Preparing for birth can be overwhelming, whether it’s your first pregnancy or your fifth. As soon as you see that ultrasound and find out your adding a twin pregnancy to the mix, and it can have you feeling dizzy in a way that has nothing to do with being pregnant. Of course, a little planning and preparation go a long way in eliminating the stress of delivering twins.
Luckily, you don’t have to start from the bottom when you’re preparing for your twins delivery. We are here to help guide you on your twin pregnancy journey, from pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
See our checklist below of 11 things to do before delivery day to help you prepare for your twins birth:
Buy your infant car seats and install them ahead of time
This is number one on our list because it’s definitely one of the most important things to do to prepare for the birth of your twins. After all, you won’t be able to leave the hospital with your babies if you don’t have an infant car seat properly installed. All states require children to be secured in a car seat and/or a booster seat until they reach weight and height requirements.
There are many different types of car seats, but for newborns, you’ll need a rear-facing car seat. Some car seats are convertible, which means they can transition to forward facing when your child is able.
The NHTSA has car seat recommendations for children age birth to 12 years old to help you choose the best seat. Once you do, you’ll want to follow the owner’s manual to ensure you’re installing it properly. You can also get help at a car seat inspection station.
Need some baby safety training? Take the Twiniversity Complete Baby Safety course, offered on-demand. Includes video modules on infant, toddler, and child CPR, first aid, and common medical ailments, plus car seat installation and safety and childproofing your home. Click here to learn more!
Do a dry run to your hospital or birthing center
Even though you already know where your hospital is, you’ll still want to make a few practice runs before delivery day. See how long the drive takes from your home, job, and/or nearby family members, in case you’re out visiting when you go into labor.
I wish I had done this when I had my twins. My hospital was almost 30 minutes away, plus I had to go through tolls. I didn’t do a test run beforehand to time everything. When I started having contractions, they were only 5 minutes apart. It was rush hour, so we didn’t know if we’d have time to make it to my hospital in the city. We ended up going to a different hospital, without my doctor and delivery team. Thankfully, everything worked out in the end, but it would have been better if I’d done a dry run first.
Make sure you and your partner plan the best route to take (and beware of alternate routes, just in case). It’s also helpful to do it at different times of the day. That way you can be prepared for things like traffic, detours, weather issues, and more. Also, don’t forget to put the address into your Waze or Maps app for quick access.
Pregnant with twins and not sure where to start? Visit the Ultimate Twin Pregnancy Guide to find all the top articles and resources to get you ready for twins. While you’re at it, check out our expecting twin classes and Twiniversity shop!
Plan for different delivery day scenarios
You and your partner want to be prepared for anything when it’s time to deliver your twins. This is why it’s smart to plan out different scenarios, such as if you or your partner are at work when you go into labor. Additionally, you’ll want to consider what to do if you’re out visiting with someone else, if you go into labor early, and other possibilities. Most of these things will go into your birth plan, but you still want to be sure to discuss it between the both of you.
Don’t forget to prepare your pets before you give birth
If you have pets, especially dogs, you’ll want to prepare them for the arrival of a baby in the home. This includes getting them used to new baby equipment, such as strollers, car seats, rockers, and more. Go for a walk with the stroller so the dog can get used to walking alongside it. Turn the rocker on, play the white noise machine, and let them inspect the car seats or carriers. Animals are pretty intuitive, so they likely already know something is different about your body. However, it’s still a big change for them once you bring the babies home. Get them used to rattles and other things that make noise (and teach them not to treat them as chew toys!).
And don’t forget to make sure you have a contingency plan for your pets’ care while you’re in the hospital preparing to give birth. If you don’t have family or friends who can check on your furry friend, you can always find great pet sitters on sites like Rover.com and Care.com.
Put at least 1 crib together
Let’s face it, twin pregnancies can be unpredictable. Sometimes those babies come a few days (or weeks) early. Even though you might not need the crib right away, it’s still a good idea to have at least 1 crib assembled before babies arrive. If you wait too close to your due date, you just add more things to your to-do list. Moreover, you don’t want to end up frazzled, trying to put a crib together after you bring babies home. Plus, you’ll want to spend all your time loving on your little miracles. NOT dealing with those stressful instructions. So do yourself and your babies a favor and get those cribs assembled beforehand.
