Twin Pregnancy Survival Guide
My Survival Guide So Far…
Once we found out we were having twins I knew that my growth would start to take off and exceed normal pregnancy size at some point. It started happening around the 24-week mark when I was measuring about 32 weeks.
At my 27 week appointment, I was measuring 36-37 weeks. It’s starting to get a little uncomfortable with growing pains but I know that even early on I had to start making adjustments early.
I spent a lot of time on twin blogs reading about what helped with comfort in other moms’ twin pregnancies and I have to say, all of the recommendations were spot on. I’m so happy that I started early to get the stuff I needed because the discomfort is real!
Here are my top picks of all the things that I have gotten, and how they have helped me. I really swear by these. If I find anything else through the third trimester, I’ll add to this as I go!
Twin Pregnancy Book
This was my very first purchase after finding out that we were having twins. I was at first just stunned. I felt overwhelmed by the unknown. I had known so many people who were close to me that had a baby but no one that I had watched personally go through a twin pregnancy. I, however, did know some friends from high school who had twins although I had never asked them about what it was like because I never thought I would need to know.
I also found that hearing the words high risk and specialist, when we were at our first visit, sent me into a tailspin. While not all multiple births are complicated, a lot are and still require a lot of monitoring even when no complications are present. So I felt lost, scared and didn’t know what to expect.
P.S. Don’t start asking Google. However, I did Google twin mom blogs and found so many that were dedicated to twin pregnancy and child-rearing from moms who had recently or in the last 5 years had twins. Quite a few recommended starting to read up on what you were in for from a medical standpoint so you didn’t fear all the doctor’s visits and knew how you would be handled.
The book is When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads 4th Edition: Proven Guidelines for a Healthy Multiple Birth and it changed my whole mindset. I realized it’s classified as high risk for a reason, why getting to the right people early makes a difference and to appreciate all the extra doctor’s visits and monitoring as a blessing, not a burden.
Knowing how much my skin would be changing based on even the lowest spectrum of healthy weight gain made me realize I need to be conscious of taking care of my skin. First, twin skin is a thing and I’ve said this many times but I will repeat it again because I think it’s worth saying. Just because I am trying to prevent stretch marks doesn’t mean I’ll be angry if I get them, don’t appreciate the miracle of this pregnancy or even will be able to in the first place. But this is what I’m doing to take care of my skin.
My skin, in general, was very dry right from the beginning. I have always had dryer skin everywhere but my face which is combination oily and dry. But as soon as I was a few weeks pregnant my skin was just so dry that even lotioning a few times a day wasn’t doing enough for me. So I started using oils on my belly, elbows and knees in the first trimester. I made my own oil mixture as well as got a 100% organic oil from Mambino Organics.
The oil they make is 100% organic which I was having trouble finding in the pregnancy belly care. The Oh Baby! Anti-Stretch Body Oil is my favorite so far and they also have a very convenient belly butter called Oh Baby! Anti-Stretch Belly Butter that can be taken in a purse or left at work. It’s very low mess compared to toting around a bottle of oil.
But let me tell you, when your skin starts to stretch and get itchy, you’re going to love this oil. It’s so soothing and I started it very early.
Loose Cute Dresses
From about week 4-5 I was very bloated and clothes started to fit snug even though I didn’t gain any weight right away. In fact, even when I was experiencing extreme morning sickness and lost a few pounds I was still having trouble buttoning my pants. I immediately invested in a few dresses.
At first, some loose shorter dresses worked perfectly when I had a very small bump. But once the bump popped out more the shorter dress was just asking for a flashing incident.
While stores like Motherhood, small boutiques and even the Goodwill stores by me had a great selection of long dresses, I actually found my two favorite dress on Amazon. They were not even maternity, but almost all the photos of people wearing them were pregnant women raving about how much they loved these dresses. There was an empire waist style dress and a spaghetti strap style dress as well.
Plus, both styles came in so many prints. The empire waist dress was also great to dress up for events or work and the spaghetti strap dress can be dressed up with a cardigan or down for the pool or a night out.
These were a great investment because I know I can wear them even after I’m not pregnant and really use them for going out places and dressing up or just everyday dresses since they will be flattering on my post-baby body.
One of my friends got me a maternity pillow within the first 2 months I was pregnant and I can truly say, this was a lifesaver from the beginning. Growing pains and trouble sleeping has been on and off this whole pregnancy.
The body pillow I ended up with is the Boppy Total Body Pregnancy Pillow and I love it. It’s like two specially shaped pillows connected into one long body pillow. The top part is a little thicker and meant so you can lay your head on it and hug it for shoulder support. The middle is thinner for your growing belly to lay on, and the bottom is fitted for keeping between your knees and supporting the hips.
This has helped me so much. I didn’t even think about shoulder pain but as my bump grew, laying on my side pulled my top shoulder down and caused my back and arm to ache after a long night. The big pillow between my arms to hug really helped keep my shoulders open.
The portion for between your knees is a lifesaver for when your hips are growing as well. Round ligament pain can be throughout the pregnancy as you hit growth spurts and this helped with relieving the pain of my legs dropping over one another. My pillow came from Target but is also available on Amazon!
I have never been so swollen in my life. I laugh because in the morning most of my body is normal size but as I walk around a lot I tend to have ankles that swell up quite a bit. On super active days my hands swell up, too. Ice packs feel amazing on swollen limbs.
I also love the gel beads ice packs because they are soft and great for placing behind my back and on my hips when they hurt. Because they are flexible they don’t feel hard if you lay on them which is a huge bonus.
I also will be investing in the mini round gel ice packs for when I’m breastfeeding because so many moms said these were amazing lifesavers for their tender breasts.
Belly Support Strap
I may have needed this before more people due to the fact that my belly grew significantly large quite quickly. This strap is made of soft breathable material that stretches around your belly and Velcros behind your back.
The belly sling it creates helps lift your belly from the bottom and uses your lower back to help take some stress off the pelvis. It’s been such a nice thing for me to throw on under a dress or a shirt if I know I have to walk around a bit. I wore it while traveling and even put it on to walk the dog and get groceries.
I got this maternity belt on Amazon and it still fits with my belly measuring 38 weeks. So I’m guessing it should fit through the remainder of the pregnancy as well!
These are the most underrated thing I carry in my purse. I am taking a heartburn pill my doctor recommended to control the amount of stomach acid so my esophagus does not get burned. When I was just trying to control my heartburn with Tums it wasn’t working well. But even the script sometimes does not help 100%.
So now I use Tums when I’m out and about and need to control stomach acid so I can get more water in. For those of you who don’t have horrible heartburn, one of the biggest struggles is getting enough water in and when you even have a little bit of heartburn, drinking a bunch of water actually can create an inferno in your stomach.
I have needed to drink water around the clock to keep up with the fluid needs of the twins. So Tums have been allowing me to chug water when I need it and my stomach is still acting up.
Finding Comfort in Twin Pregnancy
While I can’t promise these will solve or even ease all of your ailments, I know they have greatly contributed to helping me. I have days where it seems everything put together cannot comfort the massive growing pains and discomfort but I am thankful for the times they do help.
Pregnancy is hard on the body, even if we are built for it. It doesn’t hurt to do the most to keep yourself comfortable so you can enjoy your pregnancy to the max.