Nursing Pillows for Multiples

Nursing Pillow for MultiplesNote from BabiesInBelly: We are excited to share with you this guest post from our friend and registered nurse, Angela Grant Buechner. This post has not been compensated for in any way nor do we have any affiliation with products mentioned in the article. With that out of the way, onto the good stuff!
 

Do you REALLY need a nursing pillow if you’re having twins?

…. Yes! As you are getting ready to welcome your new babies into the world, you may have started to look at ALL your options for supplies, gadgets and gear that promise to make your first few months with multiples easier. When planning to breastfeed multiples, you may have taken courses or read about tandem feeding in football and cradle positions, but what about nursing pillows? Are they really necessary?  Which one is best? I am a mother of three exclusively breastfed children, but I will be completely honest… they came out one at a time! I have not personally breastfed twins, but I have helped countless families with multiples to breastfeed and to develop manageable breastfeeding plans over 15 years in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit as a Nurse and Lactation Consultant (LC). I have also cared for families with multiples as a Birth Doula, Postpartum Doula, private practice Lactation Consultant and educator, so I promise, I will tell you what I’ve seen that works! Lots of LC’s will tell mothers that they shouldn’t use nursing pillows because they can interfere with achieving a ‘perfect latch’. Mothers need to be able to bring baby on to the breast deeply, so they assume that resting on a pillow will cause baby to slip down and be too far away from mom.

I disagree.

I am currently still breastfeeding my third child, and I don’t want to have to hold my kid’s head without support! You can still ensure a deep latch on to the breast, but can learn to use nursing pillows and rolled blankets as needed to keep your there! Especially with twins, it is very helpful to have the right nursing pillow to help support your arms and wrists in the optimal position. This works for moms of triplets too, but we’ll talk about twins because you can still only nurse two babies at a time!

What pillow is my favorite?

(I promise this is an unpaid recommendation – there is no affiliate link nor has anyone been compensated for this blog post!) …it’s the BrestFriend Twin Nursing Pillow, and here’s why! First, I think that firm & flat is best. Soft, squishy, curved pillows tend to ‘sink’ and babies can slip down into the contour of the pillow and make positioning uncomfortable. If a pillow is too soft then moms also tend to lean over to reach baby with their breast, and they get sore back and neck muscles. More importantly, poor positioning can lead to sore nipples if the latch isn’t deep enough! Baby could also slip off the pillow since it’s curved, so you need to be careful. Second, you need a strap! A strap that can clip around your waist to prevent the pillow from slipping away from you is a must. Constant repositioning of curved pillows that slide off your lap is NOT helpful when you’re trying to get baby in a good position for feeding! Adjustable straps are great for all sizes and you can adjust it if you eventually get smaller again after birth! You can even clip it on before you sit down, so you don’t need to hold on to it at the same time you’re trying to pick up babies. Third, it needs to be big. You have more than one baby, and you may need to use several positions for nursing. You need extra room, so a twin pillow is amazing. Some twin pillows are wide enough that they won’t fit into every chair, so make sure you have considered that, or you’ll always have to sit on the couch! It can be helpful if you try it out in different places before the babies arrive, just so you can get a feel for it.

Bonus features:

