Battling Nausea? Use Zofran with Caution

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Posted by vera | Posted in Birth, Health, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 20-10-2017

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

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Posted by vera | Posted in Parenting, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 03-07-2015

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!

To Pump or Not to Pump

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Posted by vera | Posted in Birth, Parenting, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 24-02-2014

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

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Posted by vera | Posted in Birth, Books, Parenting, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 23-11-2013

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!

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

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Posted by vera | Posted in Health, Parenting, Travel, Triplets, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 05-09-2013

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.

Tips for Choosing the Right Prenatal Class – Part 1 of 2

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Posted by vera | Posted in Birth, Nannies, Parenting, Triplets, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 03-09-2013

PPL_logoThanks to Alba Aguanno, RN, BScN, LCCE and Director of Childbirth Education at Port Perry Lamaze for inspiring and contributing to this blog post on the important topic of choosing the best prenatal class for you!

Expectant parents sometimes wonder if they should take childbirth classes at all. With a range of childbirth education options available, choosing the right class can be confusing, especially for those expecting twins or triplets!

Here are some tips to consider when choosing a childbirth preparation class.

1. Credentials

certificateFirst, inquire about the credentials of your potential instructor. Some have formal medical training or educational certification, while others have none. Are they health professionals (registered nurse, physiotherapist, medical doctor, chiropractor, or midwife), or do they have considerable experience with expectant parents and newborns?

Have they completed a recognized, formal course on childbirth education or education in general: Lamaze International certification (LCCE), International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association – Childbirth Educator (CBE), Childbirth International (Dip CBEd), or Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) or a Masters in Education (M.Ed.) with an emphasis on early learning and/or adult education?

The Lamaze-Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) credential is the most widely-recognized and respected qualification in this field. It is the only childbirth education credential accredited by the U.S. National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), a government body ensuring quality in certification programs.

Certification doesn’t necessarily ensure an ideal learning experience, but it can certainly inspire expectant parents’ confidence that they are getting the most current and correct information.

2. Experience

Consider the instructor’s years of childbirth education experience: If they have been doing this a long time, they may offer a wealth of experience, but they may also be “burnt out”. Conversely, a newer instructor may be enthusiastic, but a little too “textbook”, lacking extensive real-life experience with twins, triplets and their parents.

Also, consider the amount of experience in other class content areas such as breastfeeding and early parenting support, especially with multiple births families. The last thing you need as an expectant parent is a child birth educator who has little or no experience with twins, triplets and quads.

3. Testimonials/Recommendations

handshakeDoes the potential instructor publish testimonials and endorsements for their classes? Read the feedback carefully to get a better picture of what past participants have thought of the classes.

Also, consider who is recommending the class. Have you found it on your own, were you recommended by a friend who heard about it or who took the course, or were you recommended by your obstetrician, family doctor, or midwife?

Many providers will collect endorsements from past students, and will publish at least a few of these on their website. If not, ask to see some, or speak to someone else to see what they thought of the class or instructor.

4. Location & Class Size


all-four-300x199Ask where (specifically) the classes will be taught.

Educators teach in a variety of environments. Some teach in hospital classrooms or medical offices, while others teach in community centres; some even teach in their homes or yours! Increasingly, prenatal classes are offered online, even prenatal classes for twins and triplets. Be sure to check the other tips before enrolling in an online class.

Some providers keep their class sizes small to maintain the quality of instruction and to facilitate meaningful interactions with participants. In certain cases, private classes may be offered. This can be ideal if you are in a remote part of town, where there are no other couples expecting twins or triplets, and you don’t want to be the class circus side show with unique prenatal issues particular to your multiples pregnancy.

There can be a lot to think about when deciding to enroll in prenatal classes, but for families expecting twins, triplets or more, the decision is among the first steps to a healthy twins pregnancy, labour and delivery.

More tips coming in Part 2… stay tuned! 

