Written by Michelle Cruz
Being pregnant with multiples is a challenge in and of itself. And manage your postpartum with twins, triplets or more can be even more complicated.
The sheer amount of appointments, check-ins, worries, and the overwhelming feeling of littles kicking all day long is a lot. Oftentimes there is a lot of logistical work put into taking care of the babies, like how the twins will come home, where they will sleep, what they will eat. While it is incredibly important to plan for care for the babies, there is often not much concern or planning for what the birther will feel or will have to overcome once the babies arrive.
As a multiple parent with a first-born singleton, I knew there were things in my postpartum life I wanted to do differently. With my first child, I had so much postpartum anxiety and loads of overwhelming thoughts that I couldn’t shake. While pregnant with my twins, I took many classes, read books & blogs, and talked with friends and family to learn about what postpartum could be and have a deeper understanding. Basically to learn how to manage my postpartum with twins!
My biggest takeaway was to plan!
In addition to planning for the twins and their needs, I needed to prioritize planning to support my own mental health and well-being.
My first step was to find a postpartum birthworker, which I found in my own community.
Next step was to get clear on my postpartum needs and boundaries.
I knew a few basic things about myself that helped my postpartum planning:
- I knew that I needed to speak up.
- With my first postpartum period, I didn’t speak up enough about when I needed help, sleep, support, or anything until it was too late. I knew that my lack of disclosure, lack of clear & direct communication directly contributed to my depression that was still lingering during my twin pregnancy.
- I knew that I needed to plan to have my basic needs met.
- I created a detailed list of my basic needs, preferred needs, and bonuses combined with boundaries. I detailed it below to show you what it could look like. This detailed list not only gave my relationship power and strength but it provided information to my inner circle when I could not.
- 6 hours of sleep minimum in a 24 hour period
- At least 2 hot meals a day
- Unlimited water access
- Supported care for the older child
- Supported care in diaper changes
- Fully absolved of major house chores
- Majority of bottle-feeding done by non-nursing parent/doula
- Doula support 3 nights a week
- Family or spouse support 2 nights a week
- Meals dropped off 3 nights a week
- Absolved of bad behavior or moodiness ( I get cranky sometimes)
- Sweet treats from Hubby
- Weekly lay-ins without disruption
No one can visit unannounced. Must have at least 6 hours notice
- If I need to hold babies, I get to hold babies
- There will be no unsolicited advice given while visiting
- I can drive and go wherever I want once cleared for peace of mind.
- I’m leading this ship so I can change my mind at any time. (This is mainly regarding sleep, body feeding, formula use, and any other task that I have governess over)
With this list, I was able to stabilize my mind and spend time focused on other duties. There were many privileged aspects of my postpartum experience, such as not having to work outside the home, which allowed me to focus more on my care and my twins. This feels important to acknowledge as I know this isn’t the experience of everyone. This is not always the case with pregnancy and even more so with multiples.
Please note that you can create support however you can and there can be lots of ways to do this with some creativity. This is a huge reason why I speak highly of the family of your creation and friends of your personal choice!
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