The wrap around back support is a bonus, since it keeps you from slouching, and kind of forces you to have good posture. Back strain is really common as you’re learning good positioning and getting comfortable with breastfeeding, so leaning back and putting your feet up can also really help. There’s a little pocket attached that is great! It may seem trivial at first, but having somewhere to hold your phone, bottle of vitamin D drops, water bottle or chocolate bar (hee hee) so you can reach it once you’re finally settled under your babies, is so convenient! Now the different patterns that are available are fun, so I’m sure everyone has an opinion on that. I live in the West end of Toronto and my favourite local baby shop carries the BrestFriend Twin Pillow (among other lovely things), so if you get the chance you can stop by DiaperEez if you’re in the Bloor West Village area, or you can even buy it online! https://diaper-eez.com/ Also, please feel free to reach out if you need help before or after your babies are born, because I believe that breastfeeding is so worth it in the end, but it takes determination, practice, education, help and time to get there! Breastfeeding twins can be a challenge, especially at the beginning (just like with all babies!) but remember that even if things don’t start out ‘perfectly’, breastfeeding can still be part of the plan! In case you wondered, I have known moms who have been able to exclusively breastfeed twins and triplets… so go for it!
Angela Grant Buechner, BA, BScN, RN, IBCLC is a Registered Nurse, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a Pregnancy/Birth and Postpartum Doula and an Educator who has spent over 20 years working with babies and their families. Angela is the owner of Nutmeg Consulting – Expert Care for Birth Babies & Breastfeeding , a Private practice which provides in-home and hospital support. Angela has also worked at Mount Sinai Hospital for 15 years as a Nurse/Lactation Consultant in the NICU. Angela has taught ‘Breastfeeding for Health Care Professionals’, Public Health Prenatal classes and has published a textbook chapter about the challenges of breastfeeding in the NICU. Angela is the mother of three cute children, and is passionate about helping mothers reach their breastfeeding goals, and helping them to cope with and enjoy the process of pregnancy, labour/birth and the newborn period!

Battling Nausea? Use Zofran with Caution

shutterstock_261399308Today’s post is contributed by guest blogger Jen Holmes from zofranlawsuitguide.com

Carrying twins comes with the added risk of double the nausea and vomiting. As result, many women carrying twins and multiples may benefit from medical intervention to help them battle severe morning sickness.

One such drug sometimes prescribed to combat prenatal nausea is Zofran, a cancer drug. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the makers of Zofran, saw an open market in pregnant women and began offering kickbacks to physicians who prescribed the medication to expectant mothers.

Potential Negative Effects of Zofran

Unfortunately, GSK didn’t perform enough necessary studies on Zofran before promoting it to pregnant women. In fact, GSK admits that it never did an in-depth study on the medication before it started marketing it to pregnant women. Yet, numerous studies have been conducted by researchers and scientists, including in-depth research published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), that indicated infants exposed to Zofran are at heightened risk of developing:

  • Cleft lip and cleft palate
  • Heart defects
  • Musculoskeletal defects
  • Kidney defects
  • Jaundice, and more

There have been at least two cases of infants deaths and more than 20 cases of babies born with serious heart defects after women in Canada alone were prescribed Zofran during pregnancy. In an in-depth report conducted in 2012, The Star revealed the information, that was otherwise publically unavailable by Health Canada.

Consequently, there are more than two dozen Zofran lawsuits currently pending against GSK, and as more women learn about the company’s alleged false marketing practices, this number is expected to grow.

If You’re Expecting Twins

If you’re expecting twins and are currently battling nausea, it’s important to understand the risks involved in taking certain medications. Although Zofran may help you battle devastating morning sickness, the research suggests that the end results are generally not worth it and the risks to your infants are too great to ignore.

While some women will take Zofran and go on to have healthy babies, others may not be as lucky. Be certain to discuss alternative options with a trusted physician in battling morning sickness before taking a prescription medication. For example, the Mayo Clinic suggests the following remedies to help mom battle nausea and vomiting prior to resorting to prescription drugs:

  • Take prenatal vitamins in the evening, followed by a light snack (sometimes taking vitamins in the morning causes additional nausea)
  • Increase your intake of Vitamin B6 (with physician’s recommendation)
  • Add ginger to your diet, including ginger ales, candies, and tea
  • Get additional rest
  • Avoid restaurants and other places where scents may make you queasy
  • Consider pregnancy-safe, over-the-counter nausea medication
  • Ask your doctor about anti-nausea wristbands, which trigger pressure points to help reduce nausea 

In Summary 

Canada health officials have repeatedly expressed concern with the prescription medication Zofran (ondansetron) and its effect on unborn infants. Although the drug is only approved for use by cancer patients and those undergoing surgery, many doctors across Canada continue to prescribe it for off-label use for pregnant women expecting twins, who generally experience difficult bouts of morning sickness.

