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2016 Baby Gear Guide

tips for thriving with your multiples!

www.multiplicitymag.com 1

award winning products!


emotions and outcomes around fetal syndrome diagnosis and support.

photo courtesy of drew photography & events


on thriving through the first years with babies! 4

Bedrest: How to Get Help!


Just for On the Go


Create an Eco-Friendly Nursery


Just for Stowing Away


A Few Things Health + Safety



Adorable Duds for the Kids

Lillebaby on Preventing Hip Dysplasia


Necessories for Every Day


Questions to Ask During a High Risk Pregnancy


Just for Feeding


A Few of our Favs for Mom

Time to Relax + Rest



Just for Kicks + Giggles


Capturing Memorable Birth Photography


Dads on Delivery: What to Expect with a C-Section


Tips for Keeping Your Pelvic Floor Healthy


Fashion - From Bump to Baby + Beyond!


Sample Feeding/Sleeping Schedule


How to Know What Each Cry Means


Wacky Facts about Twins


Mental Health Musings of a PostNICU Mom

Editor / Creative Director Talitha A. McGuinness

Contributing Writers Alyssa Keel Payal Tello Susan Rassette Dan Parisi Jane Goodrich Jessica Reale Lillebaby Lorena Canals Paula Yost Schupp

Contact us: 4700 Hilton Lake Road Kannapolis, NC 28083 980.721.5799 www.multiplicitymag.com

cover cuties

Our Baby Gear Guide features 1 month old cover cuties Oliver and Mitchell of North Carolina. Their favorite things right now are sleeping, feeding and cuddles with mom and dad and each other. photos courtesy of Firewife Photography

Multiplicity is published as a digital magazine four times per calendar year, with additional supplements as desired. Multiplicity cannot assume responsibility of statements made by advertisers. In addition, though hand-picked and carefully reviewed, Multiplicity cannot guarantee the accuracy of editorial pieces. No portion in whole or in part of this publication may be reproduced without express written consent from the publisher. Questions? Email talitha@multiplicitymag.com.

get help while on bedrest... and how to ask!

by susan rassette 4


the must-have magazine for all parents of multiples


ith a multiple birth pregnancy, there are many different reasons that you can end up on bedrest. You may be confined to home, but even hospital bedrest is a possibility, depending on the issue. While it seems a blessing, bedrest is one of the hardest things you might ever go through. If you are used to being independent, suddenly depending on others for everything from keeping your house clean to even washing your hair can cause even more stress in an already stressful pregnancy situation. Though it may be hard to do and you’re unsure how people will respond, ask for help. People really do want to help --- really, they do! I know it is really hard to ask for the help, but do it. It will help ease your stress and it will get you used to asking for help, a skill that will benefit you greatly once your babies arrive. When you end up on bedrest all the phone calls, texts, and emails can be overwhelming. Come up with a plan to organize everyone who offers help. Are you good with spreadsheets? Make one that lists everything you need help with, and start assigning volunteers. Spreadsheets not your thing? Make a list or ask someone else to be in charge of getting your list down for you. Start a blog or utilize the CarePage your doctor or hospital may have available. It’s easy to keep people updated on you and the babies’ status, ask for help, and keep track of who may be helping you out, when and even how through

this invaluable resource. Still not sure how to ask and what you may need help with? Here are 20 easy ways to be helped while on bed rest:

1. Have other kids at home? Ask family and friends to organize childcare to help you out. Ask someone organized

(if that’s not you) to keep the schedule for you. Make sure any carpool needs are covered, too. Also, if you end up on bedrest in the hospital, don’t forget to ask people to bring your kids to see you. You’ll want them as involved as they can be so that they feel included which will especially help with the transition of the babies’ arrival.

2. If anyone offers to bring you food , take

make [a list with] everything you need help with , and start assigning volunteers. them up on it. Even if no

one offers, ask for food. I was on hospital bedrest with my first two (and only) children, so the number one favorite thing people did for me was bring me food because the hospital food was awful. Even on home bedrest, it is wonderful to have a schedule of meals brought to you that can easily be warmed multiplicity

and served. You’ll be in no condition to be on your feet slaving away at a stove or in the kitchen preparing meals for your family. The added bonus is that some of the meals can be frozen for easy dinners after the babies arrive. Again, you’ll likely be tired, healing and a little overwhelmed and the last thing you’ll want to think about is preparing dinner.

3. Have someone you know who actually likes to clean? Ask them to help you keep the house clean while you are on bedrest. I know I have several relatives who fit that bill, so I’m sure you do, too. Even just a simple cleaning of the dishes or vaccuuming the floors goes a long way to keep you off of your feet and the stress of a messy house at bay.

4. If you have pets, ask an animal lover you know to help you by walking your dog every day, or cuddling your cat. This is an easy task for a

neighborhood kid who would like to earn a couple dollars each week. Chances are your pets are feeling anxious not knowing why you’re not your normal self and this attention will help ease their minds.

5. Ask someone to pick up baby books or a journal for you. This is a

great time to do a little writing, so be sure to document your bedrest journey. It will help pass the time, help you remember all you went through to get these babies to arrive healthy, and it can be very cathartic during.

6. Ask someone to bring you comfort items. A big

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U-shaped pillow will do wonders to keep you from having sore hips while you flip from one side to the other. Lip gloss, hand lotions, hair bands, face cleaning wipes, and other things that will keep you comfortable will make you feel so much better. Nail polish to do your nails and even toes (if you can still reach them!) is another item people can bring you to help keep your mind from going crazy and make you feel pretty.

7. Ask for a lap desk . I was lucky to work from home when I was on bedrest, so I had a hospital style table desk that I could use to hold my laptop while I worked. This would be great even if you are not working, but simply want somewhere on which to place your stuff and eat your meals. 8. Are you stuck upstairs on bedrest? Ask someone to gift you your baby monitor early. If you’re

tired of feeling isolated upstairs while the rest of your family is conducting their lives downstairs, get a baby monitor or some two-way radios so you can communicate with those on different floors without having to yell down to them.

9. Ask for busy work --- reading materials are great for this! If you

don’t want to go into debt with Amazon, use your library’s website to put books on hold and then ask a friend to go pick them up for you. All you have to do is give them your library card. You can also download fun apps and games to keep your mind busy while the hours tic by.

10. Get a Netflix subscription and enjoy 6


your tube time . Binge

watch all the shows you always wanted to watch and never had time to. Trust me, after the babies arrive, you definitely will not have the time to do it and will wish for even one of these afternoons back.

11. Ask someone to bring you a basket of snacks to keep handy at your bedside . See if you

can borrow a small refrigerator to keep food and drinks cold and handy. Chances are that many days you’ll be home alone without anyone to run back and forth to the kitchen for you.

12. Do your shopping in preparation for babies’ arrival online . Since you’re

the only one home, ask a friend or neighbor if it is okay to have things delivered to their house. Maybe even ask if they could help to get your nursery set up, painted, furniture put together, etc. Most people would love helping make way for babies, and especially when you’re not able to do it yourself.

to get those out once the babies arrive.

16. Start researching childcare options. Ask

friends who use childcare for their recommendations.

17. Ask for people to visit you. Don’t be shy

about giving specific time ranges you’d like visitors. It’s really hard to be on bedrest so ask those friends and family who you know will be a willing sounding board to listen to all your frustrations.

18. Ask to borrow a laptop of tablet if you do not have one . Get

your registry and planning done online this way. Even if it just for a few days, you can accomplish a lot in a little time.

19. Learn a new craft.

Crochet, knitting, etc. Ask a friend if you can borrow some of their supplies to get started.

20. Ask someone to help dad out. Maybe

13. Ask for help with laundry. Even if they can do

he needs a break. A game of golf, a night out with friends, someone to mow the lawn for him. Don’t forget about him in this situation; it’s stressful on him, too.

14. Ask someone to pick up coloring books and colored pencils, or puzzles to help pass the time . The days are long on

A little help can go a long way. Don’t be afraid to ask. Really, people do want to help and once you become a mom to multiples, you’ll be seasoned at asking for help. It’s a great skill to have with more than one little one to care for!

everything and bring you the basket to fold, it’s help! Laundry piles up fast.

bedrest and it’s helpful to have a variety of things to do to pass the time.

15. Order some thank you notes online and fill them out. Ask a friend to pick up some stamps for you and mail them out. It’s a lot harder

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Susan Rassette is a single mom to ten year old fraternal twin girls. She lives in Indiana. Hobbies include baking, fitness, bike riding, and reading.

When every twin mom hears... how do you do it?

double trouble! are they twins or just really close in age?

are they identical?

were they natural?

bless your heart!

We say, you’ve got this mama! We’re here to help! the must-have magazine for all parents of multiples.

