Double the Fun

Even though there’s no one right way to raise your multiples, it might help to see what other parents have done. Look for a support group for parents of multiples in your town.

When you’re setting up your network of volunteers, it’s also important to keep in mind the health of your newborns. Infants born prematurely can be particularly vulnerable to respiratory syncytial virus (or RSV), a flu-like illness that can be highly contagious and cause serious health problems. Establish hand-washing procedures and other safety precautions around the house for your helpers. It’s also important that those caregivers be familiar with any medical problems the infants have.

Feeding will consume a large chunk of each day. Multiples can be either breast- or bottle-fed successfully and each approach has passionate advocates. Breastfeeding offers nutritional and immunological benefits and is easier on the pocketbook. It works because the lactating breast functions according to the laws of supply and demand. The more a baby nurses, the more milk the mother’s body produces. It’s possible to nurse two babies simultaneously, but it may take some time to master. So if you choose to breastfeed, consider talking with a lactation consultant, who can show you basic positions to help you nurse your babies either two at a time or singly. It may also be helpful to pump and store breast milk so that your partner or other caregivers can help with the feedings.

Bottle-feeding may take some of the pressure off exhausted mothers, especially if you have more than two infants to feed. Some mothers use a combination of breast- and bottle-feeding to keep some of the benefits of nursing while still getting help with feedings. Whatever way you choose to feed your babies, you may want to track the feeding schedule on a bulletin board to make sure every baby gets enough.