Thanks to Jen Holmes at zofranlawsuitguide.com for alerting us to the dangers of Zofran

Planning Ahead with Multiples: A Glimpse Into the Future

When you’re pregnant with twins, triplets or more, it can be hard to imagine parenting teenage multiples. And yet, before you know it, you’ll be sitting at the doctor’s office with two 11-year-olds, wondering what happened to those two screaming newborns, and who these smiling, boisterous per-adolescents are!

Twins Relationships

IMG_9652One thing we always tried to do with our baby and toddler twins is to foster a healthy, “mature dependent” relationship. It’s a fine balance when raising multiples… too much time together, and you get closely coupled twins, triplets or more, who struggle with their self identity. Yet too much time apart can create extreme individuals, who negate or try to dominate their twin-ship.

Bigger Babies, Longer Stretches Apart

When our monozygotic twins were babies, we took care to provide some one:one time with each baby. As they grew into toddler twins, we ensured some “singleton time” at least once a week with each child. Sometimes I spent an afternoon with Twin A, while their dad spent time with Twin B, or vice versa. At other times, we would leave one twin at daycare for the day, and both parents would have “special day” together with the other twin, spending time at the park or the zoo or the swimming pool with just one child.

By the time they were three years old, our twins were taking short overnight trips with each of us. One summer I took a twin to the Montreal Jazz festival for three days while their dad hung out in Toronto with the other twin, and then the Montreal twin got special time with Dad while I spent a few nights camping out at the Toronto Islands with his brother.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

This year, our boys will be spending their longest stretch apart: One of them has chosen to spend a full week at overnight camp north of the city, while the other preferred to stay here in town and spend the week improving his chess game with a family friend. The extended hug goodbye captured in the photo above was self directed; they clearly needed to share a physical sign of affection with one another before parting ways for the week!

Two days after his brother left, Twin A wrote and mailed a long letter sharing all the highlights of their time apart to date. And this from a kid who rarely writes outside of school!!

Thinking Ahead, and Parenting with Intention

As you prepare for the arrival of your little ones, consider how you will enjoy and celebrate their twinship, and how you will best foster their individual personalities. Thinking ahead can help you parent your twins, triplets or more with a view to avoiding the closely coupled or extreme individual ends of the multiples relationship continuum, and an emphasis on raising mature dependents.

Happy Twins Parenting!

Playtime with Multiples: Frugal and Fun

Parenting twins, triplets or more can be an expensive adventure.  If you think double (or triple) diapers and onesies are breaking the bank, just wait until two or more babies become twin or triplet toddlers:  All the companies that tried to convince you that you needed two (or three) Baby Bjorns, two bouncy chairs and two baby bathtubs will now be vying for your hard-earned dollars in exchange for all the latest baby toys.

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Alex and Simon

But there are ways around this, and they can be quite creative!

Lindsay, a teacher and mother of two, blogs here about making a family board book for her little one.  

Alex and Simon loved looking and pointing at books and photos when they were little, and I wish I had thought to repurpose old board books from yard sales in this fashion!

Dec 2014 colour matchy

Reblogged from FunkyLindsay.com

Another idea from Funky Lindsay is the colour matching game.  She paints the inside of a compartmentalised box with certain colours, and puts little toys and trinkets of matching colours in each compartment. 

Little ones love to sort and match items, and this is a great way to foster colour recognition and encourage clean up for toddler twins or triplets.  Miniature versions of the toy could be made with only two or three colours, and each twin gets a different set of colours.

Parenting multiples can be a blur, especially when they’re young.  Making toys and games with and for your toddler twins is an excellent way not only to save money, but also to keep materialism in check while bonding with your babies and beginning to foster a healthy family relationship with the environment by practising environmentally friendly playtime.

