Starting Preschool with Your Twins
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ALISA WICKHAM: Are your twins ready to start preschool? What should you look for in selecting a preschool that best meets your family’s needs? Are there special considerations for twins? I’m Alisa Wickham, director of Coast Kids Preschool. I’m here to talk about: “Starting preschool with your twins.” This is Twin Talks.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: If you’re pregnant with twins or you’re an experienced twin parent, odds are: “You have heard it all before.” Now, it’s time to hear from the experts. This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.
Well, welcome to Twin Talks broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. Twin Talks is your weekly online on-the-go support group for expecting and new parents to twins. I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald.
Have you heard about the Twin Talks Club? Our members get bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. Subscribe to our monthly Twin Talks Newsletter and learn about the latest episodes available.
Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Twin Talks app. It’s available for most smart phones. So, before we get started we’ll go around and introduce our panellists here in the room.
SUNNY GAULT: I’m Sunny. Hey everybody. I am mommy to four children. My oldest is turning four tomorrow. It’s a boy. I have a two year old who is a boy and then I have identical twin girls who are 8 months old.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you got, you have a pretty good balance – boys and girls.
SUNNY GAULT: I don’t know how we did that. That was pretty luck of the dry thing for us. But, yes it is fun.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Shelly?
SHELLY STEELY: I’m Shelly. I’m the producer here at Twin Talks. I have two children – identical twin boys who just turned two. I’m due in August with a singleton girl. So, I’ll balance it out a little bit. We haven’t started even thinking about preschool yet but I know it’s on the horizon. That three year old age is kind of in our minds. So, I’m excited to learn a lot of tips from you guys.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I’m your host. I’m Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald. My girls are almost five. I should say that: “I met our expert here because my girls did attend the Coast Kids Preschool.” So, we were really excited to have a great preschool experience. Then, I also have a singleton who will be two in a few months. So, we got a little bit of time before should we have to go that route all over again.
SUNNY GAULT: Hey Twin Talks. This is Sunny mother of twin girls. I’m one of the producers on the show. Before we kick off today’s show, I’d like to introduce you to Natalie Diaz who is joining via phone.
Natalie is a mother of twin. She’s also the founder of Twiniversity, a supportive website and online resource for parents of twins. She’s also the publisher of Multiplicity Magazine. Natalie just released her first book – What to Do When You’re Having Two? The Twin Survival Guide from Pregnancy through the first year. So, Natalie welcome to Twin Talks.
NATALIE DIAZ: Thank you Sunny. Yes, congratulations on your baby.
SUNNY GAULT: I know right. I’m part of the group. I’m like one of the newest member.
NATALIE DIAZ: You’re one of us now.
SUNNY GAULT: Well, Natalie I’m so glad you wrote this book. First of all, I know there are not a lot of resources especially online for parents of twins. I think most twin parents really appreciate information that comes specifically from another twin parent who’s been there, done that. Is that kind of what you found too and is that what lead for you to write this book?
NATALIE DIAZ: 100% you know I just found that everything that was out there was either medically heavy based or very breastfeeding based. There wasn’t kind of like a catch-all for parents of twins. There are so many little things like: “How to feed two at once? What kind of gear you need to have and what you don’t that it’s not really discussed.”
So I said, when my kids were little I said: “When they go to kindergarten, if nobody puts this together, I was going to do it.” So, on their very first day of kindergarten, I organized stuff and came up with this crazy Twiniversity business.
SUNNY GAULT: I love it. Okay, so how did you determine specifically for the book – what topics were best to discussed because I think there are so many things that we need to know as parents of twins. How did you narrow it down for the topics in your book?
NATALIE DIAZ: Well, since 2005 I have been the director of the Manhattan’s Twin’s Club. So, I have gone every month to our support group meetings and every month, I’ve heard the same questions as time-and-time again. So, it’s breastfeeding, strollers and help. So, I knew right there that – that was three chapters right there.
So, we have the feeding of course and how much help do you need and what gear do you need. So, that was easy and then the rest of the stuff came when just in our online community. I’d say: “Here’s a question that’s asked really, really often.” Okay, so you know what? That has to hold so much weight in the book.
Personally, I struggled with something like post partum. It’s not covered enough. Post partum for parents of multiples is a little bit more prevalence so that definitely needs a space in the book.