877- 661- 9682 ItsYouBabe.com

info@ItsYouBabe.com Made in Michigan


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top tips for creating the perfect eco-friendly nursery for your babies Congratulations! Your babies are on the way and before the big day is here, you’ll most likely be planning their nursery. Whether this is a moment you’ve always dreamed of or if you’re winging it and just getting the basics together, this is both a fun and exciting time. As you begin the process, keep in mind there’s more to decorating your babies’ first bedroom than cute blankets and wall art. In the first couple of years, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this room, so you’re going to want to plan for it. Here’s your go-to guide with a few tips on what you’ll need when putting together your babies’ nursery:

· Go Green with Bedding & Flooring — There

are a few items in the nursery that are best purchased in organic cotton and eco-friendly fabrics and materials. Think mattresses, beddings, rugs, and paint. If flooring is optional, choose bamboo or hardwood over carpeting, which contains allergens and chemicals. Carpeting is harder to clean and keep out dust and dirt. Choosing organic, eco-friendly products are free of toxic compounds and chemicals, and much better for baby.

· The Perfect Palette — Babies respond better to soothing paint and nursery colors in a soft 8


exclusive by... palette like greens, aqua blues and pale pinks. Paler colors are calming and help induce sleep. Bright, bold colors and patterns can be fun, but are stimulating, something to keep in mind when the purpose of a room is to sleep. When selecting paint, choose one free of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds containing carbon chemicals).

· It’s Play Time — Designate a specific area to the

room for reading, listening to music, snuggling and bonding in the nursery. If you make an area for this, your babies will soon learn that pleasant things happen here. This area could include a rocking chair, small child’s chair, a basket of toys, a bookshelf (anchored to the wall), or basket for books and a plush rug for the floor. Anywhere that you and baby can spend time awake together is perfect. Opt for an organic, hypo-allergenic rug like Lorena Canals since babies will be spending much tummy and play time on the floor.

· The Ideal Feeding Area — There’s nothing like a

nice glider or overstuffed chair with an ottoman for feeding your babies. Daytime, and especially night time, feedings will be much more comfortable and relaxing in a great chair. Add a cozy pillow for your lower back and a nursing pillow to support your arm that holds babies. Whether you’re nursing or bottle feeding your little ones, support and comfort

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for you is key. If you’re relaxed, they will be, too! Keep a basket nearby for items like burp cloths, baby wipes, books or magazines, extra pacifiers, and any other items you may require while feeding.

· Time for a Change — Before

eco-friendly and exceptionallymade, washable rugs and cushions in adorable shapes, designs and colors. They are also all natural, hypo-allergenic and functional. Visit http://lorenacanals.us and follow them on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

you know it, you’ll be a quick (diaper) change artist like most parents. This can be a changing table or a dresser with a changing mat. Before purchasing a changing table, consider your needs beyond diaper changes and think about how you can use this piece of furniture when your babies are out of diapers. Keep essentials like diapers, wipes and diaper cream close by so that the important things are always within arm’s reach. Invest in a high quality diaper pail to place right next to the changing table to keep baby’s room smelling fresh.

· The Importance of Air & Light

— A few weeks before babies are expected to arrive, open the windows and air out the room, especially important if you’ve been painting and wallpapering. Lighting may not top your list of nursery needs, but it is no less important. It’s a great idea to have a night light or small lamp in the room to check on baby during the night and for middle of the night diaper changes and feedings. It’s also nice to have a lamp near the feeding and play area. Choose soft, less harsh lighting that’s soothing to baby. Make sure to place the crib away from the window, as bright sunlight or street lamps may hamper baby’s ability to sleep.

Lorena Canals’ Spanish lifestyle brand is making its eco-mark in the U.S. with gorgeously designed, multiplicity

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ithermometer by fridababy

Get some sleep yourself! Parents receive alerts when child’s temperature begins to rise over a customizable preset temperature. This new technology allows parents to remotely monitor real-time temperature via low energy wearable Bluetooth device using any smart device. The ithermometer is unrivaled in its accuracy, data tracking and temperature trend analysis over hours, days or weeks. It will even track when medicine was administered, and remind you when your child is due for another dose via text or email. Retail: $61.99

simply citrus shampoo + body wash by dolphin organics Our tear free Simply Citrus Shampoo & Body Wash uses certified organic and natural ingredients to gently cleanse hair and skin without stripping natural oils. Our mild cleansing formula, derived from coconut and sunflower oils, creates a deeply nourishing clean that leaves hair and skin super soft. Its organic aloe leaf juice has excellent healing properties, so is perfect for the most delicate skin. Retail: $11.99

nasalclear by graco

When baby is stuffed up, no one is happy. For parents who want a quick, safe way to clear baby’s blocked nasal passages, the Graco Nasal Aspirator, NasalClear, is a real lifesaver. Because it is battery operated, this baby nasal aspirator offers continuous suction not available from traditional manual aspirators. It even helps distract baby by playing 12 engaging children’s tunes. Retail: $18.19

dual camera digital baby monitor by summer infant

This monitor has innovative split screen technology, enabling viewing of 1 to 4 rooms at one time. It’s also expandable - add cameras to monitor multiple children or rooms,. It offers a 3.5” high resolution color LCD video display, with black and white night vision. Pan, scan, zoom camera. Retail: $210.00 10


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lift, lock + swing gate by safety1st

Keep your little one safely inside child-friendly areas with this twoin-one gate. You can easily see when it is securely locked with the SecureTech® indicator. The twoin-one design allows pressuremounting that is easily moved or a hardware swing-style mount that doesn’t budge. The gate can be used at the top or bottom of the stairs or between rooms for flexibility. Retail: $27.99

a few things health & safety super spout cover by brica

This adorable little turtle keeps your little ones from bumping their heads or placing fingers where they don’t need to go! Even better, the turtle’s shell serves as a removable cup for rinsing hair or simply enjoying bath time. Retail: $14.97

safe lift universal crib wedge by dexbaby

Worry less about the dangers of SIDS, as this wedge will help keep babies on their backs. The raised position also adds comfort which leads to better sleep. The non-skid bottom holds the wedge firmly in place, and it’s waterproof and easy to clean. It even folds for easy travel! Retail: $24.99

easy pop up shade tent by snoozy Having babies doesn’t mean staying inside and missing all the fun outdoors. With Snoozy’s easy Pop Up Shade Tent, you can take the babies to the park, the beach, and everywhere in between! Protect perfectly against the sun and wind, as well as any pesky bugs. Retail: $19.99

by-my-side safety harness backpack by brica

No more worrying that one or both children may dart out in a busy parking lot or get away from you at the store. Brica’s safety harness keeps child within reach, while giving them ample freedom to explore their surroundings. It also works as a backpack for snacks, diaper changes, etc., making it a must-have for busy toddlers! Retail: $14.99

anti-lost wristband by iCrown Not keen on a harness for your kiddos? Try iCrown’s new bracelet that is ideal to protect your child against getting lost in public places. Just place the transmitter on your child’s wrist and the receiver will sound an alarm and vibrate if child is out of the set distance. Retail: $10.99 multiplicity

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adorable duds for the kids floral tutu set by little spring Retail: $11.99

flower romper by little spring

Retail: $12.99

ruffle romper by lisianthus Retail: $8.99

pearl foot accessory by dzt 1968 Retail: $2.29

floral ruffle legging set by bonnie baby

Retail: $26.99

3-piece set by hotone Retail: $6.99 12


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pima cotton layette collection by feltman brothers

Retail: $61.50

baby boys short set by mud kingdom Retail: $11.99

crocodile lattice short set by mowmee Retail: $10.82

baby buffalo check shortall by burt’s bees

Retail: $19.95

jazz hook + loop sneaker by saucony Retail: $23.82

chillaxin’ elastic pants set by magical baby Retail: $8.99

baby geometric animal pants set by feitong Retail: $8.39


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necessories for every day lush receiving luxury blanket by saranoni

Nothing says comfort like an irresistibly soft plush blanket, and the Saranoni brand has it down pat! This blanket is a nice size at 30x40” and comes in a variety of colors to coordinate with your nursery or favorite color schemes. You’ll want one for everyone in the family! Retail: $42.00

washable rugs by lorena canals

Lorena Canals Rugs are happy, eco-blankets for your floors, free of toxic compounds and chemicals (yuck!). Not only are they gorgeous, stylish and exceptionally made, they are washable, allnatural, hypo-allergenic, and functional. You can let your little ones roll around and crawl on these environmentallyfriendly rugs with no worries of safety and with no threat to them or the world around them. What’s not to love? Retail: $200.00+

citron satchel by jp lizzy

This bag is modern and sleek and is just the right size when out and about. Has loads of space and pockets galore (inside and out), and even has a wipeable exterior nylon surface. Retail: $132.00

twins photo cards by milestone

Capture the big events of their very first year like arriving home and smiling at each other, but also those other wonderful firsts like rolling over, sitting up and saying Ma-ma. Retail: $34.00 14


