When I found out I was pregnant with twins six years ago, my first emotion was happiness but the second was fear. How would I manage a natural birth and practice attachment parenting with two babies at once?! Having a natural birth with multiples is absolutely possible despite the lack of support from mainstream media. I found lots of information about how twins are “always” premature and how you “have” to have a C-section and medication. Even now, doing research for this article I found tons of birth stories and videos of natural multiple birth but not much about how actually to have a natural multiple birth.
My biggest recommendation is one that works with all aspects of parenting and it is simply to listen to your gut and your body throughout the pregnancy and after. Think about what will make you the most comfortable at the birth, being at a hospital or being at home. If you’re not sure, interview doctors and midwives until you find the perfect fit. The person you choose to attend your birth is going to matter a lot more than it would for a singleton birth. Make sure they support your decision to birth naturally 100%.
Know that choosing a hospital birth will expose you to a lot more fear no matter how supportive your doctor. I favor thinking positively and just knowing that the birth will be perfect instead of thinking about all the what if’s
and worrying about what could go wrong.
You also need to be confident enough in your birth choice and birth attendant that you can focus on your body while pregnant. One consistent recommendation I found to make sure a multiple pregnancy and birth goes smoothly is to take care of yourself as perfectly as possible.
The most important thing seems to be food. Focus on healthy food of course, but the amount of food and calories has a direct impact on the length of gestation. Moms of multiples need to eat a lot! Extra protein is especially important. Tons. Of. Protein. It builds body tissue and that's a big part of growing a baby! The body is working hard to grow (at least) double the baby and placenta so lots of extra food is needed for those babies to stay in there as long as necessary. I used to try to eat something every half hour. I brought a cooler of snacks into bed with me at night so I wouldn’t have to get up!
Another good tip is to be active but not overdo it. Find a healthy balance and listen to your body. You want to be strong for the birth but all the extra weight can be rough on your body in the last few months. there’s new research that Kegels aren’t all they’ve been cracked up to be
. Squats are one of the best things for mamas pregnant with any amount of babes! Squat down and pull weeds or wipe the floor.
Reading birth stories or watching birth videos are great inspiration to get pumped for your birth. Here’s one story
about a mama who had a homebirth with her twins to get you started. Also watch the amazing mama's video of her twin water birth at home at the top of this post. Try to only watch positive ones! Also, reading books about twins is good preparation. I enjoyed books about how and why twins are formed. Exposure to awesome births will help you visualize your own and how perfect it will be. Always think positively!
My twin girls were born at 39 weeks totally naturally with no issues or complications. Their birth was one of the most empowering times of my life. It made me passionate about natural birth and parenting, and although the whole experience was hard, I would never trade it. The fact that the birth went so perfect and easy when so many people thought it would end in a caesarian made me realize how completely natural birth is and it inspired me to have an unassisted birth
for my next child. It’s also become a passion of mine to talk to other moms with multiples and especially moms pregnant with multiples in hopes to let them know that they can do it naturally too.
Stay tuned for my next "mom of multiples" post where I’ll tell about nursing twins and how I made it through the first six months by never leaving the house without my gigantic nursing pillow.