Tips For Recovering from a Cesarean Section

Just because you are having twins, doesn’t mean you will be having a c-section, however, there are a lot of doctors that do suggest a c-section to avoid some of the complications that can happen with twin births. My doctor was one of those. With her, I didn’t have an option when we found out Baby A was breech. Before we even knew that, she had mentioned that she was not a fan of turning babies and even if both babies were head down, Baby B could turn while pushing Baby A out, that was one of the reasons she encouraged a C-section. There are doctors that will be willing to work with you if you would like to do a Vaginal birth. Find out your options.

If it is the case that you need to have a C-section, don’t be worried or concerned! It doesn’t have to be a horrible recovery. Here are a few tips that I found helpful. I recovered very well and quickly, and you can too!

  1.  As soon as they let you (usually when they remove your catheter) get up and walk around. It may be hard at first and you may not feel up to it, but it will make a huge difference!!  Try to walk the halls a few times a day while you are in the hospital. This will help you so your muscles aren’t stiff and adds in recovery so much.
    My story: My twins were in the NICU the second day for 24 hours. I had sent my husband home that night to get some sleep because I needed him fully rested during the day. I let the NICU feed them during the night, but I wanted to nurse them as early as I could in the morning. The NICU was a mile away from the maternity ward, I swear. Okay, so not really, but it was on the other side of the hospital. I didn’t realize that I could ask a nurse to wheel me down there. Which I should have done. So here is me, walking what felt like a mile by myself just 1 day after I had my c-section to nurse my babies. I was so exhausted when I got back to my room and was in tears. Although I don’t recommend this, I really feel like the walking back and forth that day help my recovery. I really had no problems when I got home form the hospital with walking, even upstairs. I’ve heard many people suggest this too.
  2. Keep up on your pain meds at least for 6-7 days. You may feel like you are doing well and so you lay off the pain meds, and then bam, the pain hits you in the gut (literally) and it’s hard to get back on top of it.  Millions of nursing moms take Motrin and Percocet and there has been no link to side affects in the baby. If anything it may make them sleepy, and hey, that’s a good thing when you are trying to recover from a major abdominal surgery. If you don’t like the way Percocet makes you feel, ask for Lortab, or vise versa. After day 6, I stopped taking Percocet and just did Motrin for a few days and I felt great.
  3. GET a Postpartum Binder! Ask for one! If they don’t have one in the hospital, buy one from Amazon or Motherhood Maternity.binder 272x300 Tips For Recovering from a Cesarean SectionI wore mine the day I got home from the hospital 24/7 for 2 weeks. It helped me sleep! While the muscles are recovering, it feels like all your “insides want to be on your outsides” (Brian Regan reference). Seriously, though it feels like everything is going to fall out when laying on you side. The binder keeps it all in. It also gives your support and protection during the day. It is a MUST!
  4. Use long maxi pads to give you extra padding on your tummy and protect your incision from that lovely counter or table that always seems to be there, or even baby’s legs kicking you. It will also help if any blood leaks through your bandage. Change it regularly to keep it dry.

Hope this helps! Let me know if these tips did. Please also let us know what other tips are helpful!

My Twin Pregnancy

Here is the information of my pregnancy to let expectant MOTs know that a twin pregnancy can be a positive experience!

Will I be sicker with twins? Will I be on bedrest?
I had very little Morning Sickness. You may have heard that multiple baby pregnancy’s make you sicker. All though I have heard of some MOTs who where sicker with their twin pregnancies, I was not sick. So there is a little hope for some. During my first Trimester I was hungry ALL the TIME, but didn’t feel like eating anything. I felt extremely exhausted, but still was able to work full time up until the day my water broke at 35 1/2 weeks. Luckily I did have a job where I was able to work from home a few days a week, so I could take it easy on those days. When I first went to the doctor after I found out I was pregnant with twins, the nurse practitioner told me I would probably go on bed rest after 25 weeks. I’m glad that she was wrong! Everyone is different, but just because you have two babies in there, doesn’t mean you are doomed for a pregnancy with lots of sickness and early bed rest.

Will I have early labor?
I did not have any false labor contractions, but my stomach would get very tight at night on my busier days. I’m not sure if this was Braxton Hicks or not, because they didn’t come and go, but I would feel pretty tight until I got a good rest.

How to get sleep when pregnant with twins
Speaking of rest, it does get pretty uncomfortable to sleep a lot earlier then a singleton pregnancy might. For me, a body pillow was a must! There are a few out there to choose from. Mine was similar to this Cotton Body Pillow. There are some specific maternity pillows that get awesome reviews like the Beyond Down Gel Fiber Body Pillow or Boppy Prenatal Total Body Pillow My Twin Pregnancyor the Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow.