Just over the years, it’s kind of like this weird research that I have been doing on basically what I wanted to know and then I realized: “You want to know that too? Well, why don’t we know these things?” So, we’re just kept a running list and I kept a lot of journals and came up with a 200 plus pages that’s before you.
SUNNY GAULT: When it comes to parenting, there is a necessarily a right or wrong answer. It’s kind of like: “What works best for you?” So, how did you present these topics? Was it more matter of fact like this is what I did or do you present a lot of different ideas and let parents choose for themselves or how did you do it?
NATALIE DIAZ: Well, I definitely think that parenting is not a one size fits at all a hundred percent. What I do in New York City? It’s going to be different when you do when you’re opposed to it. It’s just we’re like: “On different ends of the world sometimes.” Also, if you have other kids, if you are moving back to a foreign country, there are a lot of things – a lot of elements that plans to parenting.
I want to be able to present in a huge variety of options in how to do things. There is no one way to do things. Just because I did it a particular way doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. So, instead of just saying: “Here’s my experience. Here’s what I did. This is what I think is the best.” I said: “Here’s what I did, but here’s what other people do and here’s what other people do.”
So, when you’re reading it, you could say: “Okay, you know what? This idea resonates a lot more with me than what mattered. So, there is no right or wrong. I never take offence if somebody doesn’t agree with me because there’s always another side.
SUNNY GAULT: So, the title again: “What to Do When You’re Having Two?” Does it land itself more to being a book that’s geared towards people who are pregnant with twins or brand new parents of twins? Who is this geared towards?
NATALIE DIAZ: It’s for anybody within the first year. So, it’s anybody in the trenches. Plus by the time your baby’s one year old, you’ve got to figure it out. You know how to do these things. So, it’s definitely expecting parents with benefit greatly from that. You know, parents of four month old twins with greatly benefit. It’s whenever you needed to be.
It’s also a book that was written without saying: “Somebody has to read it cover-to-cover.” I placed so much effort on making sure that the index had done properly. So, if you’re in a middle of a breastfeeding challenge, you can go to the back of the book and find the breastfeeding page and go right to the little bits that you need.
You do not have to sit and say: “Oh. I have to start at page one and end at page 262.” Who has time to do that?
SUNNY GAULT: Yes.
NATALIE DIAZ: I certainly and the time that I have for leisure reading, I don’t want to read a how-to book.
SUNNY GAULT: Right.
NATALIE DIAZ: I want to get the information that I need whenever I need it. So, this is kind of like a bed-side table book. It’s there when you need it. You pick it up and you go to the piece that you need.
SUNNY GAULT: Yes, I love that because sometimes I feel like when I open up a new book, it’s kind of a daunting process for me because I feel like I have to plan it out. Do I have enough time to read it cover to cover?
So, I love that it’s more of a reference style book especially once you’ve already have your twins and your hands are already full. You just don’t have the time to do it necessarily. So, I love that. That’s great. How can our listeners get a copy of the book? What’s the best way?
NATALIE DIAZ: Well, they can go to www.Twiniversity.com and there’s a little buy the book icon at the top or they can go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and Overstock. It’s everywhere. I feel like everywhere the internet touches, my book can be found with. I’m kind of amazed with.
SUNNY GAULT: That’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. Well Natalie, thanks so much for being on our show. Thank you for writing this book. Of course, we encourage all of our listeners to head on over to www.Twiniversity.com and check it out.
Also, it’s a great baby shower gift. So, if you’re not pregnant with twins or maybe your twins are a little bit older and you know someone that’s expecting, it’s a great present. So, thanks again Natalie.
NATALIE DIAZ: You got it Sunny. Thanks for having me.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Today’s topic is: “Starting preschool with your twins.” Today, we’re talking with Alisa Wickham about the process of choosing a preschool that fits well with your family needs. Well, thanks for joining us.
ALISA WICKHAM: You’re welcome.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, I’m just so glad you could be here. So, well first of all, I know a lot of families think about the different options. They think of child care and they think of preschool. I mean what are some of the benefits for twins or really at any child that can benefit from attending preschool?
ALISA WICKHAM: There are so many benefits to go to preschool before heading off to kindergarten. Building friendships with others besides their twin is really crucial. Connecting with other adults, learning how to trust other adults developing confidence, away from the family, working on skills, working on conflict resolution skills is huge at preschool.