Twins Baby Boom Hits PEI

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Posted by vera | Posted in News, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 01-08-2013

Since we’re vacationing in Prince Edward Island, Canada, this summer, we thought we’d bring you the latest multiple births news from Atlantic Canada.

June saw 6 sets of twins born at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, an amazingly high number, when one considers that that is three times the number – in a single month – of the preceding five months! Experts attribute the spike to a possible trend, thanks to women waiting longer to start families here on the Island as they are in the rest of Canada. (Age increases the chances of multiples pregnancies.)

Whatever the reason, an increase in twins pregnancies means an increase in need for multiples-specific prenatal care, and that includes prenatal classes that cater specifically to families expecting twins and triplets. In small communities like PEI, where twins-specific prenatal classes may not be as accessible as they are in larger provinces with one or more larger city health care centres, an online class like Babies In Belly’s can be a helpful resource to those pregnant with twins.

For the complete story, see this article recently published in the Guardian

Infant Massage with Multiples

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Posted by vera | Posted in Health, Nannies, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 12-06-2013


Image

Recently, I had the good fortune of sharing an evening of infant massage with two other families who had 11-week-old twins.

Infant massage is something I address in Class Four of our Twins Prenatal Course, and since it had been a while since I’d done it myself with newborns, I decided to offer a free class through our local twins club.

There is quite possibly nothing cuter than four little babies all lined up on the floor; the sheer sight of them brought a smile to everyone’s face before we even got started!

The benefits of infant massage are well-documented: From soothing fussy babies to helping relieve gas pains, to boosting muscle development and circulation, infant massage is becoming a more and more mainstream way for parents to support the overall health of babies everywhere.

One-On-One Connection with Multiples

One challenge with having twins, triplets or more is how to effectively bond with each baby. Incorporating infant massage into your daily bath-time or bedtime routine can help you connect with each of your babies individually. For the 10-15 minutes you massage your newborn each day, she’ll have your undivided attention as you look into her face and tell her how much you love her, with your voice and your hands.

For our “class”, both partners came with their twins, so there was one adult per baby. But going to a group infant massage session is a great way for single parents with twins, or two parents with triplets or higher order multiples to get an extra hand with the additional babies. Your instructor or class helpers or volunteers are often happy to take one baby while you take the rest.

Infant Massage & Language Development

There is some evidence to suggest that twins, triplets or more can exhibit language delays. Talking to each baby about what you are doing while you are doing it can help “front load” language input.

For example, while taking a little arm in your hand and rubbing oil on it, you can tell your baby, “Now I’m going to put some oil on your left arm, see? Doesn’t that feel nice? I’m going to rub it together to make it nice and warm first, then I’m going to massage your left arm, one – two – three, and now your hand, like this, and each little finger, 1 – 2 – 3-4 – 5…” and so on.

Consider how many full, rich sentences your little ones are hearing, in context, as you gently describe what you are doing, in a soft, soothing voice.

Grumpy Clientelle

It wasn’t long into our group infant massage session that most of the babies were fussing and crying, but we’re pretty sure that’s because they were hungry… Fortunately, both mothers were breastfeeding their twins, so that problem was quickly and easily solved!

Different philosophies exist about what to do when a baby complains during massage: Some people believe it’s best to stop the massage for now, and give baby a break, while others persevere, using gentle tones to soothe their babies while introducing them to this new and not-yet-familiar sensation. (The thinking goes that once they get used to it, babies will learn to anticipate and enjoy their daily massage routine; that was certainly true of my now-9-year-old twins.)

As parents, you know your babies best, and can decide if or how to proceed when one or both twins decide let you know they’re not yet enamoured with this massage business!

infantmassage1.jpg

Twins Labour and Delivery

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Posted by vera | Posted in Birth, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 06-06-2013

As discussed in more detail in Class 4 of our multiples prenatal course, it is often possible and even preferable to have a vaginal delivery with twins.