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shopping cart hammock by binxy baby

This comfy cart hammock quickly and easily clips onto most carts, hangs elevated so you have plenty of room for groceries, then simply rolls up to fit in your purse or diaper bag when finished. Includes a safety strap and works perfectly until babies are able to sit unassisted. Retail: $55.95

just for feeding twin feeding set by baby a & baby b

Ever worried you’re using the wrong spoon or babies getting fussy because you’re not feeding fast enough? Now you can feed two babies without juggling separate bowls and spoons! With this new Twin Feeding Set, decrease the wait time between bites for multiples AND fight spreading germs! This product is dishwasher safe. Retail: $16.99

nutribaby food processor by babymoov

A processor like no other, Nutribaby is a five-in-one tool that warms and sterilizes bottles, defrosts, steams and blends and features a digital screen for easy set-up of the functions. The Nutribaby gives parents the ability to cook different ingredients, each in its optimal cooking time, at the same time. The appliance’s detachable blender and cooking units offer one of the largest capacities on the market to help moms easily prepare several meals at once or prepare one delicious meal for multiple children. Retail: $129.99

thermal pots by booginhead

super hero bib with cape by booginhead

Never leave home worried their food will spoil, as these Thermal Pots are made with insulation to keep food hot or cold for longer! The ergonomic designs makes it easy to hold for filling and feeding. Comes in a pack of 2 with a spoon! Retail: $7.99

Let your little ones feel like a super hero, every time they come to the table! The cape attaches easily with Velcro tabs; Wipe the bib clean with wet cloth, cape is machine washable; BPA, PVC and phthalate free. Retail: $7.99

turbo steam electric sterilizer by babymoov

This sterilizer efficiently cleans entire bottles thanks to its turbo steam system and long, removable steaming arms that reach the inner most part of bottles. The Turbo Steam Sterilizer cleans up to six bottles, or an assortment of breast pump shields, bottles and jars, in ten minutes. When the cycle is complete, an alarm sounds and the system automatically shuts down. The central part of the system is removable and becomes a handy bottle drying rack. Retail: $69.99 multiplicity

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time to relax + rest

sam the sheep sleep trainer by zazu kids


DockATot is a cozy, multi-functional snuggling dock that you can take anywhere to ensure your baby feels secure. The small, snug space relaxes your child because it is reminiscent of the womb, and the dock is lightweight and portable, so traveling doesn’t disrupt this state of peace. DockATot lets your baby rest, lounge, play, do tummy time, cuddle, get diaper changes, co-sleep and everything else, all while feeling safe and secure. Retail: $185+

With this little buddy, your little ones will learn when it’s alright to get up and start their day (say goodbye to rising before the crack of dawn!). His eyes close when it’s bedtime and open when it’s time to rise. It can also be used as an alarm clock for older children. Retail: $54.99

bamboo hooded towel by land of wee

Nothing says comfort like organic bamboo hooded towels after a nice, relaxing bath. Help ease babies into slumber with all the creature comforts of these hooded towels. Retail: $24.97

the mackenzie nursery rocker chair by baby relax

This chair is an easy to clean microfiber plush. In neutral colors, it offers the perfect lumbar support and comfort for all of those feedings, story times and cuddles for years to come. Retail: $229.98

mybaby soundspa lullaby sound machine + projector by homedics

With this ultimate sound machine playing songs like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Rock-a-bye Baby, plus sounds of a heartbeat, rain and ocean waves, your little ones will drift easily into dreamland. It can also project images from 3 discs. Retail: $24.99

adjustable swaddle blanket by ziggy baby

Give them the comfort of the womb and help them sleep more soundly (which means more sleep for you, too!) with these awardwinning adjustable swaddle blankets in various patterns. Retail: $24.99 16


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just for kicks & giggles waterfall discovery wall by step2

Give your littles hours of sheer joy with Step2’s Waterfall Discovery Wall! They can scoop the water and watch as it cascades through the zigzags, spinners and funnels on this two-sided water wall. Children can allow their imagination to run wild as each water maze piece can be moved to create a new design. Retail: $49.99

kick + play piano gym by fisher price

There is so much joy when babies learn to kick and then quickly realize they are making music with this mat! Babies can bat and grasp, or you can move the arch down for tummy-time play, or let babies sit and entertain you with a piano concert! Retail: $42.40

roll ‘n swirl ball ramp by early years

playpen ball pit by focusun

This 5-tier colorful busy ball drop will mesmerize your children for hours as the 3 whirly, swirly balls race down the tower shoot. It encourages repeated play and the heavy duty acrylic balls containing beads rattle when rolled or dropped. Retail: $16.14

Watch your children have hours of fun with this portable, cheerful colored playpen ball pit! Just let it pop up and your little ones will love playing by crawling, jumping or lying down inside it. Retail: $11.02

inflatable trampoline/pool by the shrunks

As a trampoline, the sturdy construction features a jumping area, or to use it as a pool, simply flip it over! The pool is spacious enough to hold up to three kids comfortably, and can be filled up to a depth of 13 inches. Retail: $104.98 multiplicity

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dads on delivery: what to expect with a c-section

It was around 2:25pm when I received a text message from my wife that read, “Call me when you can; not an emergency”. We were roughly a week away from our projected due date, but of course my mind immediately went to the obvious. I called immediately and she thought she might be having contractions. Enough said --- I was on my way home. She waited for me to get home and we called the hospital together. They asked a series of procedural questions such as how often are the contractions, describe the pain, etc. Based on our answers, the nurse didn’t seem overly concerned and we were advised to stay put. We were told to, “try to relax and take it easy”. Within 15-20 minutes, the contractions became more frequent, the pain increased and she decided it was time. Always trust your wife. She knows her body best.

by dan parisi

What made the situation more pressing is we had a scheduled c-section and she was carrying twins. To make matters more concerning was the fact that she had been put on bedrest because of how low the babies were sitting. Couple those factors with a sonogram taken two days before that confirmed that one baby was in a breeched



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position. I wasn’t about to take any chances, but at the same time, I’m mentally fighting to keep calm so that I don’t put any more stress my wife. The last thing in the world she needs is for me to lose my composure. Seems easy enough, right? The hospital is roughly 35 minutes away. I helped her to the car, packed our pre-packed bag and headed out. We pulled right up to the curb and walked into the emergency room entrance. We filled out our paper work, got our bracelets and made our way to the labor and delivery wing. It’s funny that this whole process took maybe ten minutes but when you’re in the thick of things, it seems like an eternity. Even the elevator to our floor seemed to be taking forever. I have to give my wife credit because she walked all the way refusing a wheel chair. We delivered our first daughter at this hospital and the staff was phenomenal. We felt very comfortable in that we were in good hands. The next phase consisted of going into a room where they hooked her up to a machine that measures contractions and the babies’ heartbeats. In the midst of all this confusion, I can see the pain on my wife’s face as she battles to stay calm. I learned that at that point, she wasn’t looking to be consoled, spoken to, massaged etc. She just wanted me there. You are the one familiar face that will bring whatever comfort to the situation by just being present. Be prepared to multitask during the pre-op. During the next twenty minutes, we were fielding questions, meeting the anesthesiologist and being introduced to the doctor on

I learned that at that point, she wasn’t looking to be consoled, spoken to, massaged etc. She just wanted me there. You are the one familiar face that will bring whatever comfort to the situation by just being present. duty. I must admit that I was a little bummed that our babies wouldn’t be delivered by the doctor that we saw throughout the entire pregnancy. The nurse asked if we wanted her to call our doctor to see if could make it in, but by the looks of everything, things were moving along fast and I was doubtful he’d make it on time. By now, she was dilated and it wouldn’t be long. We looked at each other and felt funny asking because the doctor on duty was nearby. Is it rude to ask for someone else? We requested our doctor any way, realizing “what’s the worst that can happen?” He doesn’t show and the doctor on duty delivers our twins. The nurse proceeded to ask a series of questions such as, “do you want to hurt yourself?”, “family history?” and “are you on drugs?” There were many more I just can’t remember. For me it felt like one of those movies where you almost block out all pf the talking and your focus is on one thing and one thing only. You see lips moving, but you’re not really absorbing anything. Every now and then I’d snap out of it as a new person walked in the room. It was now around 5:30pm and final preparations were being made to move into the operation room. As the bed multiplicity

wheels were being unlocked, in comes our doctor! He was pumping gas when he got the call on his cell phone and rushed right over. He shook my hand and said, “let’s go deliver your babies”. The bed was rolled into the delivery room. I followed closely behind. Just as my wife went in, I was greeted by one of the nurses and given a set of hospital scrubs, gloves and a mask. After approximately 15-20 minutes of waiting, the door opened and the nurse said, “okay, let’s bring dad in”. Camera in hand, I was ready to boogie. Oh and somewhere during the craziness, I managed to call our families and let them know it was time. Walking into the room was a pretty intimidating experience. There was a team of professionals all dressed in blue. The team consisted of two nurses, a pediatrician, anesthesiologist, and two doctors. My wife was awake during the entire delivery. I stood right by her and held her hand. Everyone seemed calm, cool and collected, which made us feel more at ease. After twenty minutes, I heard the doctor say, “here comes your baby girl”. At precisely 6:58pm, the sound of the first muddled cry warmed my heart and will stay with me forever. It’s at that

