Hey Hey, to all my twin mama’s-to-be!
So, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with all the information (or lack thereof) about giving birth. But don’t worry, I’ve got you!
Here are 10 things you probably haven’t been told about giving birth to twins that will help you feel more prepared & in control.
(And hey, if these pique your interest, bring these up to your doctor or midwife at the next appointment!)
You don’t have to give birth in the hospital.
Giving birth at home or in a birth center can provide a more relaxed & intimate setting for the birth of your babies. It allows you to have more control over the birthing process & can provide a more personalized experience. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to curl up in their own bed right after giving birth? No travel time or interruptions! This option is also safe for low-risk pregnancies & has similar or better outcomes compared to hospital births.
So many families expecting twins are told that a hospital, or even a cesarean section, is the only way to give birth & that is simply not true.
Do be aware that some states have heavy restrictions on midwives and do not allow birthing at home with a midwife. So be sure to check your state restrictions and look into other options!
Questions for your provider: Do they support families birthing twins at home? If not, is there another provider, or a local birthing center, that does?
Epidurals are not the only form of pain relief available during labor.
Epidurals are a common form of pain relief during labor, but they are not the only option available. Other forms of pain relief include nitrous oxide, spinal blocks, & natural methods such as hypnobirthing, acupuncture & massage. These options can provide a more natural & less invasive form of pain relief.
Being aware of all options is ideal so you can make an informed decision that is right for you & your little ones.
Questions for your provider: What pain relief options do they provide or support? Which ones do they most often see with the greatest effectiveness?
You can bring your own music or sounds to the delivery room.
Music can have a powerful impact on our emotions & it can help create a calm, soothing, & safe environment for you during labor. You can bring your own playlist, a sound machine, or even your own voice to help you relax & focus during labor.
Question for your provider: Can I bring music to the birthing room? If so, what is allowed? (Bluetooth speaker, phone, headphones, etc.)
Birthing pools can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed during labor.
Warm water can help ease the pain & discomfort of contractions & allows you to move around more easily, which can help the baby move down the birth canal. Birthing pools can also provide a sense of privacy & intimacy during labor.
Many midwives have a pool they lend to their clients but make sure to ask when it is available for you. It does take a decent amount of time to blow up & fill a tub so plan accordingly. Also,
Some hospitals will allow you to labor in the tub but not birth in the tub, so know the policies before you arrive.
Question for your provider: Are there birth pools available (or at the hospital/birthing center) or another way I can use water to relax?
You will probably poop during labor (it’s totally normal & it’s okay!).
It’s a normal & natural part of the birthing process & your nurses, birth assistants, midwives, & doctors are used to it. Don’t let this concern hold you back, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Birthing positions – there are so many different positions that can help make the birthing process easier.
There are various birthing positions that can help progress labor & make the birthing process easier, such as standing up, sitting down, on your hands and knees, or even lying down. Experiment with different positions to find what feels most comfortable for you at that moment during your labor.
Question for your provider: In what positions are you willing to help me birth my baby?
**As a Wilmington NC Birth Photographer I have been in the birth space quite a few times I have seen my fair share of birthing positions. It is honestly what feels best at the moment. My favorite positions for labor were kneeling & sitting on the toilet (aka. Dilation Station) or exercise ball. Standing & squatting was not comfortable for me but I have seen so many women find those positions feel the best during labor.**
Doulas are great support & aren’t only used for birth.
A doula is a professional trained to provide emotional & physical support to a woman & her partner during pregnancy, labor, birth, &/or postpartum. A doula can help you with relaxation techniques, provide emotional support, & advocate for your wishes during birth. After birth, a doula can provide at-home support with your little ones, nutritious meals, & so much more.
Asking for support & help with your birth & postpartum period is beneficial for every family transitioning to a new life with little ones.
Question for your provider: Do you work with doulas often? If not, why? Are there any you recommend?
You can eat & drink during labor if you want to.
Having a light snack can help keep your energy levels up. It’s important to listen to your body during labor & to make sure you are well-hydrated & nourished. Giving birth is one of the most taxing experiences, so make sure you stay fueled!
Question for your provider: Under what circumstances will I not be allowed to eat or drink in labor? Why?
The power of the mind can help during labor – visualization & other relaxation techniques.
Visualization & relaxation techniques, such as hypnobirthing, yoga, & meditation, can help you stay calm & focused during labor. It can also help to lower stress hormones & increase endorphins, which can make labor more manageable.
Question: Is there anything I can do now to learn how to cope with labor?
Being informed about your choices during labor & birth gives you autonomy over your birth & body.
Seek out information so you are aware of your options. There are many free resources out there: from the library, podcasts, & websites to paid options, like childbirth education classes, online courses, & 1-on-1 consults. Don’t limit your options & knowledge when it comes to your birth!
Question: What kind of birth do I want? Do I have any friends or family that recommend any books, podcasts, or childbirth education classes?
**As a twin mama & Wilmington NC Birth Photographer & Doula I’ve seen so many different courses, classes, books, & workshops. So reach out if you have any questions!
So, there you have it, mama. You’re armed with some new information that will hopefully help you feel more confident & excited about your twin’s birth!