I recently had an email from a woman 31 weeks pregnant with twins. She was happy to discover that her babies were both head down, and wondered about her chances of vaginal delivery rather than the caesarean section originally planned.

Although recent research confirms that a vaginal birth is often preferable for twins, every multiples pregnancy is different. Some OBGYNs may still decide to deliver twins by C-section. This can happen for a number of reasons. 

If a vaginal birth is planned, once in the hospital, mom and babies will be closely monitored through labour to ensure all is going well.

Does “Head Down” = No C-Section?

While it is certainly true that having both babies head-down can make for an easier delivery, be aware that once Twin A is born, Twin B may flip around in his/her suddenly more spacious womb!

An experienced OBGYN may be comfortable turning one or both babies as needed, to accommodate a head-first vaginal delivery. That being said, if there is any sign of distress, the doctor may elect to perform a section delivery for one or both babies.

One Labour, Two Deliveries

In general, with twins, you (or your partner, if you are the non-carrying parent-to-be!) will have one labour, and two deliveries, probably in short succession (once twin A is born, the stage is already set for Twin B, who will follow shortly thereafter ).

One of Each?

Even with both babies head-down at or beyond 30 weeks pregnant with twins, there is some possibility that one or both babies will turn or move again before or even during labour — even though space is getting kind of tight in there! So even if your twins appear to be head down at this point, don’t be surprised if you end up with a section after all. (Although, as previously mentioned, breech presentation doesn’t necessarily mean a section delivery — many doctors are now very comfortable reaching in and turning babies as needed, so that you can still have a vaginal delivery.)

And yes, you may deliver one baby vaginally, and the other by section.

twinbabies.jpgDo Your Homework

Taking a multiples-specific prenatal class is an excellent way to begin preparing for the “big day”. Reading a good book or checking out a quality website that deals specifically with twins can offer additional information.

Two sites we like are: What to Expect and Baby Centre UK.

The first reviews stages of labour, and gives some different possible scenarios for twins deliveries. I like the second one because it is written in a very accessible Q and A format.

Once you’ve taken a prenatal course and done your reading, you can prepare a list of specific questions for your OBGYN. Coming prepared with intelligent questions that show you’ve done your homework can help the doctor take your questions more seriously, and respond more specifically in language you can understand.

Ask Other Parents of Twins

If you haven’t already done so, attend a meeting of your local twins club. It can be very helpful to chat with other parents who have recently (in the past two years) been through labour and delivery of twins.

People love to share their stories, and in person, you can ask many questions.

I would even go so far as to suggest stopping people in the mall, on the street or wherever you see the tell-tale sign of a twin stroller, to chat. Although we POMs sometimes dislike being irritated by nosy strangers, if you are pregnant with twins, you have instant access to our sympathy and our endless advice!

ImageFocus On The Things Over Which You Have Control

When thinking about labour and delivery with twins, it can be quite overwhelming to consider all the possibilities. For all the build-up throughout your twins pregnancy, the actual labour and delivery of your babies is only one small event in their  (and your) lives, and the truth is that it tends to be an event you have very little control over.

You are already taking good care of your babies by thinking about all this, by reading up on how to have a healthy twins pregnancy, by taking a prenatal course. And you’ve probably made all kinds of decisions during your pregnancy that are positively affecting your babies.

Once your twins are born, and you bring them home, you will have a lifetime to take care of them. So yes, the birth is important, but it is only one thing. Kind of like a wedding day in the life of a full marriage!

Episode 2 – Premature Twin Births, and How To Be a Great Advocate

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Posted by vera | Posted in Birth, podcast, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 08-05-2013

twins girlsTruong is a father of 3-week-old twin girls and a two year old son. He shares how he and his partner have managed to overcome some of the toughest challenges associated with a premature birth, and preparing their toddler for the arrival of his new twin sisters.

You’ll learn exactly what an advocate needs to do in the absence of a midwife, and later, find out how Truong stopped an unprofessional nurse from stressing everyone out during labour.