Learning how to follow directions or wait for your turn or share with others is important. Really a lot of it is learning how to learn. Get ready for the elementary age, so preparing for that next step of elementary. Then, there’s a benefit to families too because we’ve seen families developed friendships with each other long lasting after preschool. That is really great.
Then you have your first opportunity to be your child’s advocate. You need to do that all through elementary school. So, you get to practice with loving, nurturing preschool teachers to be your child’s best advocate or your children’s best advocate.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It’s interesting when a lot of a different topics that you’re mentioning are really so unique to twins in the sense like: “I think on a social level, I know I see with my girls, they’re so focused on each other that these things that you’ve mentioned about really learning the rules and learning how to interact with adults and other kids – my gosh. It’s making such a huge difference because I think with so many twins; it’s so easy to be isolated.”
They can play together. They’re happy, very content to be with each other. They could stay home. I mean maybe play with the neighbourhood kids. I know in person, I feel like I really have to sort of push them out to interact with other kids and that have been a such a huge benefit and reason just to get them to start thinking about: “While they are other kids who want different things. Maybe they can learn to negotiate with kids who – maybe they don’t like playing with dolls.”
I’m just trying to do a lot of research about kindergarten and they ready – so you talk about a whole new layer of the socialization. So, I think it’s so great to have that extra time to really do a longer transition.
ALISA WICKHAM: It helps a lot.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes.
ALISA WICKHAM: With their confidence and just being ready for all that kindergarten has.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes. I mean aside from age when parents are thinking about: “Hey. I think I really would like to put my twins into preschool. Are there any particular signs that kids are ready to attend preschool?”
ALISA WICKHAM: You know each preschool is going to be a little bit different with that. They have different ages, different requirements. We do require an age thing that they’re three by November and potty trained.
You know, it helps if children have had some time away from parents maybe at a Sunday School Class or a little Gym Class. That helps but we certainly don’t make that requirement for children attending preschool. We know that it’s going to be a little bit hard to leave the family and we prepare for that.
The beginning of our school year, we bring in extra staff just to help with the first time preschool children with the transitions or all of the trips to the restroom. So, you don’t really have to be ready for preschool. I think that: “If a child is showing interest in wanting to play with other children or activities; that would be a good sign and then we take it from there.”
SHELLY STEELY: So, a lot of people think of preschool is really just like Pre K. Maybe that year before kindergarten and I mean kindergarten is still not even required here in California.
ALISA WICKHAM: Right.
SHELLY STEELY: So, some people think: “Why bother at all?” So, what are like the benefits of starting a preschool at age 3 versus 4 or preschool versus not having I mean – is 3 too early? Is four a more average? Like what would you advise parents who are?
ALISA WICKHAM: I really think that one year is absolutely critical; the way that kindergarten is now. It’s more like what we had when I went to school; it’s more like first grade.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: As far as just the level of academics and socialization?
ALISA WICKHAM: Yes, kindergarten is.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow.
ALISA WICKHAM: If you don’t go to preschool, you’re a little behind. Not so much academics but really the group setting, the following directions – just being in that big group, self-help skills. So, it’s going to preschool for Pre K is crucial. Going as a three year old is really nice.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I can say: “I have seen a difference in my kids in the sense like we talk about sort of routine.” Like okay, it’s time to sit down or it’s time to listen to story. It’s time to go somewhere.
ALISA WICKHAM: It does help with routines because preschool is very routine. It helps them feel comfortable at preschool by having the same routine. You have to also think that: “It could be helpful to the family to have maybe just a couple of hours away to have adult interaction and know that the child is in an environment also.” So, it benefits both.
Families can be better at what they do if they have a little bit of a break. Their children are learning, growing and making other friends beside their twin.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s huge. Now, when parents are looking for preschools and they’re looking in their community, what are some of the things that they should consider in selecting a preschool? I think you’ve talked a lot about sort of the socialization. So, how does that . . . ?
ALISA WICKHAM: Some other things to look at are: “What are the family needs?” Do you need a full day? Do you need a part day? How many days do you need during the week? So, scheduling what does the preschool have to offer that will fit with your schedule. With twins, I think it would be nice to know if there’s a sibling discount.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Definitely.
ALISA WICKHAM: It’s really good to know about the staff. I believe staffs make a really good preschool. So, learning it a little bit about the staff or the staff turnover was that like: “How the staff is.”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Looking at kind of like you’ve been in sort of educational background and sort of philosophy?
