canada, Multiple Births Canada (MBC) has a full list of all multiple-birth support Chapters across the country.  They can be found at http://www.multiplebirthscanada.org

-Sign-up for a multiple-birth prenatal class in your community if they have one and both partners should attend.  You will get information pertinent for having twins or more.  SINGLETON PRENATAL CLASSES ARE LIMITED IN PERTINENT INFORMATION AND HAVING ONE AT A TIME IS NOT THE SAME AS HAVING TWO OR MORE AT A TIME.

-If you are considering breastfeeding your babies, sign up with a knowledgeable Lactation Consultant.  You will not be disappointed.

-Learn as much as you can ahead of time before your babies arrive so you are better prepared and receive support and resources focused on your pregnancy.

-If you are stuck at any time, ASK FOR HELP/SUPPORT.  You are not alone.  So many reliable people are here to help

-Very best wishes and enjoy your babies!!!

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SWADDLING: When/how do I cut back?

Posted on December 1, 2017. Filed under: raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

It is common to swaddle babies, especially in light of the fact they respond very well to the tightness of swaddling, simulating the tightness felt in the womb.  Swaddling also ensures that baby is warm with less of a threat of them inadvertently covering their faces with a loose blanket while moving around.  A challenge is how to tell when baby/babies is ready to transition out of swaddling.  There are some clues which begin anywhere from 3 to 6 months old, depending upon the baby (factors can include gestational age at birth, current weight, maturity, developmental milestones, health status or more).  Note that EACH baby may not be ready to transition at the same time.

-baby is about ready to begin/try turning over, i.e. loosen the swaddle BEFORE they actually learn to turn over.  Having an arm(s) free allows baby to push him/herself back and raise its head should they turn over in the night;

-baby is looking for his/her hand while not swaddled to put in his/her mouth to self-soothe.  Having one or both arms free during the night allows for them to potentially soothe themselves and go back to sleep rather than a false alarm interpretation that they are hungry; or

-baby may begin to “fight” against swaddling.

Any or all of these may present even before there is a switch to using blankets and there are some swaddling outfits which make it easy to transition.  If you feel one of your babies is ready to begin to stop swaddling, you have the option, with Halo in particular, to take out one or both arms from the swaddle and yet they remain swaddled from the armpits down (to stay warm).  With Kyte or Grobag the arms are already free with the short-sleeved version.  You may want to try a couple of brands/styles to see which works best for your babies.

Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle:  https://www.mightymoms.club/stop-swaddling/

Kyte Baby:  store.kytebaby.com

Grobag Baby Sleep Bag: well.ca/products/grobag-baby-sleep

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PICTURE PERFECT

Posted on November 30, 2017. Filed under: raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Our children present us with many opportunities to take photos to mark special occasions, achievements or just because they are so darn cute!  And we, as their parents, love to take their photos.  There is something important to keep in mind though, when taking photos of our multiples, especially if they look a lot alike.

Our local multiple-birth support association once had monozygotic (identical) adult women come and speak to us.  The ladies were about 35 years old at the time.  They brought a photo of them when they were about 4 years old.  They were dressed identically, hair done the same and posed mirror-image across from each other on a bench.  It was a beautiful photo.  One of the women took the over-sized picture and tossed it on the table in front of them saying, “We don’t which one is which!”  All of their family photos (there were several other children in the family) involved them being front and centre, identically dressed but none of the photos were named.  Both of them felt angry, hurt, depressed and resentful that their parents could not remember which was which and also had taken the trouble to mark the photos so that they would have the right photos of themselves when they were young.  Further, they were consistently placed from and centre of family gatherings over their siblings, who then resented and blamed them for being shoved to the background.  The siblings felt marginalized by their sisters, even though the sisters had no say in their photo placements.  These photo sessions were lose/lose all around.

All this to say, we all love to have, share and recognize ourselves in family photo albums.  Such pictures are our right of passage and it is a joy to look back on our personal journeys and milestones.  What isn’t right to have to guess which one is the “Real Me.”  Parents can make sure that our children each have pictures of themselves as youngsters (and beyond) to cherish and to share with future partners and the children they will have.   Here are some imperatives:

  1.  Don’t always have your multiples dressed alike in photos.  This will help make sure you can properly identify who is whom.
  2. Mark the back of each photo as soon as you get the hard copy.  Our memories fail over time and we will not necessarily remember who is on the left or right.
  3. Do not continually place your multiples in positions that minimize the prominence of your other children.  EACH child is important and deserves center stage at some points.  To do so makes your other children resentful of their multiple-birth siblings even though the multiples have no input into their placement in family photos.  The multiples get to pay the price with their siblings of their parents’ choices.
  4. The inability to identify oneself in family photos may seem innocuous to the parents, but it is important to us all to be able to see ourselves in photos without having to question:  Which one is me? and knowing their will never be an honest answer.

 

 

 

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The Art of Parenting Twins

Posted on November 13, 2017. Filed under: raising multiples, Twins, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

The bond between twins is already an organic, established reality by the time the babies draw their first breath.

~Patricia Maxwell Malmstrom and Janet Poland, The Art of Parenting Twins

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PERSONAL BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY

Posted on October 9, 2017. Filed under: Breastfeeding multiplies, raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The following is reprinted, with permission, from the amazing twin Momma, Sara Pomeroy.  Momma Sara is brave, honest, caring, loving, doesn’t hold back and shares from the bottom of her heart.  I hope you get as much out of Momma Sara’s story as so many other Twin and Triplet Mommas have.  Blessings.

