Preparing Yourself for Your Twins’ First Touches

September 15, 2020

Congratulations on your twin pregnancy! 

After many long, often difficult, months of carrying your twins, it is finally time for your face-to-face meeting. Seeing them is magical, but it is nothing compared to your newborn twins’ first touches! 

The Power of Touch

Touch is the first sense babies develop and is essential for their growth. After being literally attached to you for so long, the feeling of wanting to be close is only natural. For the babies, your touch:  

  • Stabilizes heartbeat and breathing
  • Keeps them cozy and comfortable
  • Reduces time crying
  • Makes for longer and deeper sleep

Photo credit: @dulatwins

Though being pregnant with twins can be overwhelming and scary at times, mamas can also get something from being around their multiples. Nothing tells you the reality of pregnancy more than being with and touching your twins. For twin mamas, touch:

  • Creates a feeling of closeness with your babies
  • Decreases stress and anxiety
  • Grows your confidence to care for your babies
  • Stimulates breast milk production

Touch can also be powerful for fathers as they can share bonding moments with their twins.

Photo credit: @amandastott

Womb to chest

Before labor, talk to your birthing team and ask if it would be possible to have your babies be put directly on your chest after delivery. This can be an option even before your babies’ umbilical cords are cut. This closeness can be a raw and natural moment that you will never forget. Your steady heartbeat can be a real comfort for your newborns.

Twins often need to spend time at the NICU after birth and you may not have the chance to touch them for hours, or maybe even days. Each baby is different, so some may work better than others. If this is the scenario for your family, don’t worry, there are other ways you can start to bond with your premature twins.

Photo credit: @mymom_wife_life

Kangaroo Care

One of the most common methods to introduce touch to NICU twins is through skin-to-skin care. This is when you lay your babies on your bare chest. Keep a blanket nearby so your babies can stay warm and cozy. Twins can even hold onto each other in some tender moments!

Talk to your baby’s health care providers about how often and for how long you can do kangaroo care in the NICU.

Photo credit: @itsatwinthing37

Hand Hug

In some cases, you may not be able to hold your premature twins right away. For some time, you may only get to hold parts of them, like their hands or their feet. This is where a hand hug comes in. When your babies are laid on their backs, you can gently touch your twins’ heads for a comforting connection. Doing hand hugs can sometimes calm your babies when they are being fussy.

Photo credit: @abbykristine16

Touch Moments

At the NICU, the chances you get to touch your twins may be limited. Don’t let the wires and tubes overwhelm you, you can hold your twins even if they’re connected to NICU equipment. Here are some little moments you can spend with your premature babies. 

  • Breastfeeding - The time will come when a specialized NICU lactation consultant gives you the green light to breastfeed. Typically 5 minutes, these short amounts of time can be one-on-one experiences with your babies and allow you some quality bonding time.
  • Bottle-feeding - After being attached to feeding tubes, your twins will graduate to bottle-feeding. Since every movement or action causes your twins to burn calories, these 15-20 minutes you spend bottle feeding them can feel like a lifetime.
  • Diapering - Changing your multiples’ diapers in the NICU is a HUGE moment! It means that they are getting the right nutrition and are on their way to being strong. Any interaction you can have with your premature twins are worth every second!
  • Bathtime - When your NICU babies can be safely detached from their monitors, you may get the “go ahead” to give them a sponge or tub bath. You can really see your babies react to your massaging and stroking in warm water!

Photo credit: @identicaltwincousins

Extended Touch

Touch is a powerful feeling and a serotonin boost for you and your babies. It can truly be a source of healing after a long trip to the hospital. As they get older, bigger, and stronger, tandem babywearing will be the next big step. With your own TwinGo baby carrier, spending time carrying your twins has never been easier!

Photo credit: @heymace