The Triangle of Health

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Posted by vera | Posted in Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 01-01-2010

With the new year in full swing, now is the time for resolutions to be formed and hopefully, not broken!

As mother of Kindergarten-aged multiples and a full-time teacher with many extra-curricular projects on the go, I am always attempting to “optimize” my system. 

If you are pregnant with twins, triplets or quads, you are likely very aware of the important role maternal nutrition, coupled with sufficient rest and appropriate exercise plays in building healthy fetuses.  Good habits formed during pregnancy can continue to give you the energy you need as a busy parent of two or more toddlers, preschoolers or school-age children later on.

I have found that this triangle – proper diet, rest and exercise – forms the foundation for healthy relationships with my children, my spouse and my co-workers.  When I am eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly, I can manage the myriad decisions I make in a day as a mother, a wife and an educator.  When I eat junk food, burn the midnight oil and skip my morning workout in favour of a “quick” email check before work, I end up cranky, snapping at people around me (including my husband and children), and often have trouble making good choices overall at home and at work. 

The secret, of course, is the habit of mind which this triangle encompasses, that is, self-discipline!  Without self discipline, the diet, the sleep habits, the exercise routine are quickly shot to $#%!  Sometimes, as the Nike ad says, you have to “just do it!”  Set an alarm to remind yourself you wanted to go to bed an hour earlier, buy only healthy foods, and make up a few days worth of snacks at a time.  Consult with your HCP regarding safe levels of exercise for a twins or triplets pregnancy (light yoga, slow walking, possibly swimming… all are activities I was able to do into the third trimester with my twins pregnancy, and they really helped me feel “fit” for birth).  Now, after a holiday season filled with binging on too many delicious but high-in-sugar treats, too many late nights on facebook, and too many missed morning walks or yoga routines, I find myself struggling once again with the ol’ self-discipline.  But I have achieved the triangle once before, and I know I can do it again!

You may have a long list of new year’s resolutions planned, but with these three foundational rocks in place, the rest of the structure will be built  with more stability and endurance.

Pregnant With Twins? Look for the The “Personal Touch” in your Prenatal Classes.

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Posted by vera | Posted in Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 19-11-2009

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twin boysRecently, I was auditing a colleague’s prenatal course geared towards mothers pregnant with twins, and it caused me to think back to my own twins pregnancy six years ago.

I remember panicking when we discovered we were expecting multiples.  I started to Google for information – there was way too much!  Read the rest of this entry »

Need More Protein? Give your Babies a Shake!

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Posted by vera | Posted in Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 17-11-2009

Pregnant with TwinsOne of the challenges when feeding your baby belly can be getting enough protein in your prenatal diet, especially when carrying twins, triplets or more.  But protein is a critical ingredient in building healthy brains and more.  So some expectant mothers of multiples have found it helpful to supplement their pregnancy diet with a protein shake.

Especially for vegetarian women expecting multiples, a protein shake can be a great way to increase this all-important factor in your prenatal diet.  A good quality whey or soy protein powder, mixed with some yogourt, rice milk, a banana or whatever else your tummy desires, is an excellent way to give your babies a little extra boost. Read the rest of this entry »

Advocating for Yourself at Work

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Posted by vera | Posted in Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 10-11-2009

As you may have already discovered, a multiples pregnancy is vastly different from having a singleton, and it is helpful to surround yourself with a network of support as soon as possible.

If you haven’t already done so, you’ll also need to begin the dialogue with your employer. Bosses who only have experience with singleton pregnancies tend to underestimate the nature and timelines of accommodations necessary for employees pregnant with multiples, so you may need to do some gentle but firm education, supported—if necessary – by a doctor’s note or some fact sheets from your national multiple birth’s support group. Read the rest of this entry »

“Split Personality” Not Uncommon for Twins

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Posted by vera | Posted in Parenting, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 26-10-2009

Imagine being mistaken for someone else… every day!  Would this make you feel a bit unsure of yourself, a little uneasy with your personality or who you are at your core?

This case of mistaken identity is one that my monozygotic twins Alex and Simon face all the time.  From grandparents to daycare providers to classroom teachers, those who are able to accurately tell them apart are few and far between. Even though the boys typically wear different clothes, they look so much alike to folks other than myself and my husband, that they must spend a large portion of their day correcting people or clarifying their own and each other’s identities.

Read the rest of this entry »