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contd. -- dads on delivery moment that you breathe a temporary sigh of relief. Ah...your child is brought into the world safely. The doctors held up the baby and I took a picture. Our first twin, Mia was born. The nurses quickly whisked her to an area where they proceeded to clean her up. The pediatrician checked the vitals. Two minutes later at precisely 7:00pm, our son, Dominick was delivered. He let our a muddled cry, too. The nurses invited me over to cut the umbilical cord. This was something that I hadn’t planned on doing, but the moment was just so special that I suddenly found myself trying to be a part of every single aspect. I knew that this might be my last time ever experiencing this. After both babies had been cleaned and checked by the pediatrician, I was given one in each hand. The nurse snapped pictures with my camera and now I have that moment ingrained forever. If you haven’t considered either having a photographer or bringing your own camera, please do. There are literally so many unbelievable things happening that’s impossible to give attention to all the details. Most importantly, get ready for the greatest experience of your lifetime. I am blessed and remain forever grateful to have shared the delivery experience with my wife.

a few helpful tips for d-day:

*have your bags near the door *always have gas in the car *be the informant --- let your wife in on what the doctor and team(s) are doing during delivery since she’s not actively playing a role *be the voice --- you may have to speak up for your wife during the c-section, so be sure you’ve discussed post-birth matters of importance (i.e. saving the placenta, etc.) *be prepared for skin-to-skin --- your wife is numb and likely won’t be able to hold the babies, so this is where you get to step in *be sure your phone/camera is charged --you likely won’t be able to photograph the procedure, but there’s ample time for pictures of the babies and your wife before they are whisked away 20


the must-have magazine for all parents of multiples


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FASHION FINDS from bump to baby + beyond!

by talitha a. mcguinness 22


the must-have magazine for all parents of multiples

Fashion while pregnant and just after delivering should be all about comfort, but you can be flattering and beautiful, too! Look to ways to layer with kaftans and cardigans, and look at shoes that won’t squeeze, as you may experience swelling during the warmer months. Strapless maxis are a great way to maximize your wardrobe while growing your belly, but also if planning to breastfeed once babies arrive. Loose fitting pants and tops give you confidence until you can lose your pregnancy weight.

Talitha was born a fashionista, sharing a love for beautiful clothing and trends that are timeless. Now with a family of 6, she stretches her budget to the limit, making everyone look great for less! multiplicity

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What to do when they get here should be the last thing on your mind. From breastfeeding, sleep training, getting them on a schedule, and how to twin proof your marriage, Twiniversity classes have you covered. From the best-selling book What to Do When You’re Having Two, parents leave armed with information to help them thrive with their multiples. Expecting? Twiniversity Part I has everything you need to know BEFORE your bundles of joy arrive! Class highlights include doctor’s office tips, equipment you will need, how to find help, delivery day tips, dealing with a NICU stay, and much more! Babies already arrived? Part II covers “a day in the life of your twinnies”, from the moment they open their eyes until you close your eyes at night, and everything in between.

For more information or to sign up, visit twiniversity.com.



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classes now available in New York City, Chicago, and online!


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by payal tello

babies don’t cry wolf:

how to know what each cry means 26


Crying is the only form of communication that babies have to offer us to let them know they need something or that something is wrong. Remembering that babies are completely dependent on their caregivers for everything from being fed, cleaned, comforted, and kept safe can help prevent excessive and unnecessary crying. When we think about a baby crying, it is important to keep in mind that they are doing this, not to manipulate us, but to communicate with us. Babies have no need to manipulate, or even have knowledge about it, contrary to some rumored beliefs about reasons why they cry. When a baby cries, it releases cortisol, causing toxic stress to the baby. Babies who are left to cry eventually stop crying because they realize that no one is coming for them. The stressful situation of crying activates the built-in survival technique of preserving their energy and their bodies have shut down. They learn that there is nothing for them to benefit from by doing so, and in turn can result in brain damage and less trust being formed in relationships. Here are few of the main reasons that babies cry and how to distinguish the sounds they make to indicate each, according to Dunston Baby Language:

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Remembering that babies are completely dependent on their caregivers for everything can help prevent excessive and unnecessary crying. ● Hungry: These cries tend to start off very slow and subtle. This cry takes on a “NEH” sound, because they attempt to suckle as they cry.* As hunger increases, cries will gradually become louder and more consistent. This cry is often associated with the rooting reflex, which means that your baby will turn their heads in search of food. Even if you have recently fed your baby, it is a good idea to check and see if they are hungry again. If you are breastfeeding your child(ren), they get hungry more often than formula fed babies. Regardless of the method in which you feed your baby, it is important to note that babies go through growth spurts and that they may be hungry more often than you anticipate. ● Tired: This cry is associated with the yawn reflex. This cry takes on an “Owh” sound, and typically is accompanied by an oval shaped mouth.* Is your

baby rubbing their eyes? Are they yawning? When is the last time they slept? (Remember, babies from newborn until 6 months need at least 16-20 hours of sleep; factor in prematurity if your twins came early.) ● Bored/Wants to be held*: This type of communication will likely start out as fussiness and gradually escalate to full on cries. Babies spent the first nine months of their lives moving around with and listening to their mother and need interaction and changes of scenery after they are born. Babies rely on their caregivers to have their basic needs met, and being stimulated and entertained is among those basic needs. Babies thrive on contact, and reminding them that you are there for them is a great way to prevent this type of cry. ● Uncomfortable: Baby will sometimes pant as they make the pre-cry sound “heh,” with emphasis on the H. Checking to see if baby is sweaty/clammy or shivering/cold to the touch. It could be something as simple as too many or too little layers of clothing, or an issue with the temperature of the environment that they are in. (Remember that babies generally need one more layer of clothing than adults require to be comfortable.) If they are being squirmy or won’t eat, check to see if they have a soiled diaper. ● Gas: This cry is urgent and distressed and usually is accompanied by a scrunched face and legs being pulled up to the tummy. The pre-cry sound “eairh” is accompanied with this cry. Try giving baby a tummy massage or changing their position to help alleviate the pain. multiplicity

*not part of the Duston Baby Language, but still a very important component of baby’s communication Remember to try and stay calm yourself as you console your baby because it helps calm baby easier since they are sensitive to tension. Things like babywearing, safe sleeping, being proactive with feeding times, providing consistent and positive care, and encouraging touch with your baby can only help you further become tuned in with your baby’s needs and prevent the need for your baby to cry. Understanding why babies cry and learning about the specific way your own babies communicate with you is a great way to form and uphold a positive and trusting relationship with them. After all, YOU are the expert on your babies, and only you know how to console them best. Learn more about the Dunston Cries or watch Priscilla Dunston explain these cries on OPRAH. *Source: Dunston Baby Cries Payal is a proud, first time mother of toddler twincesses. She holds a degree in Psychology and Sociology from Georgia State University and is a total nerd at heart. Payal recently completed her babywearing education through the Center for Babywearing Studies. She founded a blog where she is dedicated to sharing her own experiences with raising twins through her passion for babywearing, gentle parenting, natural living, and more. She strives to empower parents and caregivers within her communities, both online and local, as a Trained Babywearing Consultant. Follow her adventures on social media as Twinmommy101.