ALISA WICKHAM: Yes, definitely educational background, philosophy – what’s the discipline policy at the school? What are the sick policy at the school? You do want to find that.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Absolutely.
ALISA WICKHAM: Find that out. Nowadays, a lot of parents have concerns about safety. So, you know what are the measures that the preschool will take in case of the emergencies? That is another thing.
SHELLY STEELY: A lot of twins are born premature, so you end up with a lot of different needs that twins have whether it’s physical disability. Sometimes twins have developmental delays. They’re more likely to be a slower talker as we know that – kind of a whole slow of things that can happen from just multiple births and prematurity.
So, what would you recommend to a parent who has twins who has special needs in terms of making sure that the preschool can meet those for them?
ALISA WICKHAM: Right, it’s definitely each preschool is not a fit for everyone. We have had a few children that have been in our program that we really tried to meet their needs and can see that they would be best suited at another place.
But, before them there’s a lot of work that we do with the child or children involve the parents, bring in experts to take a look, listen, observations, assessments before that. But, the benefit of starting at the three year old at our preschool is that: “We have a smaller ratio.” So, that is helpful too if there are any kind of
SHELLY STEELY: What is the ratio at 3 versus 4?
ALISA WICKHAM: We have 15 children with 2 fully qualified teachers.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s at the three year old level?
ALISA WICKHAM: At the three. The next level four or we call it Pre K goes up to 20.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, 20? Okay.
ALISA WICKHAM: Yes.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I think that you also have what we now know as: “Transitional Kindergarten.”
ALISA WICKHAM: Sure, yes. There is a new one – Transitional or bonus program. We have 27 children but with three teachers.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay.
ALISA WICKHAM: So, the ratio is good.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s still better I think than a lot of kindergartens, right?
SHELLY STEELY: By a lot. San Diego Unified has a – I know for upper levels, it’s 1 to 35 and for kinder, it’s not much different. It might be 30 but it might be even 36.
ALISA WICKHAM: It’s way too much.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: They have too many is the answer.
ALISA WICKHAM: There are parent volunteers to help out with a lot.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So that might be an incentive I mean for you know especially if you have the kids that are not maybe not ready for kindergarten and looking to stay in another program.
ALISA WICKHAM: The smaller atmosphere that they’re comfortable with. Yes, it’s something that we do recommend say: “She was asking for children that or maybe born early that they haven’t developed as fast as others at that age.” That is definitely an option, an extra year of preschool before going to kindergarten.
We do follow California Pre K standards. So, the goals and the objectives we have follow the California Standards yet it is set up in a playful, experience for the children. So, they can learn and discover have fun while they’re learning.
SUNNY GAULT: I have a really basic question. My twins are only eight months. So, they’re not in preschool yet. But, my oldest son is four years old. He’s a singleton. I don’t know. Terminology wise, like when do we transition from saying – day-care to preschool?
I mean is there a specific time because I never know what to say when I refer to my son because he’s learning and they have class and plans. In fact, on Friday, they had to graduate not for my son but the older kids have to graduation.
ALISA WICKHAM: Is it in a home?
SUNNY GAULT: No.
ALISA WICKHAM: He’s at a preschool.
SUNNY GAULT: He’s at a centre.
ALISA WICKHAM: Okay, sure. Most people think of preschool for just like a morning program and full day might be day care. We have a full day preschool, so the morning time is the more structured time. In the afternoon, if children are still there, we want it to be more low key. But in a home, you might have heard of a home day-care.
SUNNY GAULT: Yes.
ALISA WICKHAM: That would probably be younger children. If a home day care has four year olds. I’m hearing more and more home day cares that are saying: “It’s a home day care but they’re operating like a little preschool.”
SUNNY GAULT: Okay.
ALISA WICKHAM: Is that a full day program?
SUNNY GAULT: Yes, it is.
ALISA WICKHAM: So, mostly full day I think they include that.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay.
ALISA WICKHAM: Because families are working
SUNNY GAULT: Right.
ALISA WICKHAM: Need the full day.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay. So, the structure is really kind of what defines at them and you’ve got a curriculum so to speak. I know it’s kind of a big word – we’re talking about preschool but we do have things like that. Yes, okay.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well, we’re going to take a break and when we come back, we’re going to talk about: “Some of the special considerations just for twins.”