I was thirsty all the time, but I’m glad because it forced me to drink a lot more water than I am used to. When woman experience pre-term labor or false labor, the doctors usually send them home to drink lots of water. Dehydration can cause contractions.  I would like to think that drinking a lot of water may have helped my pregnancy.

Being somewhat of a high risk pregnancy just because of multiples, my doctor had me do Non-Stress Tests (NSTs) once a week starting at 30 weeks. These were fun to get to see the babies even more, and they were non-eventful. At my last appointment, which I believe was 32 weeks, I measured about full-term for a single baby, but wasn’t  dilated or effaced at all. No one expected me to have the babies less then 3 weeks later. (See my Labor and Delivery Story for more info.)

Books to read to help prepare for twins:
Your Pregnancy Quick Guide: Twins, Triplets and More
This was a quick and easy read.  I liked this book because it let me know how my pregnancy was different then a singleton pregnancy. I was worried about my diet and wanted to make sure I was getting enough nutrition to grow and support two babies. This book had a great meal plan suggestion that I was able to get some ideas from and feel more confident that I was getting the nutrition we all needed.

Ready or Not Here We Come!: The Real Experts’ Guide to the First Year With Twins
Also an easy read. Elizabeth Lyons is light hearted and funny. She helps put the humor in the stressful situation of preparing for twins. I liked her list of things necessary for twins in the first year. She listed her opinion of things you need two of and things you can get by with just one. (See my similar list coming soon.)

In my breastfeeding post, I mentioned the book “The Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More”.  There is a lot of helpful information in this book, almost too much for me. It did help prepare me for breastfeeding and I do recommend it, but I definitely didn’t read the entire book. I read the parts that seemed applicable to my situation.

In a nut shell
My advice to expectant MOTS, drink lots of water, listen to your body, sit down and rest when you need to and get excited for an amazing adventure!

Please share your twin pregnancy stories with us! Comment on this post, or email me at candice(at)motbits(dot)com if you have a great story you’d like me to feature. 

 

Just Found Out You Are Pregnant with Twins?

Shockedemotion 150x150 Just Found Out You Are Pregnant with Twins?Surprised ~ Shocked
scared 150x150 Just Found Out You Are Pregnant with Twins?Scared
excited 150x150 Just Found Out You Are Pregnant with Twins?Happy ~ Excited
confused 150x150 Just Found Out You Are Pregnant with Twins?
Worried ~ Overwhelmed

As I have talked to other MOTS, I have heard some different reactions to the news from the ultrasound tech, or a doctor saying something like “There is more then one baby.” For me, having been on Clomid for fertility issues, we knew there was a slim possibility of a multiple birth, so I had an early ultrasound. When the tech realized why I was there, her announcement was “Yep, there is just two in there.” “Just TWO?” I thought, that’s plenty! Honestly, my first reaction was excitement. I had kind of hoped it was twins, even though I hadn’t fully thought that through!

As I started to think things through, all the other emotions began to set in. I was a little scared and worried how my pregnancy would go. Would I be put on bed rest? Would I deliver early? Would the babies be healthy? (See My Pregnancy and Labor and Delivery Posts soon to come.)

Then overwhelmed, how was I going to take care of two babies? I don’t even know how to take care of one yet? (They were my first.)

My husband’s says his first reaction was that he was sick to his stomach.  He didn’t know how he was going to support a family of four.

One of the reasons I have started this blog was to help expectant MOTs know how GREAT and FUN twins can be. It’s not easy and all the above emotions are very appropriate. I didn’t cry when I found out, but don’t feel bad if you did. I mean, we have all the pregnancy emotions and then on top of that to be told that your life is not only changing times one, by times two.

I am here to help! I am here to support! I hope that motbits.com will become a community of mothers of twins to help each other. Please continue to read my upcoming posts for all the tips, books to read, and favorite products etc. to help you.

You can do it! You can make it though your pregnancy, you can have a great birth experience and you can raise two little ones at one time! It takes Faith! Faith in yourself. Faith in a Higher Power that entrusted you with two little ones and faith in whoever you have to help.

I’m excited to add a series of Podcasts to motbits.com. These Podcasts will be interviews with expectant mothers of twins, new mothers of twins and those who are a little more experienced mothers of twins. Listen to their stories of how they found out they were pregnant with twins.

We would love to hear your story! Please post a comment and share your experiences to help others! If you are interested in guest posting or participating in Podcast interviews, please email me candiceATmotbitsDOTcom.

*All of the above photos were downloaded by www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Breastfeeding Twins Tips

woohoo2 300x240 Breastfeeding Twins Tips

WOO HOO!! I made it! I breast fed both babies for a whole year! Sorry I’m tooting my own horn, but I just remember at the very beginning hearing the latest from the American Academy of Pediatrics encouraging mothers to breastfeed for a whole year and thinking, there is no way I can go that long. I had short-term goals-”If I can make it to 6 weeks, that’s a good start for the baby…ok now if I can make it to 3 months…”, then 6 months and then the year just came and it definitely got easier as the babies got older.