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the mental health musings of a postnicu mom


I’m a Post-NICU Mom, managing life and death, with a baby on a heart monitor, and I will not make accommodations for emotional crap that does not apply to me. Don’t let that statement scare you. Most babies will not go home on heart monitors and for those that do, it will be purely precautionary and will someday be forgotten. What will not be forgotten are the people who act a fool and make your life unduly stressful during your pregnancy and those fragile few months after delivery. You know what I am talking about. The thirty-five year feud between your mother and your grandmother (your Dad’s mother) comes to a head in your living room while your two year old is smelling up the room with his dirty diaper and your newborn is screaming. Each of them later decides to tell you her side of the story, but somehow, you just don’t care because you feel outright resentful that this 28


by paula yost schupp

is coming up now. You have a lot going on and you lack the patience or the emotional energy to mediate their problems. Then, your crazy mother-inlaw announces she is heading to your house thirty seconds after you get released from the hospital only to throw a hissy fit that she will have to actually stay at your house to help instead of getting to go shopping. You look at your husband and wonder how he survived his time as a newborn with her charge. How did he not get RSV or whooping cough or some other death causing disease? Is it not possible that he would have been better off having been raised by wolves than by this woman? You have not slept all night since you delivered. Your baby is crying every two to three hours. Your breasts are likely tender from breastfeeding or pumping, and you are still

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recovering from birth. Every time you have to go somewhere with your baby, you forget something as necessary as an extra diaper, which makes you feel stupid and like a bad mother. Truthfully, you are also in a state of mourning. You are mourning your figure, your freedom, and that one important friendship. You know the friendship. The woman who was so important to you. She was the person you shared everything with or so you thought. Soon after you announced your delicate condition to the world, you got a letter from her. Basically, she said that she is suffering from infertility and that she does not want to hear anything about your pregnancy. She berated you for talking about your morning sickness and chided you for not being more thankful you were pregnant in the first place. She said she would give anything to be in your shoes. Then, she told you that she does not want to be

friends because watching your belly grow is just more than she can handle. You are sad. Deeply sad. You feel like you just got divorced. This hurts. You missed her your whole pregnancy. Part of you was angry with her for being unable to be happy or to be there for you, but most of you was compassionate to the fact that she just can’t. You would do anything to help her get pregnant. You do not want to hurt her so you agree to go your separate ways, but that does not mean you don’t miss her or that you are not hurting because she is gone. She was one of the people you wanted to meet your baby and now it will not ever happen. Guard your heart and your health, Little Mama; that is the most important thing you can do. It is not a fancy stroller or a sensational product that will revolutionize your life, it is realizing that this time in your life is a big deal. You will want to remember this time. You will not want to look back on this time and view it as tainted because one of your parents let you down or you got into an unnecessary feud with an inlaw, or you wasted a lot of time crying over a friendship you cannot fix. If you are breastfeeding, you are going to spend some part of the next few months literally crying over spilled milk, and you are allowed to do that. Whoever made up that old saying never breastfed. If you are going to cry, cry over something meritorious. You do not need your life to be a mess because of emotional crap that likely has little to do with you.

Pick your battles. Soon after my son was born, I received a call from a family member who had been hospitalized. I was deeply saddened by this news, but I opted to engage because there were ways I could help. I also continued to work during my son’s NICU stay and took my maternity leave after he was released. I am thankful that I did. I could not have helped my son by laying around the NICU crying all day. I helped him by going to work, earning and saving money, and letting my body heal. In those instances, I felt I had a means of helping make a bad situation better. Getting involved in a fight between my mother and grandmother would just make a bad situation worse. I do not have time for that when I don’t have a newborn baby in my house, much less when I do. Here are a few things that I recommend you do to help guard your mental health. Remind yourself that keeping your child alive and well is the only thing that matters right now. The theme for visitors is helpfulness. If family members are helpful, let them come over. If they want to cook, bring you food or groceries, do your laundry, clean your toilet, or hold the baby while you sleep for a few hours, come on over. If they want to criticize, offer unsolicited advice, or make you feel bad about yourself, tell them you are not allowing anyone into your house as a means of protecting your child from germs. Tell yourself that you do not owe anyone anything other than your baby, your other children, and possibly your spouse. No one multiplicity

else matters right now. Beyond that, try to do the basics of sleep, eat well, and exercise if you can. Try to sleep as much as you can, as sleep is important. It will help you stay patient and patience is critical for a new mother with a healing body. Do the best you can to rest. The same rules apply for eating well and exercising. Eating poorly is just going to make you feel poorly. Exercising as much as you are able to exercise will also help you get energy back and will aid in sleeping well. Treasure the new friendships that will replace the ones you lost. I discovered a neighbor who has three boys. She loves my baby and gives me great boy mom parenting advice. I discovered another friend who is single with no children, who always makes me laugh and encourages me. She never makes me feel guilty and I love her for that. Both of these women entered my life at just the right time. Just remember, this time in your life is critical for you and for your baby. Do not let anyone into your house or your heart who will not be supportive and helpful in light of all that is happening. Paula Yost Schupp currently serves as the Chair of the Child Protection Team in Cabarrus County, NC. In addition to being a federally licensed U.S. Patent and Trademark Attorney, she holds a Masters in Clinical Mental Health. Paula is happily married to her husband of six years. They have three children, one adopted and two from scratch. To read more about Paula, visit her website.

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just for on the go complete all seasons carrier by lillebaby

The best of both worlds, this versatile hybrid is ready for whatever comes its way. Featuring an exclusive temperature-control panel that easily zips-up for warmth and zips-down to expose cool, breathable, 3D mesh. It’s lightweight, road-ready and built for daily use—be it in the brisk fall winds or blazing days of summer. Retail: $150.00

sippisnack by booginhead

Fill your lil’ Boogin’s favorite snack & drink in one with our SippiSnack. The top compartment is perfect for snacks or pacifiers, and the soft straws folds away. Retail: $6.99

lulaclips by lulakids

These magnetic clips attach to any car seat or stroller, allowing the straps/buckles of the car seat or stroller to be clipped out of the way. This makes unloading or loading a child as easy as it can be! Retail: $14.99

clean hands changing pad by snoofybee

squeez’ems by booginhead

Perfect for diaper bags and travel as soon as little ones can hold and squeeze! Cap is attached to eliminate lost parts. Freezer and microwave safe Retail: $7.99/2pk

The SnoofyBee Clean Hands Changing Pad is not your ordinary diaper changing pad. It provides all the benefits of a standard portable changing pad and diaper clutch plus a patent pending barrier to hang toys from and keep your child’s hands out of the mess. Retail: $34.99

lotus travel crib by guava baby



Quick and easy to set up, with backpack portability, and fits as a carry-on, you can use this travel crib everywhere. It’s a perfect, fun, comfortable play area for your little one. Retail: $209.00

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just for stowing away 1 of a kind play mat by stowey joey

For all those toys, regardless of age, this mat is perfect for home and on the go. Just lay out, let them play, and use the drawstring to “fold” all of the toys within the mat to then carry and put away. Retail: $67.99

hanging closet organizer by mdesign

This beautiful jute fabric closet organizer hangs over the closet rod with with 3 easy-view, clear vinyl pockets and 2 large fabric pockets. Organizes nursery bedroom by storing baby clothes, onesies, burp cloths, diapers, blankets, toys and other nursery accessories. Retail: $12.99

backseat car organizer by cozy greens

This backseat auto organizer features a Stretch ‘n Hold™ jumbo sized compartment for the ultimate “hold everything” storage solution, complete with a detachable pocket for grab & go convenience. No matter how many cars you have, this backseat organizer is an essential baby product. Retail: $23.97

diaper organizer by reperkid

For any nursery with little storage space, this diaper organizer is the answer. Never need to walk away from a diaper change. Diapers, wipes and necessities are always at your fingertips! Retail: $24.99

diaper bag files by gadikat

This organizer set comes with five lightweight and trendy bags/ pouches that fit faultlessly in your current baby or diaper bag, backpack, tote bag or purse. The set comes with an excellent handle that can be snapped on to the baby stroller or your handbag, and also includes a chain that can become a shoulder bag. Pouches include a wide bag, perfect for baby’s larger toys, with the smallest bag designed for lotions and wipes to keep your babies clean. Retail: $35.99 multiplicity

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on preventing hip dysplasia As parents, the safety and well-being of our little ones is always at the forefront of our minds. We are faced, every day, with dozens of choices and the task of discovering how best to keep them healthy, happy and thriving. The wealth of information parents have access to – the articles, books, experts, and advice from other parents – can all be overwhelming and tricky to navigate. At LILLEbaby, we believe the research that says that touch and closeness are an essential part of healthy infant development, and that babywearing is one of the best ways to accomplish keeping baby close. But within the flood of information parents face are opinions and concerns regarding babywearing – specifically, if wearing your baby can cause hip dysplasia (developmental dysplasia of the hip), or spine concerns like spinal stress fracture (spondlylolysis) and spinal stress fracture causing misalignment of the vertebrae (spondylolisthesis). Frequently, sources weigh in on the subject without scientific research or conclusions, and many “facts” are truly just the opinion of the individual. What we DO know is reassuring for those who desire to babywear; there is no scientific evidence that babywearing causes hip or spine problems. However, because there is also 32


no clear conclusion about what does cause hip dysplasia in infants, we believe that aiming for the best possible positioning to protect developing joints is a logical and wise choice. LILLEbaby is proud to have been deemed a “Hip Healthy” product by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI). This evaluation affirms that our carrier is designed to support the best possible hip positioning and development for little ones, keeping them in a secure and ergonomic seat. LILLEbaby was the first soft structured carrier with a seat that adjusts to the baby’s size for customized support. The LILLEbaby COMPLETE is hip healthy because it maintains a wide supported hip position, whether facing inwards or outwards, so that parents have the choice to face baby either direction without compromising spine or hip safety. The body of the carrier supports baby’s curved spine, and it is flexible enough to absorb the spinal impact of walking and movement. But how does a new parent determine if a baby carrier is ideal or not? When researching which baby carrier to choose for your family, you’re likely to encounter several key terms over and over. “Hip Safe” The IHDI and other hip health experts recommend

