Most Twins are Preemies – Understanding Preemies

Most Twins are Preemies - Understanding Preemies

Did you know that up to 60% of all twins are born prematurely? Add to that, about 15% are born before they even hit the 32-week mark. When my husband Dan and I discovered that statistic, we were terrified. At the time, we were expecting our twins, Ella and Rose, while looking after our other daughter, Ava, and all I could think about was how my beloved children were going to survive if they came too early.

For Daniel and I, the best way to stop worrying was to find out as much as possible about premature twins, or “Preemies”. After all, knowledge is power, right?

It turns out it was a good thing that Daniel & I researched because during my 32-week mark I came down with Influenza and our baby girls had to be delivered early.

Taking Care of Preemie Twins

Preemie twins have special needs that set them apart from other babies. When Ella and Rose were born, they needed to go into a neonatal intensive care unit for a while before we were allowed to bring them home – and you can imagine just how traumatizing that was for us. Add to this for several days I could not even see my babies because I was quarantined with Influenza.  It actually took three whole days before I could hold myb little angels. Even thought the wait was long Daniel and I knew then that our role as a parent wasn’t to panic and worry – it was to do everything we could to help our daughters thrive.

The first step is always learning as much as you can about your Preemie’s condition. Without the right knowledge, those respirators, monitors, and other equipment in the unit can be terrifying. Remember, your nurses and doctors don’t mind you asking questions – it is your children that they’re caring for, after all.  Believe me Daniel and I asked many many questions 🙂

Doing your Part

A lot of the time, waiting for your preemies to be ready to bring home is all about having patience. However, as a mother, you can also establish your milk supply. Remember that breast milk contains a host of proteins that’s great for promoting growth and fighting infections. While your twins might not be able to feed from your breast or a bottle to begin with, milk can be given in other ways, and you can start pumping as soon as possible to help deliver plenty of nutritious goodness to your children.

Besides pumping, remember that you can also help your twins by spending as much time with them as possible. Daniel and I spent most our days speaking to Ella and Rose in soft comforting tones so that they could get used to the sounds of our voice. When we were finally allowed to hold them, we cradled our babies as frequently as possible, under shirts and robes to allow for more skin-to-skin contact.

Most Twins are Preemies - Understanding Preemies

Remember to Look After Yourself Too

Twins can present a host of unique challenges to parents. Not only do you have two people to care for now, but the fact that most twins are preemies can also leave you with a mountain of worries to work through – particularly straight after their birth. However, remember that you need to look after yourself as well as your kids.

Being there for Ella and Rose was incredibly important to me, but I needed to look after our daughter, Ava, too, and Daniel had to remind me frequently that I had just had twins – and needed time to rest. Don’t forget to seek help when you need it, and give yourself a break.

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