I’m NOT against supplementing or formula, but besides the health benefits of a the natural way, I like to think of how much money I saved. I think I probably bought less then 10 cans of formula the whole time. Plus the extra bonus it’s the BEST DIET EVER!! I lost all my baby weight with in a few weeks, and an ADDITIONAL 30 lbs this last year. I’m smaller then I was in Jr. High and I eat twice as much. (Hopefully, since I’m done nursing, I’ll be able to keep it off!!)

Here are some breastfeeding tips that worked for me:

First Don’t Stress! As long as your body does what’s it’s supposed to, you can do it!!!
The most important thing is getting enough milk supply for both babies.

PUMPING
In the hospital they had me pump every 2 hours. I really do recommend faithfully pumping for the first 2 weeks. They told me this helps the part of the brain that controls the supply. It’s so hard, but it was worth it. I would just nurse the babies, wait a half hour and then pump. They told me to take a break from pumping at night.

When you get home, if you are going to rent or buy a pump remember to ask your doctor to see if it’s possible to have a prescription for one so you can submit it to your insurance to see if they will pay for some- especially if the babies are still in the hospital, or have a low birth weight.

I LOVE my pump, it is the Phillips Avent ISIS IQ Twin Electric Pump. Click HERE for my product review of this pump.

I was totally fine with supplementing with formula until I got my supply up, but you just have to make sure that you still trying to nurse first and supplement after if they are still hungry. Then keep PUMPING!!

After I came home from the hospital, the Pediatrician was a little worried about the babies’ weights. For the first 2 days she had me pump and then feed with a bottle so that we could know how much the babies were getting. This was SO HARD, but I think it helped get my supply up.

Herbs to help increase milk supply:
My lactation specialist recommended FENUGREEK and BLESSED THISTLE taken together. Check out this website for information about these herbs and dosage.
http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/fenugreek.shtml

(Despite what your Dr. may tell you, the birth control pill may decrease your milk supply. I went on the mini pill that is supposed to be okay when nursing and 7 days later my milk supply had decreased. I called the Dr. and they insisted it wasn’t the pill, but when I called my lactation specialist she said she has seen it happen several times. I wasn’t going to take any chances! I needed all the supply I could, so I went off it and within a week I was back up to what I needed.)

Nipple Shields
Nipple Shield 300x300 Breastfeeding Twins Tips

My sister recommended I ask for Nipple Shields in the hospital. (She had inverted nipples and they helped her baby latch on.) I asked a couple different nurses in the hospital and they were against them, but couldn’t give me a good reason why. Finally I asked the Lactation Specialist in the NICU and she gladly gave me some.

I read the reviews online about nipple shields and I’m not the only mom that LOVED them!!! A lot of the reviews were from moms who had smaller, preemie babies and said they helped so much!!! I didn’t see any negative reviews. Honestly for me, there are a few reasons I think they helped.:

1. It made it easier for the babies to latch on and stay latched on, which is hard when you are trying to nurse two babies and don’t have 4 hands!!!!
2. I also think it helped them not have nipple confusion. They had no problem going back and forth between bottles and breast.
3. Since with twins, your nipples never get a break, it helped them not be so tender and helped so I didn’t crack and bleed.
4. As I mentioned, the pediatrician was having me do SMS (feeding them what I had pumped or formula through a syringe and tube, while they are sucking on the breast.) This was easy with the nipple shield because I could put it on and put the little tube through the nipple shield and the babies would suck on my breast and get rewarded.

The hospital should have them, but you may want to just buy them on Amazon or at Babies R Us.

Nursing 2 at same time
Although nursing both babies can be a HUGE challenge at first, to me it was worth it to save time. The Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding book gives lots of different ways to nurse, or at least feed at the same time. What worked for me was using a bobby pillow and nursing while holding them both in the
Football hold.

Football Hold Breastfeeding Twins Tips
Switching Breasts
People would always ask, “So with one baby, you nurse on one side, and then if they are still hungry offer the other. What do you do with twins?” Well you nurse each baby on one side until they are done. I do have one side that produces more, but to solve that problem, I would switch what breast they nursed on each time. If Baby A nursed on the left side last time, then she gets the right one this time. It worked for me. See the The Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding book for other suggestions.

Check out this other MOT’s Blog for some of her breastfeeding twins tips. Thanks Dana at Surviving 4 Kids!

Please let us know if you have any other tips for breastfeeding twins or multiples.  Leave a comment and let us know what worked for you? 

 

Hello world!

I’m back! Long story short- we switch hosts of this website and lost almost everything. I’m going to slowly try to build this blog up because I really enjoyed doing it. So thanks for your patience as I do so. Please stay tuned and email me if you have anything you would like me to post about, or if you have a guest post you’d like to share.

Thank you!