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LILLEbaby COMPLETE’s adjustable seat bridges the babywearing gap, adapts to ensure baby’s legs are never overextended, and allows for correct support and positioning at every phase. choosing a baby carrier that keeps the hips in a supported position at all times, and that adjusts to fit baby’s size. The M-position is recommended because it mirrors treatment devices like the Pavlik Harness, specifically designed to heal and to improve hip dysplasia conditions. “M-Position” or “M-Shape” In the ideal carrier, baby sits with thighs supported and spread comfortably out, with hips bent so the knees are slightly higher than or at level with the buttocks. “M-Position” (occasionally Jockey or Spread Squat position) is the term used to describe this positioning. According to the IHDI, “When baby wearing is practiced with each hip in approximately 40° to 55° of abduction and 90° to 110° of flexion, the femoral head – the ball of the hip joint – is pressed evenly into the center of the hip socket. Muscle action of the infant further presses the ball into the socket as the infant moves and clings to the mother. This type of muscle activity is beneficial for healthy joint development.” “Knee to Knee” “Knee to knee” refers to baby’s

thighs being fully supported with the seat of the carrier extending near or to, but not beyond, the knee joint, which prevents pressure on the hips or sliding into a different position. The LILLEbaby COMPLETE’s adjustable seat allows for customization for growing legs, providing ample support from newborn (7lbs) through the toddler years with baby supported in the M-position. “The Babywearing Gap” Many baby carriers, like some with a ridged or a nonadjustable seat, may not be flexible enough to form to the rapidly growing baby. This is what we call the “babywearing gap” – a period of time when the carrier seat does not adjust and is either too small or too large for baby. The recommended abduction (spread) of the hips is about 40 to 55 degrees, and the length of the babywearing gap depends on baby and wearer’s sizes. The LILLEbaby COMPLETE’s adjustable seat bridges the babywearing gap, adapts to ensure baby’s legs are never overextended, and allows for correct support and positioning at every phase. The IHDI’s research indicates that, when hip healthy carriers multiplicity

are used correctly, babywearing may even help to prevent hip issues in infants. According to the IHDI: “Cultures where babywearing is common have a low frequency of hip dislocations in babies. Whether due to the M-carrying position or to genetics is unproven. However, this low frequency is in sharp contrast to high rates of hip dislocation where traditional swaddling is practiced with the hips and knees held straight during early infancy.” If you have concerns about wearing your child, their hip health, or any other developmental questions, ask your pediatrician --- every child is different! We’ve found that many doctors are advocates for babywearing, for the benefits to both baby and parent, which range from the simple ease of having hands free to incredible health and wellness benefits, like increased oxytocin levels, milk production, better sleep, and important bonding. Wearing your baby is a wonderful, practical, and incredibly beneficial experience, and one that new parents should feel confident and equipped to try out. It is our joy to help you keep little hips well supported, to join you for your parenting journey, and to share the love of babywearing.

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questions to ask during a

high risk pregnancy

by alyssa keel 34


the must-have magazine for all parents of multiples


Finding out you are having multiples can be both exciting and scary, without the added stress or worry about having a high risk pregnancy. The best thing any parent can do is to inform themselves of what is exactly going on to ease some of the anxiety associated with being high risk. It is also important to remember the source of information received, and to seek answers from professionals who can provide you with non-judgmental and unbiased answers that make the most sense for you and your babies. Below are some of the questions that you should ask should something place you within the high risk pregnancy category.

what makes this a high risk pregnancy?

Knowing exactly why you are considered a high risk pregnancy is important. Is it because you are having triplets or quads? Is it your age? Is it the type of twins you are having? While fraternal twins are generally not as high risk as identical, mono mono, or conjoined twins, knowing if it is the number of babies you are carrying or how you are carrying them, for example monochorionic/diamniotic, that makes you high risk is important to know.

is there a health concern for either you or your babies that

is putting you at high risk?

If you have diabetes, certain genetic markers, or other health concerns, you may be considered high risk due to the chance of premature birth or potential issues with the babies. Once you know exactly why you are considered high risk, there are follow-up questions that you can ask directly related to your experience.

what is the plan moving forward?

After the reasoning behind your high risk status has been identified and described, you can find out what your plan will be moving forward. Do you need to come in for additional appointments, ultrasounds, or blood work? Is there anything that you need to do at home to ensure the wellbeing of your babies? Will you continue to see your doctor, or will you need to see specialists as well? Alternatively, if you are with a midwife, can you continue seeing them or do they recommend that you transfer to a doctor’s care? Is bedrest or inpatient care possible or recommended? Knowing these key things will allow you to plan for missed work or child care if there are other children at home. multiplicity

what will the birth look like?

You may have previously discussed or even created a birth plan, but is it possible that this may change? Can you attempt a vaginal birth or must the babies be delivered via c-section? Is home birth possible or do you need to be in a hospital or clinic? If you are planning or hoping to breastfeed, will you be able to do that still or have your babies placed chest to chest after their births? Can your partner participate in any way during this process? Will your partner or support person be able to stay in the delivery room with you or will they have to wait outside?

will my babies be born prematurely? When carrying multiples, the risk is higher for a premature birth, but many twin and triplet parents are able to carry fullterm for their pregnancies. However, the risk of premature birth is still there, and having an honest conversation with your medical team regarding the likelihood of a premature delivery and what that may mean for your babies is important to quell any anxiety you may be feeling.

will my babies spend time in the nicu?

Not all babies who are born prematurely will spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Understanding that weight, gestational age, health, and feeding may send

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one or more of your babies to the NICU, but they may not need to go at all if your clinic has a pediatric unit or lactation consultants who can help you to ensure proper oral feeding is taking place. If there is a good chance that you may find yourself on the NICU journey, taking a tour of the NICU and seeing preemies and the equipment that is being used should be requested. A conversation with a neonatologist or pediatrician working in the NICU may help to answer specific questions related to your babies’ care.

yourselves. Is there any support that can be recommended to you while you come to terms with what is happening? Social networks such as Facebook offer many online support groups with parents who have been in similar shoes, but there may also be more intensive care or support that your medical team can arrange, such as counseling or in-person support groups. If you are unable to work due to your pregnancy, is there financial support you can receive to alleviate some of the burden associated with missed wages?

The most important thing to remember as you ask questions and seek information is that you should never be afraid to ask. If something is unclear or there is too much medical jargon being If only one of your babies faces used, ask follow-up questions or complications during pregnancy ask for things to be explained in other ways so that you feel the or after birth, your babies may most prepared, knowledgeable, not come home at the same and confident as you can. time from the hospital or the These are your babies, and NICU. This is important to ultimately, you have to be the prepare for mentally, but also to know for planning purposes best advocate for them and your family. You will be the ones to in order to ensure that if one care of them during the hardest parent will be staying with the and the best of days. admitted baby, the other, or a support person, can care for Alyssa Keel has their sibling at the same time. worked as a social Knowing the visiting hours, worker in both what is expected of you when Canada and the you visit, as well as guidelines U.S. for several about bringing other children years. Living in into the hospital, clinic, or NICU Toronto, Alyssa is a are important to note, too. single mum to a rambunctious four-

will my babies come home at the same time?

what support can I receive? It may seem that the only thing you can think about at the time is the well-being of your babies, but it is equally important to take care of 36


year-old boy and amazing two-yearold identical twin girls, one of whom has Cerebral Palsy. During her high risk mono mono twin pregnancy, Alyssa began blogging, an extension of her love of writing. Alyssa loves taking photos and impromptu dance parties with her kids. You can follow Alyssa and her family’s adventures on her blog.