What is it about sleep and kids?!

If you are in the midst of newborn chaos with multiples, and are still trying to acclimatise to sleep deprivation, I am sorry to report that the sleep issues continue well into childhood!  Alex and Simon are nearly 8, and we adults still crave more sleep!!!

Even when they were babies, the boys consistently woke up around 5 or 5:30 a.m.  It was maddening!  Happy was the day they were old enough to recognize numbers, and we go them their very own alarm clock with great pomp and circumstance, and trained them to STAY IN THEIR BEDS until the first number was a 6!!! Read the rest of this entry »

Twins Beginning School – TO Separate or NOT to Separate?

separate twins at schoolHere is an interesting letter from a mother of twins. I thought it may be useful to share her letter, and my answers, with our readers. Note: Minor grammar edits have been made for a smoother read.

Dear Vera,

I hope your boys are doing great!

I have questions re: twins & education. I always thought I’d want to keep the girls together, at least for kindergarden. They start JK next September.

I’m starting to change my mind and wanted to know what you think.

Twin A is precocious. She’s super smart, driven to learn, obsessive about doing things right… and loves rules. She’s very social and loves being with other kids.

Twin B is creative, relaxed… does things at her own pace. She has a poor sense of direction and can’t find something, even if it’s right in front of her. She likes playing and having fun with other kids, but isn’t as intense about being with others. She’s happy on her own.

A’s turned into a huge boss and tattletale with B. B can’t move without A telling her she’s doing things wrong. You can’t ask B something without A answering. B tends to repeat herself if she doesn’t think you’ve sufficiently acknowledged her statement – and A will report that “B said something twice, mommy.”

I’m starting the think that B would be better off being in a separate class right off the bat. I think she could use a few hours a day without A breathing down her neck.

Do you think it’s bad to split them right out of the gate?

(Adrienne, mother of twin girls, age 4, and baby, 18 months)

Answer:

Read the rest of this entry »

To Pump or Not to Pump

medelaadvanced 3The Role of Breast pumps in the Twins + Breastfeeding Equation

Many families expecting twins or triplets choose to breastfeed, and wonder about pumping. “If you want to breastfeed”, they wonder, “why not just breastfeed?”

Good point!

Breastfeeding twins, triplets or more can be done, as Class Three, Feeding, in our 4-part prenatal course demonstrates.  And, if latching the babies on right after birth works for you, and feeding goes without a hitch, that’s great!

 


Preemies, Increased Milk Demands And Tired Moms And Babies

But, like any goal worth pursuing, breastfeeding multiples is not without its challenges.  Twins, triplets or more are often born prematurely, which means they have an even steeper learning curve when it comes to latching on and suckling effectively.  Multiple birth babies also require more milk production than a singleton, obviously.

The push for pumping is mainly to build up your supply.  Breastfeeding can be a bit tricky sometimes with two or more babies at first, and often everyone’s so tired and overwhelmed… and the pump offers a perfect latch every time, allowing new moms to effectively build up milk supply in those important early days.

 

Getting Help With Pumping

Pumping right away also ensures you have plenty of help around if needed:  Most hospitals now offer the services of a lactation consultant on site, and they are generally more than happy to spend a few extra minutes with mothers of multiples, showing them how to work the equipment.

There are also many good resources available on the Internet, through the hospital and from support groups such as La Leche League which can offer guidance and support with pumping and with breastfeeding in general.  Look for things that are twins- and multiples-specific.

 

Many Paths With The Pump

The idea is not to replace breastfeeding with pumping, but rather to use the pump as a supplement to breastfeeding, to encourage adequate milk production.

I’ve had several moms of multiples tell me that they breastfed each baby, and then pumped for a few minutes afterwards, just to build up milk supply in those early days at the hospital and get things flowing.  Then, once things were in order, they exclusively breastfed, and ditched the pump.