I want to post this in hopes it will help someone, or maybe help me find some support…

I had it all planned from the time that test was positive: water birth at the local birth center, breastfeeding until forever, you know- the total crunchy mom package. It was what I had dreamt of as long as I had dreamt of having kids. I had a glorious pregnancy. It was my first. We were having twins!! And then things started to go against my “plans”.

My b/g twins were born at 34w6d by emergency cesarean due to preeclampsia. Thank goodness they were healthy! (They just turned one.) But, from the start it was a constant and never-ending struggle for me to breastfeed them at all, forget ebf [exclusively breast feed]. From hours after they were born I was already feeling pressure to use formula from family and nursing staff. One RN in the nursery even bottle-fed my son against my wishes. I nearly hit her. We went through lip and tongue-tether revisions and exercises, multiple meetings with different IBCLCs and groups, many well-meaning moms on Facebook and in person, and endless reading and research during those sleepless days and nights. My son lost 10% and my daughter a whopping 17% of their already low preemie birth weights in the span of four days, and we had no choice but to supplement or not be able to leave the hospital with them.

I ate anything toted as having powers to boost milk production and swallowed capsule after capsule of herbs. I drank nearly enough water to drown myself. I watched my weight balloon from taking loads of domperidone. I did all of this with little output increase. I watched my mother and husband struggle with what to say to me to support me in my efforts. I silently screamed and cursed the braggarts who told me stories of “geez that’s too bad, I had enough milk to feed the neighborhood with mine”, even when I asked them nicely to not tell me that because I was struggling.

I am an ER RN and had to go back to work after twelve weeks. I spent thirteen-hour days caring for others while I pumped meager amounts of milk in a tiny room at the back of the building. I almost got fired for insisting on having breaks to pump. I cried when I spilled the two ounces I had pumped after fighting for a break one day [and] while taking my pump off. It was like being punched in the gut. I would come home from work and place my sad little bottles in the fridge and enter into another night of broken sleep.

I smiled for photos and out with my friends. But I hid and sobbed while locked in the bathroom at work or shower at home so no one would see my defeat.

I quit my job after six months and devoted myself to making it work. It didn’t.

I told myself that it was ok to supplement with formula but it made me feel horrible inside. “A fed baby is a happy baby” was a mantra I repeated hourly. I started to wonder why I put this pressure on myself. Why did it seem that everywhere I turned for advice, all I came away with was more pressure? Did the moms who “humble bragged” in the forums with their photos of freezer stashes and 9oz bottles from one session know how much it hurt the rest of us who were struggling daily to feed their babies that golden goodness? Were people really being well-meaning when they told me it would get better? Or did they just not know what else to say?

Well, my babies turned one a couple weeks ago. They self-weaned completely around the same time. Even though they only ever seemed to get a snack at Chez Mom, it was important and special time for us and it shattered my heart when they were done.

But then it happened. It FINALLY happened. I was telling a close girlfriend about them weaning themselves and how it hurt and she said the simplest thing and it was the best thing I had heard in a long time. She said: “You did your job, mama, and that is a wonderful thing!” I felt better. Instantly.

So, what I’m trying to tell you… what all this long-winded rambling is about… is this:

Mamas, you’re doing great! Everything you do for your babies is amazing. Everything you’re doing is good enough. Changing up the plan is OK. Nobody (at least not me, and definitely not those babies) will ever fault or judge you for having to modify your perfectly plotted plan of attack for being the best mom ever. I promise. (If they do, tell them where to go. Use small words because they probably won’t understand big ones.) If you can’t ebf your babies, I promise that some is enough. If you cannot bf at all, I promise that formula is more than “good enough”. PLEASE don’t beat yourself up. PLEASE don’t feel bad. But most of all, PLEASE don’t keep it all inside like I did. ✌🏻💜

 

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WHEN TODDLERS CRY AS YOU LEAVE THEM AT DAYCARE/PRESCHOOL

Posted on October 6, 2017. Filed under: Making a Difference, Multiple Birth, raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Sometimes little ones can feel overwhelmed as you leave them at daycare or preschool. No amount of reassurances will make them feel better and your Mommy/Daddy Guilt is off the chart as a result!

A Mom with boy/girl twins experienced this situation, but only with her son, and she called me distraught and laden with guilt at her son’s reaction. She was positive she was injuring him emotionally and he would never recover.

We knew he liked the place, the people, the toys and the songs. His sister was there and he liked that aspect too. So I suggested that she tell him at breakfast that they were going to school, but that she would give a kiss to keep until he needed it during his morning. On arrival at school, and according to our plan, she gave him a large kiss in the palm of his hand and folded his fingers around it. She shared with him again, “If you are feeling you need that kiss at any time, just put Mommy’s kiss on your cheek.”

This worked really well except two days later, the school called (laughing) saying that he would not use that hand until he had used the kiss. He was afraid to drop it. When Mom shared the story with me, we had such a laugh, also appreciating how clever he was to not wish to drop his kiss. So I suggested to Mom to tell him to put the kiss in his pocket until he needed it. Of course she would need to make sure his outfit had pockets. This way, the kiss was secure and safe.

There was no looking back and not only did the Little Fellow enjoy his school, Mom no longer had any feelings of guilt.

Try thinking outside the box when problem solving with your Littles.  Making them a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem, can soon have you all on the road to success.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT……..

Posted on October 5, 2017. Filed under: Making a Difference, raising multiples, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

FOOD FOR THOUGHT……..
 
“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm and not join their chaos.”
 
L.R. Knost
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