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Organizations like the March of Dimes help support women dealing with pregnancies in general, through education and information. They offer online articles on prenatal care, nutrition, weight and fitness, and targeted information on complicated pregnancies, birth defects prevention, pre-term labor, and even infant loss. They even offer an opportunity to speak with an expert about your particular situation through their online forms. The Fetal Health Foundation specializes in focusing on women whose babies are diagnosed with an intrauterine fetal syndrome like TTTS, SIUGR, LUTO, HLHS, and so many more. Being a grassroots organization, the Foundation is comprised of families who have journeyed with one syndrome or another. They offer online family matching, connections to counselors and even second opinions from top medical advisors when a fetal syndrome is in question, among other resources.

a few of our faves for mom teething pendant + bracelet set by infantino

Add a modern splash of color to any outfit with this fun and functional gem-inspired teething jewelry. The chewy textures soothe baby’s tender little gums and can also be used as a great sensory tool to help baby focus on nursing. These stylish teethers are 100% non-toxic silicone and free of BPA, PVC & Phthalates. Retail: $9.99

infuser water bottle by infusefruit

womb music baby heartbeat monitor by wusic

Listen to the sounds your baby makes with this Personal Sound Amplification Product that allows you to hear your baby’s sounds like kicks, movement and heartbeats. Womb Music promotes bonding with your baby for both mommy and daddy with two ear bud sets. Retail: $55.67

Busy moms are always on the go and staying hydrated is important, especially if breastfeeding. Why not let her enjoy some fruit infused water throughout the day, and help her kick off that post-baby body with the fuel she needs? Retail: $19.97

elegant + uplifting bracelets by mantraband

Moms need all the encouragement they can get. Why not gift her with jewelry that will make her look good and feel good, too? Each MantraBand is handstamped with an empowering message that she can take with her everywhere. Retail: $25

mckenzie flat by oka-b

With all the running around mom will do, help her do it in style! Oka-B’s McKenzie Flat is beautiful, comfortable and affordable, too! Retail: $44+

embracing belly boostier by it’s you babe

This new brace is the answer to maternity supports that dig into the legs when the wearer sits. This brace is worn comfortably high in the back, cradling the lumbar spine. The design utilizes a double action to lift the tummy. The brace helps improve walking and moving around without pain. Retail: $58 multiplicity

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how to capture

memorable birth photography by jane goodrich 38


the must-have magazine for all parents of multiples


ne of the most amazing, powerful, and memorable images you can get is of babies just after birth. If you are the mother, being behind the camera might not be on the top of your priority list, in which case your partner or a friend can sub in to offer their services. Here are our top tips for getting great photos of your newborn babies:

Preparation is Key

Whether you are the go-to person or have nominated someone, make sure that the gear is packed and ready. Spare batteries and memory cards are vital, as well as at least one lens that allows you to get close for portraits. Also your phone’s camera can work well, too, but make sure that you have enough memory on the phone to take photos! Planning a birth and the photography around it is complex enough; when twins are involved, planning can sometimes go out the window. Talk to your doctor about options in regards to c-section, whether you’ll be permitted to have a camera in the room (or at the least, a camera phone). Keep in mind that one person is typically allowed in the operating room, so a significant other or grandparent might be called on to take charge. Odds are that when your twins are born they’ll spend some time in the NICU --- where only immediate family is typically allowed. Don’t be afraid of taking photos; while it might be a bit of a stressful time at the moment, these are moments you’ll want to look back on later. Capture all the little details along the way.

Capture the Moments

Of course, you’ll want baby photos, but there are other moments to capture, as well. Take photos of the cards on the bassinets. Photograph visitors, cards, gifts, baby feet, medical bracelets, stays in the NICU etc., even portraits of the doctors and nurses who were involved. Any milestones that occur in the hospital should be captured as well, like first feedings and diaper changes, first baths, weigh-ins, getting ready to go home, etc. Do ask visitors or a nurse to take photos of the whole family!


Luckily, a hospital environment is generally well lit, which bodes well for photos. A good portrait lens will come in handy, along with a large aperture will help you create soft portraits with your twins as the focal point. Use the window light and white hospital to your advantage!


When all is said and done, print your photos! Whether you frame, tape to the fridge, or stick in a baby book, your photos are a lasting memory of those first precious few days of your twins’ lives and the journey you made together to get them here. A New-York based newborn and children’s photographer with an artful eye and a modern edge, Jane’s talent lies in her ability to capture a moment in time – no matter how quickly it passes. Her work has been featured in Parents Magazine, Westchester Family, Westchester Baby and Multiplicity Magazine. Follow along with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. multiplicity

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The creator of the Twiniversity online resource delivers the definitive survival guide for all parents of multiples --- from pregnancy through the first year The rate of twin births has risen by 79% over the last three decades, and continues to grow. Expectant parents are overwhelmed with questions: do I really need two of everything? Can we do this ourselves or do we need help? Will I have to rob a bank to raise these babies without going broke? A twins mom herself and national guru on having two (or more!), Natalie Diaz launched Twiniversity, a supportive website with advice from the trenches. What to Do When You’re Having Two covers: *making a Birth Plan checklist *sticking to one sleep schedule *double-duty breastfeeding *must-have gear *building one-on-one relationships with each child early Brimming with tried-and-true tips --- from the diaper budget to stroller sanity --- this is the must-have survival guide for parents of multiples. Natalie Diaz has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Family Magazine, and more. She was named one of the top 100 Social Media Moms on Twitter by Disney and has recently been nominated for a She Knows Parenting Award.

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keeping your pelvic floor healthy? by jessica reale

Did you know that in countries like France or Germany, women routinely work with a physical therapist to rehabilitate the pelvic floor after having babies? In fact, I have often had clients from these countries who live in America seek me out for treatment, surprised that their physicians had not recommended it to them postpartum. Unfortunately, America is a little behind the curve when it comes to pelvic floor health. Many women are given blanket recommendations of “do Kegel exercises” when they are 42


pregnant, but advice tends to end after that. Postpartum women experiencing problems like bladder leakage or painful sexual intercourse are told, “Well, you’ve had a baby…of course things are different,” and are left alone in managing these problems without receiving the help that they need. As a pelvic floor physical therapist and board-certified specialist in Women’s Health, this is so disheartening, and my hope is to shed a little light on this and make women aware that they deserve more. What exactly is the pelvic floor? The pelvic floor muscles sit inside the pelvis like a bowl, running from the pubic bone in the front to the tailbone in the back, circling around the urethra, vagina, and anus. There are three layers of these muscles, and together, they do several important jobs for our body. You can remember these as the “4 s’s”. First, they play both a “supportive and stabilizing” role in that they work together with a system of muscles, ligaments and fascia to support the organs in the pelvis and stabilize the pelvis, hips, and low back. The pelvic floor coordinates with the respiratory diaphragm, abdominal muscles and low back muscles to help to modulate intra-abdominal pressure and create stability with movement. When this system is not working properly, women can experience problems like pelvic organ prolapse (this is what is happening when someone tells you that

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photo courtesy of nyboneandjoint.com

bowel problems both during pregnancy and postpartum. How do you keep a healthy pelvic floor during pregnancy, after having a baby, and beyond?

At some point, women became convinced that there were certain problems they just needed to live with. Leaking urine when you cough or sneeze? “That’s normal after having babies.” Having pain when you have sex? “All women have pain sometimes.” her “bladder dropped”), or they may experience pain in and around the pelvis and low back. Of course, the muscles are most well-known for their “sphincteric” role, meaning that they contract to hold back urine and stool, and relax to allow for bowel and bladder emptying. Problems in these muscles can lead to urine or stool leakage or difficulty emptying the bladder or bowels. Lastly, the muscles play a key “sexual” role. They stretch to allow for sexual intercourse and contract rhythmically for pleasure and orgasm. If these muscles become tender, tight or sensitive (like from a scar), women can experience sexual pain. Does it really matter that much to keep a healthy pelvic floor?