Others kept up with pumping because it allowed spouses and other family members to feed expressed breast milk (some just used formula), and others still never touched a pump, and breast fed exclusively from day one, and everything was fine.  And of course, many choose to or end up bottle feeding exclusively, too.

The real message here is that there are many pathways, and lots of “sub-pathways”… Our online prenatal course presents several pictures and videos of real-life families with multiple babies feeding in action, to help you navigate the maze more effectively.  Ultimately — as the new expert of your twins, triplets or more — you will find what works for you and your babies.

 

New Twins Book Falls Short

Involved fathers are often overlooked in pregnancy and baby books, even though they play a key role, especially with twins, triplets or more.

Involved fathers are often overlooked in pregnancy and baby books, even though they play a key role, especially with twins, triplets or more.

Twins by Carol Cooper and Katy Hymas (published by DK press) recently found its way into my professional library.

What first attracted me to this book was its subtitle: “the practical and reassuring guide to pregnancy, birth and the first year”. Who doesn’t love “practical and reassuring”, especially when you’re expecting twins?!

I also appreciated that it was not an American publication – nothing against Americans, but as a Canadian, I am very aware of how saturated the market can get, and it is nice to be able to read a different perspective sometimes (this book is a publication out of the UK).

Another thing that attracted me to Twins by Cooper and Hymas was the fact that it is coauthored by a family doctor and a writer, both of whom are parents of twins themselves.  These are important factors to consider when picking up any book about twins and multiples; does it have credible voice from both a medical perspective and a practical parenting perspective, from someone who’s walked the talk?  This book, presumably, offers both.

 

Non-inclusive Images Of Twins Families

Upon doing a pre-reading picture walk, though, I became a little wary… There are three things I am looking for, visually, when I leaf through a new resource: Families of colour, LGBTQ representation and images of dads with their babies, as these usually give me a sense of the overall flavour of the book, philosophically speaking.

This book had precious few of any of these three.  Although there were a few black women included, the vast majority of images portrayed light-skinned families consisting of a man and a woman and two white babies.  (I did discover one image of a father without a woman beside him; he was bathing a baby.)

While such a book may be “practical” and visually “reassuring” for white couples who happen to be straight and who have mom doing most/all of the child rearing, it does little to promote the sense that all kinds of different people are having twins these days.

 

Comprehensive Overview Of Topics

Determined not to judge the book (too much) by its pictures, I flipped to the contents.

The usual topics were included: Pregnancy, labour and delivery, babycare, and considerations for the first year.  The subtopics looked practical (“your hospital bag – what to pack” and how to manage “outings and holidays” once the twins arrive) as well as informative (“common symptoms” and “complications” in twins pregnancies, and “presentation of twins”).

Some of the chapters themselves fall short for those readers who are keen for specifics.  Current philosophy (when it comes to the rights of multiple births children) is also not reflected.  For example, the section on “twins demystified” refers to “identical” twins, the layperson’s descriptor for twins who originate from the same zygote. (It is commonly understood within the multiple births community now that monozygotic twins – though they share the same DNA – are unique individuals, and that this should be reflected in how we refer to them, i.e. “monozygotic” rather than the less empowering “identical”. Similarly, “fraternal” twins – who may not always be boys, as the label suggests, are more accurately “dizygotic”, meaning, from two zygotes, regardless of sex.)

On the other hand, a relatively in-depth discussion of relationships and learning is included.   “The Year Ahead”, moves beyond the basics, and gives practical ideas for how to help growing baby twins develop their own identities and learning, which is sometimes a rare find in books about raising twins.

 

Non-Inclusive Material Shines Through

Unfortunately, the suspicions I had from the photos when I first flipped through the book were generally confirmed when I began reading.

