Ready for some real talk about postpartum life with twins?
In this blog post, I’m dishing the honest, unfiltered truth about what to expect after giving birth to twins—the stuff that no one seems to really talk about.
Buckle up, because we’re about to get real, raw, and maybe even a little bit TMI—but hey, that’s what friends are for, right? 😉
(1) This is one most moms aren’t expecting and that is… the first bowel movement after giving birth can be scary and painful.
Let’s face it, nobody wants to talk about bowel movements, but it’s important to prepare for them after giving birth. Some great practical steps for immediate postpartum are to hydrate and increase your fiber intake. Seeds (flax, chia), prune juice, and a variety of fruits & vegetables (cooked) are a great place to start.
There are some great homeopathic options that can also make the process easier by softening the stool and preventing constipation but check with a provider first. Sitz bath can not only ease the discomfort but soften the area in preparation for the first bowel movement. And remember to put yourself in the proper position with a stool or squatty potty. This helps align the pelvic floor to allow for a smooth experience.
Trust me, taking care of yourself in this way can make a world of difference and help you feel more comfortable and relaxed postpartum.
To be perfectly honest I did not have issues with my first bowel movement BUT I was aware that I could have issues. My midwife was great about easing any fears I had so I was prepared for what came.
(2) You might experience night sweats as your hormones change and excess fluid is released.
Night sweats can be surprising and uncomfortable, but they can be a normal part of the postpartum experience.
Throughout your pregnancy, your body adjusted your hormones to grow two healthy little ones in your belly and now they aren’t there. Both progesterone and estrogen decrease significantly after birth which leads to sweating during the night, which can be uncomfortable and even wake you up. On top of your hormones changing, this is a way for your body to get rid of any excess fluid from the pregnancy.
One way to deal with night sweats is to wear lightweight pajamas and use breathable bedding. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated.
(3) Postpartum bleeding can be heavy and last for up to six weeks.
You got to skip out on your period for 9 months and now it’s back with a vengeance!
Time to stock up on postpartum underwear, and heavy-duty pads, and avoid tampons.
When I had my twins, it was my second pregnancy so I was ready for the bleeding afterwards. One thing I was NOT prepared for was the large blood clots. Carrying two babies means there was more space in my uterus for blood to clot so they were bigger. They were a little uncomfortable to “pass” but I had my midwife there to tell me what was normal and what wasn’t. It was a life changer for me while I traversed new territories!
(4) Your nipples may hurt, crack and bleed.
Breastfeeding is natural, right? Well, that’s what I was told with my first singleton. Twins are a whole other beast. Even though it is natural, it doesn’t mean it won’t hurt those first couple of days!
Your breasts might leak milk and be sore, even if you’re not breastfeeding. Silverettes + nursing pads + nipple cream are a lifesaver!
I had a pretty bad start with my first son who had a severe lip and tongue tie. During this time I did learn that they are genetic and that my twins may have them. So I was prepared! I had a few pediatric dentists picked out and ready. So when it came time for the birth, I knew I wanted to have them assessed early for a successful breastfeeding journey. Even with that, the time and effort it takes to tandem feed or feed each babe individually can feel like all your doing if breastfeeding in the beginning. Start caring for your nipples from the beginning with warm salt soaks (use shot glasses over your nipples instead of a full bath), silverettes, and let them breathe. I hope this helps on your twin breastfeeding journey!
(5) It’s common to feel sad in the first few days after giving birth.
Everyone says becoming a twin mom is the best feeling ever, right?
Not for everyone, and that’s ok!!
The first few days after giving birth can be an emotional rollercoaster. Your hormones are in a drastic overhaul and it’s common to feel a range of emotions, from joy to anxiety to sadness.
These feelings are often referred to as “baby blues” and are a normal part of the postpartum experience. Don’t hesitate to talk with someone about how you are feeling.
BUT, if these feelings persist or get worse, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare provider. Postpartum depression is a serious condition that affects many new moms, and it’s important to get the support you need to feel better.
My biggest piece of advice is to interview 2 or 3 therapists so you have them lined up to talk with if you are in need. Make sure they are able to do virtual meetings in case you are not able to drive to them. Try to remember that you are doing an amazing job! You are not alone in this and the best way through this is to ask for help!
(6) You might think you’re going bald with all the hair loss.
Alright, I have thin fine hair and at times I thought I might go bald with how much hair was coming out in the shower. I decided to go for a short haircut for ease and as it grew my hair would slowly stop falling out.
You might be alarmed like me, to see a lot of hair falling out after having a baby!
But don’t worry, postpartum hair loss is actually quite common and temporary for many new mothers. This happens because during pregnancy, hormonal changes cause hair to enter a resting phase, leading to less shedding.
After giving birth, your hormone levels start to return to normal, and your hair begins to shed the extra strands it held onto during pregnancy.
Postpartum hair loss usually starts a few months after delivery and can last for several months.
To minimize the effects, try using gentle hair care products, avoiding tight hairstyles, and maintaining a balanced diet. Rest assured, your hair will gradually return to its normal growth cycle, and the shedding should slow down.
(7) It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and to ask for help.
Listen, being a twin mom can be exhausting. There are so many logistics and emotions that accompany caring for two little ones at the same time. It’s totally okay to feel overwhelmed after bringing two new humans into the world with no one to help. Our ancestors had a village to help the newborn mothers care for their new babies. In this day in age, we have lost the beauty and traditions that help mothers ease into motherhood, concentrate on caring for their new little ones, and care for themselves. So don’t feel guilty because you feel overwhelmed and are asking for help, you’re not supposed to do this on your own.
After all, you’re doing one of the most important jobs ever x2!
Your friends, family, and healthcare providers are there for you, just waiting to lend a hand or a listening ear. Whether you need advice on how to soothe a fussy baby, want some company during those late-night feedings, or just someone to fold the laundry, PLEASE reach out.
Luckily, both my mother and mother-in-law lived close and were able to come over and care for my older son and do light housework while I cared for the twins. There were times that I felt guilty for having someone else take care of my house but then quickly realized that my #1 goal should be caring for my new babies.
Remember, asking for help doesn’t make you weak—it makes you wise!
READ THAT AGAIN!!!!
Because taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your little ones!
Help doesn’t always have to come from family and friends. There are other options out there like a postpartum doula. If you are able, asking for a postpartum doula as a baby shower gift can be a lifesaver. Guidance when caring for twins from a well-versed postpartum doula can be life-changing!
Now you’re in the know about some of the less glamorous, but oh-so-real postpartum tips for twin moms.
But remember, you’re not alone in this and it’s totally ok to lean on others when you need to!!
If you’re reading this while pregnant – check out some of my free Twin Resources as you prepare for the arrival of your new babies!
If you are looking for more blogs on twin pregnancy, birth, postpartum, or life with twins check out the BLOG!!!