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well, welcome back. Today we’re talking with Alisa Wickham about: “Selecting a preschool and considering some things that might be unique to twins.”
So, when parents are looking at preschools, are there any special considerations that they should take into factor when they are choosing a preschool?
ALISA WICKHAM: I think it depends on what the family is looking for. Do they want to keep the twins together or separate them? How many years will they be in preschool the way that you did it? The girls were together for their first year which is really great. I mean if parents ask us, we recommend that.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: For the first year?
ALISA WICKHAM: For the first year.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay.
ALISA WICKHAM: They already have a built-in friend. I mean it’s when anyone’s new to the preschool; it’s great to have a built-in friend so why not with your twin? Even within the same classroom, you want to find out: “Are there opportunities that they will have away from each other?”
So, the teachers could have them sit at two different tables during snack time just for a little bit of time. They can still see each other and that offers comfort. Then, in the following year if they were to do two years in preschool, again I think you started out having them together and then we separated them.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes. In our case, we did. We separated them at the beginning of their second year.
ALISA WICKHAM: Yes.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I know that you know – my reasoning was I thought: “Well, you know rather than waiting until kindergarten whether you have this huge transition”
ALISA WICKHAM: Where you might not have a choice.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: A choice – yes. I thought: “It would be great if they could be in separate classes and in our case, we were only doing half day.” We’re just doing mornings. So, we’re really talking about three hours of being apart.
ALISA WICKHAM: Three hours, yes.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I thought: “Well, I think this is kind of a good transition to ease them into it and then when kindergarten comes, we’ll look at that in a whole other space.”
ALISA WICKHAM: Well, that is something that you want to do and it has seemed with all the different twins we’ve had at our preschool, it has been a good thing to do to have one year where they have a separate class – two different teachers for the twins.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Do you have to take that?
ALISA WICKHAM: You have to find out that there are enough classes to do that.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes. That’s true because I guess a lot of preschools don’t have the advantage of having multiple classes per age.
ALISA WICKHAM: Right, if there’s only one class then there’s no option. So, if that’s something that you’re considering, you have to make sure there are options for that.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So then I guess, if parents were interested in having their twins spend time apart then maybe it’s a matter of having that discussion with the teacher and saying: “Hey. Could you put them at different tables?”
ALISA WICKHAM: Right.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Or get them involved in sort of different projects?
ALISA WICKHAM: Well, we have the small group time. We call over four or five children at a time so we wouldn’t put the twins together to give them time to talk with the teacher without the other twin.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: What other suggestions do you have for parents in easing that period of going into preschool especially for the ones who haven’t spent a significant amount of time with other caregivers?
ALISA WICKHAM: It would be really great to bring the child over to the preschool to see the facility. Meet some of the staff, talk about things that are going to happen at preschool. So, it’s much better to have some time of visiting than being the first day of preschool when you leave your child. So, come with your child and let them see and play a little bit.
Talk about the preschool, what’s going to happen. If you know the names of the teachers, talk about the teachers – how sweet they are. They’re going to take such good care of you. Then, when you pick up, you wanted to make sure that you’re never late.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, they’re not feeling left.
ALISA WICKHAM: No. They don’t want to see everybody else going home.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes.
ALISA WICKHAM: Then, you’re there; it could really be a big setback. So, coming in the room and we encourage parents to come in. So come in and look around and see what they’ve been doing all day. Then, be able to talk about it at night with your child before they come back to preschool the next day.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Do you think are most preschools pretty inclusive of parent involvement?
ALISA WICKHAM: I think it really varies. Some are: “You have to drop off by 9 and you don’t come in the room.” But, part of our curriculum is a partnership. So, we’re at partnership with parents so we encourage that. We want you to come in and look around.
But, another thing to ask: “If you want to just drop off fine but if you want to be involved is that part of the preschool set up.” So, they do vary.
SUNNY GAULT: I know my four year old I mentioned is in preschool now. He was part of the whole process. He mentioned a little bit earlier about taking them when you’re even kind of interviewing people and checking out the facility because I was really taking cues from him.
Honestly, we checked out a few before we decided on one and money was a big factor. The real big one that I wanted was way out of our budget.
But, I really wanted to see how my son interacted in the play facilities and did he feel comfortable sitting down, picking things up and talking to people or whatever. So that was really important for us.