Potentially practical sections like “doctor’s advice” and “ask the parents” sprinkled throughout the chapters are overshadowed by almost oppressively mainstream assumptions like “Even some midwives don’t always realize [that the number of placentas isn’t linked with the number of eggs]” (boy, would I ever be mad if I were a professional midwife!)

The assumption that “all aspects of childcare, meal preparation, errands and light housework” will be done by the mother, and that it could be useful to have a “mother’s helper” (sorry to all the Dads I know who are raising or co-raising twins; you don’t get a “dad’s helper”!) is stifling in this day and age.

The entire book seems to be aimed at mothers (from the very beginning, the chapters are addressed to the women pregnant with multiples, inviting her to remember when she first discovered she was having twins, and talking with her husband about this, that or the other). This is surprising, considering that dads – and especially fathers of twins and multiples – are more involved than ever in preparing for and raising their children.

Interestingly, the word “partner” is often used instead of “husband”. Yet the photos would suggest that said partner is always male.  It’s as though the book makes a token effort at being inclusive, but doesn’t follow through with the substance to support it.

Twins by Cooper and Hymas offers a somewhat informative and easy read for white, mainstream mothers.  If you’re looking for something more comprehensive or culturally current, look elsewhere!

Twin Engines Baby Shower

Planning a twins baby shower can be fun, but when you couple it with a co-theme, like aviation, the result can be a real adventure!

This summer, one of the fellows in my flying club out in PEI had twins, and we decided to host a “twin engines” aviation-themed multiples baby shower for him and his wife and their dizygotic twins.

The first challenge was convincing a bunch of middle-aged guys that baby showers can be for men, too! — Many had heard rumours about this sacred right that women traditionally plan and participate in, and they were SCARED!

Themed Foods and Decor

Once we convinced the boys that hanging out with a couple of babies for the afternoon could be fun, it was time to prepare the “twin engine” theme:  First, we found some baby shower napkins that had a picture of a twin engine airplane on it.  We used this as a model for other items.

Themed cookies and a matching cake were ordered, based on the picture on the napkin.

We also looked for, but did not find, balloons with an airplane on them.  No matter, the cake and cookies did the job, and we chose sets of two more generic baby shower balloons.

Twins Baby Shower Games

With a bunch of pilots on hand, the shower entertainment was great fun:  First we planned a written quiz with questions about other pilots who were parents of twins, and about what consumes more “fuel”, an hour-long flight in a Cessna 172, or a week of feeding the baby pilots.  Things got competitive pretty quickly.

We also deviated from the twin engine theme a little, in favour of introducing the men to some more “traditional” games, like Sniff the Diaper and Guess the “poop” (some of the guests were blindfolded, and had to smell three different diapers with things like chocolate, prunes and green peas and identify which was which).  It was quite entertaining to watch grown men who can fly airplanes shrink in terror at having to smell a diaper filled with… CHOCOLATE!!!

Practical Gifts

As I always preach in my online twins prenatal course, multiple births baby showers should include practical gifts rather than the traditional blankets, sleepers and endless cutesy stuffed animals.

As the organizer of the shower, I hit each of the guests up for a couple of bucks, and then used the combined donations to purchase a large, fancy exersaucer. (I looked for one with airplanes, but the best we could find was a Jungle-themed exersaucer.)  The timing was perfect, because the twins were just 7 weeks old, and the exersaucer could be reconfigured into three different stages, including a tummy time mat which the babies could use right away.

The new parents liked this piece of equipment so much, they ended up buying themselves another one on Craigslist!

Let Your Imagination be Your Guide

Many themes exist for twins or triplets baby showers, and whether you have an additional theme to consider, or are “just” planning for the multiples, putting together a baby party is great fun!  Let your imagination guide you as you plan an entertaining and practical shower for twins, triplets or more.

Tips for Choosing the Right Prenatal Class – Part 2 of 2

PPL_logoOur previous blog post, by  Alba Aguanno, RN, BScN, LCCE and Director of Childbirth Education at Port Perry Lamaze investigated how best to consider credentials and more when choosing the best twins prenatal class for you – here are four more tips on choosing a multiple births prenatal class.  Thanks, Alba!

