Your twins have arrived! Be ready for your first touches with your babies.
Congratulations on your twin pregnancy!
Carrying twins is often a long and difficult journey, with more complications than a singleton pregnancy. After all your hard work though, you have two babies to hold and to love. Meeting your babies out in the world for the first time is the most magical moment! And your first touches with them even more so.
Gentle Touch and Skin-to-skin contact
Touch is the first sense that babies develop. Gentle touch is just as important for babies' growth and development as food! Your babies have been in your womb for months, so it follows that they will need to be close to you. Your touch reassures your babies that they're safe. Some other benefits for your babies from your touch are:
- Less time crying
- Longer and deeper sleep
- Stabilises breathing and heart rate
- Stabilizes heartbeat and breathing
- Keeps them cozy and comfortable
- Reduces time crying
- Makes for longer and deeper sleep
Though being a new mum to twins can be overwhelming and scary at times, mothers also benefit from being around their multiples. Nothing tells you the reality of motherhood more than being with and gently touching your twins. For twin mamas, gentle touch:
- Creates the feeling of bonding and closeness with your babies
- Reduces stress, lower anxiety
- Enables you to feel confident about caring for your babies
- Stimulates oxytocin production, the love and bonding hormone
- Stimulates breast milk production
Fathers need to bond with their twins too. Dads sometimes feel left out, but holding your new babies and touching them is a powerful way to share close moments with your twins.
Womb to chest immediately after birth
Talk to your birthing team before labour to let them know that you'd like to have your babies put directly on your chest after delivery. You can do this even before your babies’ umbilical cords are cut. For many mothers, this closeness a raw and natural moment that they never forget. Your steady heartbeat is a comfort to your newborn babies and makes the transition into the world more familiar for them.
Twins often need to spend time in the neonatal unit after birth. You may not be able to touch them immediately. All babies are different and there are other ways you can bond with your twins if they're premature and you're unable to have them on your chest right away.
Skin-to-skin care for your twins, including those in neonatal or special care One of the most common methods to introduce touch to NICU twins is through skin-to-skin care. This is when you lay your babies on your bare chest. Keep a blanket nearby so your babies can stay warm and cozy. Twins can even hold onto each other in some tender moments!
Talk to your baby’s health care providers about how often and for how long you can do kangaroo care in the NICU.
Photo credit: @itsatwinthing37
In some cases, you may not be able to hold your premature twins right away. For some time, you may only get to hold parts of them, like their hands or their feet. This is where a hand hug comes in. When your babies are laid on their backs, you can gently touch your twins’ heads for a comforting connection. Doing hand hugs can sometimes calm your babies when they are being fussy.
Photo credit: @abbykristine16
While in the neonatal unit, the chances you get to touch your twins may be limited. You can hold your twins even if they’re connected to NICU equipment. It might feel overwhelming at first, with all the tubes and wires. These are some of our suggestions for spending time and having loving touch with your premature babies.
- Breastfeeding - Hopefully you have support from a neonatal lactation consultant, who can guide you through the stages of breast feeding your premature babies. You'll normally start with shorter feeds and this time can be one-to-one bonding time with each of your babies.
- Bottle-feeding - After being attached to feeding tubes, your twins will move on to bottle feeding, and may even need bottle feeds to top up breast feeds in the early days.
- Nappy changes - Changing your babies nappies in special care is a HUGE moment! It means that they are getting the right nutrition and are on their way to being strong. Any interaction you have with your premature twins is worth every second!
- Bathtime - When your NICU babies can be safely detached from their monitors, you'll get the ok to give them sponge or tub bath. You can really see your babies react to your massaging and stroking in warm water!
Photo credit: @identicaltwincousins
Touch is a powerful feeling. It provides an oxytocin boost for you and your babies. It can truly be a source of healing during a long stay in the hospital. As they get older, bigger, and stronger, tandem babywearing will be the next big step. With your own TwinGo baby carrier, spending time carrying your twins has never been easier!