The news of a pregnancy can be very excited but this may quickly be replaced with anxiety when considerations about how to prepare for motherhood begin; especially when expecting twins. The proper preparation for motherhood will help alleviate stress and actually help women transition from pregnancy to motherhood more smoothly. Many aspects of motherhood, of course, will come naturally; however, planning for what you will need when the twins arrive will help you deal with the physical and emotional stress much better.
Education on Motherhood
Getting educated is one of the best ways to prepare for motherhood. Qualified and up-to-date information can help a mother know what she and her twins will need for health and safety. Women will need to know the following.
- How to stay physically fit during and after the pregnancy (including realistic recovery expectations after your body is stretched from carrying twins)
- A recommended diet that includes caloric and special nutrient requirements when pregnant with twins (and nursing them afterwards)
- Sleep requirements and how to meet them
- The emotional changes that come with motherhood and ways to relieve emotional stress
- How to communicate your needs effectively to those who can help you
On top of this, mothers need to consider what kind of equipment is safe to use, the best child care options and creating the ideal environment for raising twins.
The physical demands motherhood can be great. It is not only important to maintain physical health for the course of the pregnancy but also for when the twins arrive.
- Proper exercise can help strengthen arm, leg and back muscles (for bending and lifting after your pregnancy). You can exercise your arms and legs while sitting in a chair (i.e. use light weights to do curls and leg lifts). Attention to your posture will help your back muscles during your pregnancy (although it still will be taxed); afterwards exercises to strengthen your stomach muscles will also benefit your back (since both stomach and back muscles support your spine). In the beginning of your recovery, you can simply lie on your bed and constrict, hold and relax the central muscles of your abdomen. Repeat this often.
- A daily exercise routine will also help mothers relax and deal with emotional stress more effectively. This should include lots of stretching.
Society defines motherhood as the most rewarding and fulfilling of roles but it is also the most difficult one. Beyond the physical exhaustion of caring for twins, there will be times when emotional stress will set in and this can affect the duties that a mother needs to perform.
Preparations do not guarantee protection from emotional stress but they certainly help mothers to deal with it more effectively. It will be extra challenging filling this role when you have twins; twice the demand will be placed upon you.
- Locating a support group in advance to know who to turn to during the first few months of motherhood is a way to prepare for emotional stress. Experienced mothers of twins or multiple children can provide realistic advice and emotional support.
- It is critical that you plan for getting enough sleep. Take naps when your babies nap (try to get them on the same schedule to each other); if your babies develop different sleep habits, your life will be more demanding. Focus your attention on ways to synchronize their sleeping and eating habits.
- Arrange some regular time for yourself; even if it is short. These breaks will allow you to refresh and place things in perspective.
- Keep a journal to record what works for you; cute things your babies do and other feelings you have about being a mother to twins. Expression of your emotions through writing can be very cathartic. It will also serve as a wonderful record of this precious time in your life (for you and your twins).
There are advantages to shopping for clothes, cribs and other equipment during the early months of pregnancy. Since you will become quite large while carrying twins, it is wise to do it early (while it is still easier to move around); it can help lessen physical stress during pregnancy and it will provide more time to prepare. Making a list will help mothers get organized, prioritize needs, and stay on the budget when shopping for the needs of your newborn twins.
Additionally, the best child care option should be considered and arranged during your pregnancy; mothers who work at home will be able to work more effectively if someone is assisting with the care of the twins.