In addition to credentials and experience of the instructor, location of class and testimonials of other clientele, consider also convenience, content, currency and instructional style before selecting your twins or triplets prenatal class:

5.  Convenience

Most prenatal instructors offer their classes as a series of 6 to 8 weekly sessions, each running 2 to 3 hours.  Typically, these are offered after dinner on weeknights, or sometimes on weekends. Ask what nights are offered and make sure that your calendar can accommodate all of the sessions – plan ahead.

phone prenatal course instructorFor shift workers, commuters, professionals, those who need to travel for business, and those with either lots of commitments or unpredictable schedules, a 6 or 8 week commitment may not be feasible.  In this case, consider instructors who offer the content delivered in 2 full-day sessions.  You’ll get the same content, but delivered over one or two weekends.  For many, this is a much more convenient option.

For those who find such a condensed format challenging, or who can’t attend an on-site childbirth class due to work schedules, time constraints or medical conditions, online classes may offer a convenient alternative.  Be sure to find an online class that is multiples-specific, taught by a qualified instructor, and one who is willing to respond to individual questions either by email or telephone throughout the class.

6. Class Content

Ask for – and carefully examine – an agenda or course outline.  Look at the topics to be covered. 

Some classes just focus on labour and delivery, while others spend equal time on what happens after the babies are born, such as feeding, diapering, bathing, settling crying babies, caring for the birth mother immediately after birth, postpartum depression, changes in the family, and other related topics.  This is an especially important consideration when you will be bringing home two or more babies!

online-twins-triplets-course

For labour and delivery, make sure classes include a range of options for pain management including breathing, positioning, and relaxation techniques plus drugs and other interventions you may be faced with during labour and birth.  Caesarean section births should be covered in detail, as this is a birthing reality that families pregnant with twins and higher-order multiples must be ready to face.

A good twins-specific prenatal course provides couples with the knowledge and motivation they need to advocate for their childbirth health decisions and to provide care for their newborn children. This is supported through:

• Helping women realize their inherent abilities to give birth.

•  Providing current evidence-based knowledge on childbirth procedures and outcomes in the multiples context.

• Increasing the confidence of both women and their support persons that birth is a normal, natural process and encourages you to work with your body’s natural abilities.

• Helping couples understand their childbirth options and their role in the childbirth decision-making process in the multiples pregnancy context

• Teaching couples how to communicate their childbirth decisions to healthcare providers through verbal and written means

• Providing information on post-partum parenting and baby care of more than one baby

7.  Current Information and Resources

Ask what resources are being used, and try to determine how up to date these are.  Many instructors purchase videos and other resources and continue to use them year after year, without investing in refreshing the resources as new versions come available.  You may be learning with outdated information.

Pamphlets and other handouts should also be assessed for their currency and relevancy to the multiple births context.  Recommendations change over time as the results of new medical research come available.  Try to determine whether or not your instructor is keeping up to date with the latest developments.  

Some professionals, such as registered nurses, are required to stay current to maintain their nursing license, while Lamaze-certified instructors are required to take a number of continuing education courses each year to help them stay current.  Even a non-certified instructor, if she is a professional, will attend conferences and classes and keep up to date with reading.

laptop-course

Find out when your instructor last held a set of twins or triplets in his arms.

8. Teaching Style

What is your learning style?  Do you learn best by reading, listening to lectures, watching demonstrations, or participating in activities?  

The best instructors use a variety of teaching techniques to ensure that all participants leave the class with the required information, regardless of their preferred learning style.  Ask your potential instructor what techniques they use to teach the class.

Conclusion 

Participation in childbirth classes has been known to decrease physical complications during labour and delivery and also to improve physical and mental health in the postpartum period.  

Following the tips outlined above will help you choose the right childbirth class for you.