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MoMs tell all!
You aren’t imagining things. Twins are becoming more common — and have been for decades.
In 2009, 1 in every 30 babies born in the United States was a twin, compared with 1 in every 53 babies in 1980, according to the CDC.
Put another way, that’s more than 1 million more twins who wouldn’t have existed before the increase.
And that’s not counting the number of triplets, quads and quints!
That, of course, means there are many more parents living life-times-two or three or four or more.
In response to the rising birth rates of multiples, Edina-based Welcome Baby Care — a Twin Cities postpartum doula agency — set out to learn more this past spring with a survey of mothers of multiples as well as those expecting multiples.
Top concerns among expecting mothers, the survey found, were babies’ health, followed by money, having enough help, mom’s health and, finally, other family members.
Carey Lindeman, the founder of Welcome Baby Care, said more than 40 percent of the Edina-based agency’s business is driven by families caring for multiples — quite a high number when you consider that multiples make up a relatively small percentage of births overall (3.3 percent in 2010).
Though seeking help when it’s needed is important for all families going through the postpartum period, families with multiples are more likely to allow themselves to accept it because of exceptional circumstances, Lindeman said.
That might mean, when possible, spending money on daytime or nighttime doula care during the postpartum period, Lindeman said.
Of the 250 mothers surveyed, however, 83 percent were relying primarily on family to support them, followed by daytime nannies and daycare centers.
Aubrey and Lilah Bohlman of South St. Paul are 4 1/2 years old.
Another huge topic for moms of multiples, aka MoMs, was breastfeeding.
A whopping 90 percent said they planned to breastfeed or were breastfeeding at least some amount — and 70 percent had used a lactation specialist (not surprising since nursing twins isn’t quite the same as nursing one).
The folks at Welcome Baby Care (who offer classes on breastfeeding twins) didn’t just gather statistics, however: They also captured MoMs’ anonymous, unfiltered insights by asking them for their best piece of advice.
In turn, we followed suit and asked Minnesota Parent Facebook fans for their words of wisdom — and pictures of their darling multiples.
MoMs’ overwhelmingly universal advice was: Don’t try to be a superhero and try to do it all alone. In short, get help — anywhere you can — even Facebook, especially from other MoMs who know what it’s like!
Lindeman said Welcome Baby Care’s free MoMs Mixers — including one coming up at Pacifier in Minneapolis on the evening of Oct. 6 — are one of many ways moms can join forces and create their own support communities.
“They’re wildly successful because — finally — they’re sitting around a table with these MoMs, and they really connect with each other,” Lindeman said.
As one mom in the survey offered her advice: “Connect with a community of moms of multiples. There’s something uniquely challenging about having more than one baby at a time, and I really value the support I have from my online and in-person fellow MoMs.”
Take a look at what else local moms shared anonymously (above, right) and also here, where we've collected photos and words of encouragement from local MoMs.
Sarah Jackson is the editor of Minnesota Parent. Write her at email@example.com.
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