Did you know there are more than the typical 3 trimesters of pregnancy? Today I’m spilling the tea on everything you can expect from conception to the mysterious “4th trimester.”
The journey does not start when you find out you’re pregnant, nor does it end once the baby is born…
I had no idea there was a “4th trimester” until I was well into my third trimester during my first full pregnancy. I’m so glad I found out when I did! I was able to do a little bit of preparing to set my family up for success!
So I’m not only going to share with you what to expect in each, but also a lot of resources you can use as you plan for your pregnancy, newborn, & birth.
First Trimester: The Secret Life of a Twin Pregnancy
So many people treat the first trimester like a secret club where only you & your growing babies are members. During these first 12 weeks, your body is working overtime to create two new lives, & you are most likely feeling the effects (hello, morning sickness, exhaustion, etc). It’s like you’re part of an exclusive group that only fellow expectant moms can truly understand.
For me, it really wasn’t a secret for long because by the time I was 4 weeks along, I was down & out with morning sickness & I had no time to try to cover it up. I didn’t start showing till I was 3 – 4 months along though, so I could have kept it a secret for sure!
Here are some resources for the 1st trimester. You should always talk with your care provider before taking anything, as everyone is different!
Because I was down & out with morning sickness for most of my first trimester I researched ALL the natural remedies!!
Try having these available!
- I swear the Sea Bands were a life-changer for me. They were so easy to wear & even though sometimes I needed to supplement with other remedies like ginger, peppermint, or magnesium, these bands took the edge off for sure. The great thing about them is you can find them at any local drug store, so no need to wait for delivery!!
- Homeopathic medications came to my rescue as well. There are 6 different types that you can try to see what works. (Again, please check with your care provider before taking anything new)
- Sepia 30c – aids with nausea, weakness, & vomiting.
- Natrum Phos. 6X – temporary relief of mild indigestion.
- Natrum Muriaticum 6X – aids with queasiness of morning sickness & uncontrollable vomiting.
Each of these has subtle differences, like Natrum Phos. 6 is good if you are also having acid reflux or heartburn. So do a little research, ask your midwife, or consult a homeopathic doctor.
**If you are in or around the Wilmington area check out Lovey’s or Whole Foods.
Second Trimester: The Golden Age
For many, the second trimester is the golden age of pregnancy, where you can finally start enjoying the journey. With the nausea subsiding & the baby bump showing, it’s time to embrace the experience.
My symptoms continued a bit into my second trimester. Exhaustion stayed the whole second trimester but I reveled in not having morning sickness.
Having done my research I knew this time was the best to get things done. There have been studies showing that twins have a higher tendency to can come before 40 weeks. I did not think that was something that would happen to me but I prepared just in case. Thank goodness I did because I was 37 weeks & 5 days when I gave birth to my twins.
Recommended things to get done during the 2nd trimester are…
- Look over the third-trimester checklist & prioritize what is important to you. Things that may take more physical activity, like setting up a crib, would be better to do now than in the third trimester.
- If you are planning to have a doula at your birth or postpartum, start looking & interviewing. Getting to know anyone you are inviting to your birth now will allow for a comfortable & safe space when it’s time.
- Finding comfortable maternity clothes! Seriously, this was a must for me & it is so nice to feel good & comfortable in them! I absolutely LOVE Motherhood. I think they have something for everyone!
***If you are more like me & prefer comfy leggings, check out Belly Bandit. They have amazing leggings that can also help support you as your belly grows.***
Third Trimester: The Home Stretch
The third trimester is when things start to get real, especially with twins. As you prepare for your babies’ arrival, you’ll want to make sure you have everything in place for a smooth transition.
By the time it came around to thinking about the nursery, I was cooked. I waited too long! I did not have the time or mental compacity to design or even put together cribs. Cue my mother, who came to the rescue (luckily she loves interior design, & is good at it!). She helped me choose my theme & then proceeded to design it while running everything by me. I could not have asked for a better gift from my mom. It also gave us so much time together chatting & designing the room.
Nurseries might not be on the top of your list but make sure you have a place for your twins to sleep aside from next to you. Will you cosleep, have a bassinet, or side sleeping crib?
Take a Birth Education Class or Hire a Coach
Education is important & there are so many different classes out there from Hypnobirthing to Lamaze. So do some research to figure out what course feels right for you & your family.
I am a Virtual Twin Birth Coach & provide families expecting twins support through a Coaching call. These are based on your needs during your pregnancy, birth, & postpartum with twins. They also come with a follow-up email filled with resources & actionable steps catered to your specific needs. Check it out here if you are interested!
***Keep an eye out for a Twin Child Birth Education Course coming in mid-2023. To keep up to date on its release, head on over for my Free Guide, OH SHIT…THERE’S TWO…WHAT’S NEXT….
Preparing with toddlers
When my husband & I decided to have another little one we sat down & talked about so much! One of the biggest things was making sure our toddler didn’t feel neglected.
We both have such an amazing bond with him & we were going to try to prepare him as much as possible.
We talked about the two babies in my belly for most of the pregnancy. We had a few books that really helped explain what will be happening soon. Communication was the best even though most of the time he didn’t seem to be paying attention or comprehending, I think he was in his own way.
Here are some of the books we used:
- I’m a Big Brother or I’m a Big Sister
- You’re the Biggest
- I’m a Big Brother to Twins Coloring Book– I did not use this with my toddler but love this as an active way to talk about it with toddlers.
Birth: The Main Event
The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here: birth! Whether you’re planning a natural birth or a C-section, this stage is exciting & emotional! You’ve educated yourself on the birth side of things so you know what is happening & what to expect. You are ready for however your birth unfolds.
If you want more details on birth, make sure to check out this blog post all about 10 Secrets For A More Comfortable Twin Birth Experience.
***Of course, these are moments you’ll always want to remember (even if things don’t go perfectly according to plan). Hiring a birth photographer is something I’ve never heard anyone say they regret!
Check out Nourished Birth & Beyond’s portfolio.
The 4th Trimester: What No One Tells You
Surprise! Your journey doesn’t end with birth. The 4th trimester is the first three months of your twin’s life, where both of you are adjusting to the world outside the womb.
The 4th trimester was the most important to plan for, in my opinion. I honestly cannot imagine thriving postpartum as a new mother of twins without a plan.
Here are some top tips for thriving in your 4th trimester:
- Boundaries for family & friends. It can make for a smooth transition into becoming a newborn twin mother & bonding. Be specific when asking for help & when you would like it.
- Meal planning is not recommended enough during pregnancy & it leaves new families in the first few weeks with no option but to order out or eat less nutritious food that is quick. Well, spending a few weekends during your third trimester to make some freezer meals can make the world of a difference for you & your family.
- CLICK HERE for a checklist & tips to start meal-prepping for postpartum.
Of course, every journey is unique, & it’s okay to feel a whole range of emotions along the way. As long as you’ve got your support system & resources, you’ll be able to navigate this crazy adventure.
Thanks for reading!
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