Talk with your partner about expectations
It’s easy to overlook some things when you’re preparing for birth, especially when it’s going to be double duty with twins. But it’s imperative that you and your partner communicate clearly to help ease any confusion. So it’s a good idea to have a deep conversation about what you both expect and are capable of doing. Decide who will be responsible for what and when — before, during, and after delivery. However, make sure to be flexible because babies rarely stick to your schedule and ideas.
In What to Do When You’re Having Two: The Twins Survival Guide from Pregnancy Through the First Year, national twins guru and founder of Twiniversity (and twin mom herself!) Natalie Diaz provides a no-holds-barred resource about life with twins, from pregnancy and birth all the way through your duo’s first year of life. BUY NOW
Pack your hospital bag with essentials
By week 31 of your pregnancy, you should have your hospital bag packed and ready to go. This is probably one of the most important steps to take when you’re preparing for the birth of your babies. You can start accumulating some of the items early, but you’ll definitely want to have this done ahead of time. That way you don’t forget anything.
So make sure you have a hospital bag checklist that covers everything, including extra clothes, pillows, snacks, long phone chargers, etc.
Pick out baby names
My twins were 7 weeks early, so I didn’t have my baby names picked out yet. I had some crazy notion that the right name would just magically appear to me when they were born. Unfortunately, the baby naming fairies never made it to my hospital room. My twins actually spent two weeks in the NICU as Baby Girl A and Baby Boy B, because I never took the time to choose their names.
So when you’re preparing for birth, make sure you have an idea of what baby names you like. While it’s not a major part of birth preparation, you’ll want to know what to call your babies once they get here. Plus, it’s one less thing you have to worry about in the middle of that chaos.
Decide who will visit after delivery
Not only do you want to ensure your loved ones know when to come see the baby, you also want to make sure that your hospital will accommodate you. With COVID 19, many changes took place in terms of hospital visits. It’s a good idea to check with your hospital’s visitation rules and let your friends and family members know the plan.
Prepare a birth preference sheet
When you’re preparing for birth, especially with twins, a birth plan is incredibly important. It takes the stress out of the entire process. This means everyone in your circle understands your birth preferences. It makes it easier to get certain things done, before, after, and during your delivery.
You can include things, such as whether you want a natural birth or what kind of lighting you prefer. You might also include what type of pain relief you want, whether you want to video the birth, your breastfeeding choices, your health risks, and more. Additionally, things like how you want to push, if you want to be mobile during delivery, and who will be in the room can also be included.
Whatever you decide to put in your birth plan is up to you, but you should definitely discuss it with your partner to make sure you’re both on the same page.
If you just heard that second heartbeat for the first time, or you know it’s been two for a while, you need to read our twin pregnancy week by week timeline to help you learn what happens week by week with twins. Click here to learn more… and while you’re at it, check out our expecting twins classes and twin parent coaching services.
Let your doctor know if you want to collect your twins’ cord blood
Cord blood banking is the process of collecting blood from the umbilical cord and storing it for future medical use. Cord blood is retrieved within moments of giving birth. It has immense benefits for you, your babies, and even your other family members. Plus, cord blood stem cells have been saving lives for more than 30 years.
Don’t worry, cord blood stem cells are not the same thing as embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are obtained in a much more controversial manner. Cord blood stem cells are just as effective as embryonic stem cells, and much more ethical.
Currently, there are more than 80 FDA approved cord blood treatments. And cord blood cells are also used in nearly 100 ongoing clinical trials across the world to treat a variety of conditions. This includes researching it as a potential treatment option for certain childhood neurological conditions.
Cord Blood Registry also offers a Newborn Possibilities Program, which provides free cord blood and tissue processing for families with qualifying medical needs. To learn more about their programs, click here.
If you decide you want to collect your twins’ cord blood, you should let your doctor and delivery team know ahead of time. And make sure you have your cord blood collection kit before delivery day!
Don’t forget to mention the code DUO2 for a twins discount!
Don’t forget to relax as much as possible
Finally, you’ll want to get as much rest as possible before your twinnies arrive. So put your feet up, binge watch some Netflix, and enjoy the quiet while you can. Once those babies arrive, you won’t get much time to yourself.