One thing I learned about this too and this might be a good tip for parents out there is: “Just because you may want a certain preschool for whatever reason, it’s prettier. It’s nicer. It’s whatever. The curriculum is a little bit different.” I would encourage you really take some cues from your kid too.
Yes, you’ve got your child’s best interest but I was kind of projecting my own thoughts off into what I thought my son needed and that’s not necessarily what he really needed. He didn’t need to have a brand new facility with you know all these expensive stuff.
He really needed you know to have some building blocks, a really nice teacher and friends he really cared about. He didn’t care that the walls weren’t just painted.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: We didn’t really touch about, talk about cost. So, what are some of just the ranges? For let’s say comparing apples-and-apples. Let’s just say morning – let’s say kids are going, let’s say five days a week, full time – mornings only. Since that, it might be kind of common thing.
ALISA WICKHAM: Okay, five mornings which would be 9 to 12 are cost has been $ 525 per month.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Per child? Okay.
ALISA WICKHAM: Per child.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Right.
ALISA WICKHAM: Then 10% discount for the second.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: For the second. We’re going to wrap up and we’re going to say thank you so much for everyone here today. For more information about: “Starting preschool with your twins” or for more information about any of our speakers and panellists, you could visit our episode page on our website. This conversation continues for members of our Twin Talks Club.
After the show, Alisa will share some of her observations about parents can help teachers tell their twins apart. For more information about The Twin Talks Club, visit our website – www.Newmommymedia.com .
Well here’s a question from one of our listeners. This comes from Sandy of Kansas.
I’m pregnant with twins. I’m not very far along yet. So, I’m still nervous and praying that they both make it through their first trimester safe and sound. But I’d love some advice in the mean time.
Anything different that I need to do with my diet besides ingest more calories, any special gear for pregnancy and beyond that I need to make sure I have? I’m really trying to learn everything I can. So, any and all advice is greatly appreciated.
JonaRose: Hi Sandy. This is JonaRose Feinberg. I’m an ILBCLC, mom of twins and editor of Breastfeedingtwins.org. I’m sure that you’re already learning. There are some things about expecting twins that are a bit different from getting pregnant with one baby at a time. Here are some things to think about and do during pregnancy.
First and most importantly, listen to your body. Some moms finally need to make a lot of lifestyle and dietary changes while they’re pregnant and some don’t need to change much of anything. Some moms are up-and-about with their normal activity levels. Some need to limit their activities early on.
This depends on so many things:
• Your previous activity level
• Your job conditions
• Your unique circumstances of your own pregnancy
There’s no single set of rules that is right for everyone. Please check with your own care provider to help you make decisions apart your own unique pregnancy. Many nutritionists suggest increase in not only your overall calorie intake but specifically your protein intake while pregnant with multiples.
Protein helps your babies’ development and while many moms carry their twins for 37 weeks or more, some moms deliver early. It’s important to ensure that your babies are growing well early on. It’s definitely you should live on milk shakes and cheeseburgers. But you know how to incorporate additional proteins whereas through the near over all diet.
A lots of moms like making smoothies with protein powder because it’s the easy way to get a lot of healthy ingredients and extra protein into one meal. I recommend the book called: “When you’re Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads” by Barbara Luke for a really good explanation of diet and nutrition during the multiples pregnancy.
To keep yourselves comfortable, I strongly suggest adding some extra pillows to your sleeping arrangement. You may want several pillows maybe one behind your back and another between your legs; or you may be most comfortable with a long body pillow or other maternity pillow to support your growing belly.
Many moms also find they’re more comfortable using the belly support band later in pregnancy to help support their growing midsection. Sometimes you can have your care providers prescribe special band or get one from a maternity specialty store.
Finally, pregnancy is a great time to reach out to other moms. Join your local twin’s club or reach out to other moms and multiples online. Local groups often have expectant their new mom’s group that you can attend not to give advice for moms who have recently been through the adventure of twin pregnancy.
Note that local clubs have different personalities, programs and offerings. If one group is not a great match, you may be able to find another nearby or online that will meet your needs.
Again, congratulations of your pregnancy. Take it easy. Keep them cooking and enjoy this new adventure. Come visit me online at breastfeedingtwins.org for more information and tips.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks.
Don’t forget to check our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies
• Parent Savers, your parenting resource on the go.
This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit www.NewMommyMedia.com
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