Actually, it really does. Pelvic floor disorders are extremely common. Almost 50% of women experience urinary leakage at some point in their lifetimes and up to 30% experience pain with sexual intercourse. Pretty big numbers, right? And the crazy thing is, being pregnant itself is a risk factor for many future pelvic floor problems, so learning about these issues and striving to prevent them should be on the radar of any woman in her childbearing years (and arguably, before and after that too!) Research is pretty encouraging when it comes to retraining the pelvic floor. In fact, a recent Cochrane review recommended pelvic floor training for pregnant women to prevent urinary and multiplicity

Step 1: Identify any current problems you have and seek help! At some point, women became convinced that there were certain problems they just needed to live with. Leaking urine when you cough or sneeze? “That’s normal after having babies.” Having pain when you have sex? “All women have pain sometimes.” And really, I could go on and on. The myths are pervasive, and the real truth is that there is much that can be done to help the problems women experience. So, what might lead you to think you have a pelvic floor problem? Here are some common signs and symptoms: • Urinary problems (increased frequency of urination, stronger urges to urinate, changes in urination or urinary leakage/ incontinence) • Bowel problems (difficulty emptying stool, long-term loose stool, leakage/incontinence) • Sexual problems (pain/ discomfort with sexual activity, alterations in sexual arousal and/or orgasm) • Pain (lower abdomen, hips, buttock, low back, genital area) • Pelvic Pressure (sensation of heaviness in the pelvis or the vagina) If you are having any of the problems listed above, I would strongly encourage you to talk to your medical doctor about it, and seek out an evaluation by a skilled pelvic floor physical

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contd. --- pelvic floor therapist. The earlier you can receive the help you need, the better for you in the long-run! Step 2: If you are not having pelvic floor problems, start working on keeping your pelvic floor healthy! Keeping a healthy pelvic floor means much more than just squeezing the muscles. A healthy pelvic floor muscle group should be able to contract to the right intensity when it needs to, relax appropriately, and coordinate well with the other muscles around the pelvis. Here are a few exercises you can try to work the full function of the pelvic floor muscles: • Coordinating your pelvic floor with breathing o Inhale through your nose, focusing on expanding your ribcage, relaxing your abdominal muscles and relaxing your pelvic floor. o Exhale through your mouth, drawing in your pelvic floor muscles around 25-50% of your maximal contraction (contracting in around the vagina and anus, like you are holding back gas or urine). o Repeat this pattern of breathing with light pelvic floor contractions for 2-3 minutes, 2 times each day. o This teaches your pelvic floor to coordinate with the diaphragm and other muscles around the pelvis with the right pattern. Note: If you have any difficulty relaxing your pelvic floor, 44


take a resting breath between these contractions.

benefit from a comprehensive evaluation by a pelvic floor physical therapist.

• Quick pelvic floor contractions o Quickly contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles 5-10 times in a row, making sure to relax completely between contractions. o Repeat this pattern 2 times each day. o This teaches your pelvic floor to quickly activate when it is required (like when holding back urine with a hard cough!)

Try not to use other muscles while doing the exercise! Often times, people will clench their buttocks, inner thighs or abdominal muscles while performing pelvic floor exercises. Do your best to quiet those muscles down and isolate the pelvic floor muscles. Special hint: If you are doing these exercises correctly, you shouldn’t see any movement around your body. Remember, the pelvic floor muscles are inside!

• Functional pelvic floor activation o Pick 1-2 activities to start with during your day (i.e. standing up from a chair, lifting a child, etc.) o Prior to performing the movement, inhale in through your nose and relax your muscles. o As you exhale, lightly draw in your pelvic floor muscles 25-50% as you perform the task. o This teaches your pelvic floor to contract with the right timing to support your organs, spine and pelvis as you move.

If you just had a baby (or two, or three!), take it easy for a while! Very light contractions with relaxation of the pelvic floor can stimulate blood flow and help with healing, however, many women benefit from spending a few weeks simply working on diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles (especially if you experienced a tear during your delivery or had a c-section). After a few weeks, you can begin gently retraining the pelvic floor, but remember to take adequate rest between your contractions, and contact a pelvic floor physical therapist if you notice any problems that persist more than a few months.

Other Tips for Pelvic Floor Health! If you experience any pain/ discomfort, or see any exacerbation in your problems while performing these exercises, STOP and contact your health care provider. These exercises are definitely not a “one size fits all” recommendation. Experiencing symptoms while performing them could mean they are not appropriate for you at this time. If that occurs, you would likely

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Jessica Reale, PT, DPT, WCS is a physical therapist and board-certified specialist in Women’s Health. She specializes in treating men, women and children with pelvic floor problems and currently treats patients at One on One Physical Therapy in Atlanta, GA.


9-12 Months

6-9 Months

3-6 Months

0-3 Months

sample *During this stage, it is important to understand that a schedule will be magazine for allof moms of multiples. difficult duethetomust-have the irregularity when and for how long babies want to eat; *Babies typically eat every 2-3 hours (if you’re breastfeeding, this will be important for the first 12 weeks to keep up your supply); *Babies typically sleep for anywhere between 30 minutes to 3 hours in between feedings. *7AM - Wake & Feed *7:30AM - Activity *9AM - Nap

*3PM - Eat *3:30PM - Activity

*11PM - Wake & Feed

*11AM - Eat *11:30AM - Activity *1PM - Nap

*7PM - Eat *7:30PM - Bath *8PM - Bed

*This stage is when it is most important to begin a routine.

*7AM - Wake & Feed *7:30AM - Activity *9:30AM - Nap

*1:30PM - Activity *2:30PM - Nap

*7PM - Bath *7:30PM - Eat/Bed

*11AM - Snack *11:15AM - Activity *1PM - Lunch (solids)

*4PM - Snack *4:15PM - Activity *6PM - Dinner (solids)

*Babies will be eating more solids and may be sleeping through the night.

*3AM - Wake & Feed

*This stage will mirror the one before, with longer stretches between feedings and naps; *Babies will eat 3 meals + snacks/day; *Babies should be able to go at least 5 hours between feedings. They may no longer require a night feeding; *Past 12 months, babies may drop all but one nap each day. *be sure to factor in adjusted age; *babies will go through growth spurts where they may sleep/eat more at certain times than others. multiplicity

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wacky facts about twins... There’s no question that twins fascinate everyone, from the stranger at the super market, to the teachers trying to tell them apart, and even their parents. Here is a look into some wacky facts you may or may not have known about twins: *Twins can have different biological fathers. Sure it’s like a one-in-a-billion chance, but if a woman releases two eggs that happen to be fertilized by two different sexual partners, it could happen. In 2009, there were only 3 known cases. *Twins can be exact mirror images of each other. Research is inconclusive as to how this happens, but 25% of identical twins are exact mirror images of the other. If one is 46


right-handed, the other will be left-handed, and so on. *You can tell identical twins apart by their belly buttons. Because they are scars and not genetic, each will be different from their twin’s belly button depending on how the umbilical cord was cut. *Identical twins do not have the same fingerprints. Yes, they start out being the same, but because the babies touch the amniotic sac and each other throughout the pregnancy, they form ridges and lines unique to each of them. *Twins don’t always share the same birthday. Yes, they were conceived at roughly the same time and

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carried together throughout pregnancy, but in cases where each twin is in a separate sac with two placentas, the mother’s water may break allowing her to deliver just the one twin. *Twins often create their own form of language. Because of their closeness, twins often form autonomous languages that only they can understand. Since the babies must be extremely close in age and development, autonomous languages are far more common in twins, with around 40% of twins forming their own languages before they learn one that anyone else can understand. *There is a “twin gene”. Know of a family that has more than one set of twins? It could

be IVF, but it could also be what scientists are learning more about --- hyper-ovulation. If a woman inherits this gene causing her to release multiple eggs during ovulation, she will be more likely to produce multiple sets of twins. *World’s oldest twins are 204. That is their collective age...they are 102 years old each respectively. Ena and Lilly still live in England and broke the Guinness World record for oldest living twin set. *Twin sets run rampant in small Brazilian town. Over a span of 68 years, scientists were baffled that 8% of births in São Pedro resulted in twins, with only 1% throughout the rest of the country. Research showed that it was due more to hyper-ovulation and possible inbreeding. *The family lines blue for children who have a mother and father

who are each identical twins. Two children are genetic siblings if the chromosomes both received were derived from the same pool. Since the genetic pool of identical twins are identical, a child’s parents and aunt/uncle would produce children from identical pools. *Twins interact before birth. It is known that twins respond to and interact with each other in the womb as early as 14 weeks into the pregnancy. *There is a rumored “twin diet”. Some studies are showing that women who increase their dairy intake while trying to conceive are 13 times more likely to conceive twins than had they not included dairy as part of their diet. *Twins are still on the rise. Reports from the US Center for

Disease Control has shown an increase of 76% in twin births since 1980, mainly due to later maternal age at conception and the increase in IVF. *Twins are more likely to arrive early. It is widely known that 60% of twins are born prematurely and often with a lower birth weight averaging around 5 pounds. *Identical twins missclassified. The majority of identical twins have one placenta and one or two sacs, but 25-30% of identical twins can have two placentas, confusing doctors who simply assume they’re fraternal. Regardless of your role within the twin world, we can all agree that they fascinate and mystify the best of us!

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Profile for Multiplicity Magazine

Multiplicity Baby Gear Guide 2016  

This annual Guide is perfect for helping parents navigate the early years with twins. With informational features on High Risk Pregnancy, Wh...

Multiplicity Baby Gear Guide 2016  

This annual Guide is perfect for helping parents navigate the early years with twins. With informational features on High Risk Pregnancy, Wh...