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Lamaze for Twins? - Babies in Belly

Lamaze for Twins?


Posted by vera | Posted in Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 27-02-2013

family of twinsI recently received an email from someone taking our prenatal course asking about Lamaze for twins.  She was surprised that there was so little emphasis in the course on labour and delivery, and wondered about learning breathing techniques and so on to prepare for childbirth.

Her question caused me to reflect on my own philosophy as a multiple births-specific prenatal instructor, and dig deeper into why I choose to focus on the topics I do in my course.

Child Birth or Prenatal?

The internet is full of information on childbirth and prenatal courses.  What’s the difference, and why does it matter when it comes to preparing for twins, triplets or more?

As the name suggests, “Childbirth Classes” get you ready for, well, “childbirth”.  They may focus very specifically on breathing techniques, as in Lamaze classes, or on coaching through labour (a-la- Bradley method), or they may encompass a little more of the pregnancy and the first few weeks beyond birth.

Prenatal classes, on the other hand, focus more on the pregnancy as a whole, and on things the parent(s)-to-be can do before the birth (“pre-natally”) to prepare for life with a bigger family.

When pregnant with twins, triplets or more, it is important to consider the long-term implications raising multiple birth children, and so a broader perspective can help.

“Child-birth prep” can still be useful in alleviating fears and concerns some women and their partners may have of labour and delivery, but much of this sort of medical, technical information can be found in a good book, and — depending on the circumstances – the birth of your twins or triplets may not go as you had planned.

In my opinion, the birth is only the beginning of this grand adventure, and so a course that helps you to consider the road ahead is ideal.

What Should You Learn in a Twins Prenatal Course?

Port Perry Lamaze in Ontario, Canada, offers this advice to expectant parents looking for prenatal classes in general:

Ask for – and carefully examine – an agenda or course outline.  Look at the topics to be covered.  Some classes jt focus on labour and delivery, while others spend equal time on what happens after the baby is born, such as feeding, diapering, bathing, settling crying babies, caring for the mother immediately after birth, postpartum depression, changes in the family, and other related topics.

twinsSage advice when you consider classes that offer only “Comfort Techniques for Labour” and “Cesarean Birth Class”, as two I found recently on the Internet.

Be sure to check that the prenatal classes you sign up for, especially if you are expecting twins or higher-order multiples, include a wide range of topics that will address the many questions you may already have (or that will arise as the pregnancy progresses)!

Twins Pregnancy and Twins Parenting

A good multiple births-specific prenatal class will allow you to get started as soon as possible (ideally 12 weeks pregnant with twins or sooner, if you already know you are pregnant with twins or triplets). Beginning early will allow you to take advantage of the many things we already know can help foster a healthy twins pregnancy, possibly reducing the chances of pre-term labour and early delivery of your babies.

Becoming knowledgeable about your unique pregnancy early on may also help to alleviate discomfort later on in the pregnancy, and yes, during labour and delivery, too.

Additionally, starting prenatal classes early gives you and your partner plenty of time to prepare mentally for the arrival of two or more babies.  Feeding twins, buying all the gear (do you really need it?  We address this in Class 2 of our course, “Gear and Supplies”, researching twins strollers, considering the social-emotional implications of naming your triplets, joining a multiple births support group so that you can meet other parents of twins, triplets or more… all this will be far more consuming in the long run than the few hours of breathing you may or may not be able to do, depending on the type of delivery you end up having.

Preparing for childbirth is critical, and a good prenatal course will cover this topic, even for twins births.  But preparing for parenting twins, triplets or more is equally important, and a multiples-specific prenatal class will help you and your partner get ready for this joy and challenge!

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