“When do you need to start maternity leave with twins?” This is a question every pregnant mom of twins has asked themselves, and the answer can be confusing.
There are no strict guidelines on when in your twin pregnancy you should finish up at work. For many there are financial stresses that play a big part in this decision. But here are a few things to think about when you are asked by your employer to come up with a date.
Most mamas-to-be with a singleton pregnancy will plan to work up to 1-2 weeks prior to their due date, so why should it be any different with a twin pregnancy?
For a start, most twins will arrive earlier than the standard 40 weeks for a singleton.
Fraternal twins are encouraged to be born no later than 37 weeks and identical twins at around 36 weeks and this is assuming you have had a complication-free pregnancy.
And remember… twins have a habit of arriving early.
Another consideration is the size of that twin belly mama!
At 29 weeks you will be the same size as a full-term singleton pregnancy so you will be feeling the weight of it (so to speak).
The aches and pains will be making their presence felt for sure and getting around are going to start becoming more and more uncomfortable.
The recommendation by obstetricians and multiple birth associations around the world for women carrying multiple babies is that they should look to finish work no later than around 28-30 weeks.
Stress and your twins
Your body is coping with A LOT to keep all three of you healthy so anything you can do to minimize stress and maximize rest will ensure that you all stay healthy and optimize your chances of getting to your desired term.
Stress is also thought to be one of the causes of spontaneous early labor and much research has been done on the effects of stress (and in particular work stress) on unborn babies.
There is also a lot to be said for spending the extra time before your babies arrive learning about what your new life with twins will be like.
Think of it as the calm before the storm.
Take some time before your twins arrive
Life is going to be busy once your babies arrive, so make the most of some downtime to take care of you, mama, so you are prepared for when your twins come home.
Use the time to finish off your nursery, pack your hospital bag, read up about feeding options, and chatting with a lactation consultant to help you get the best start with breastfeeding.
It is also a great time to attend a local Multiple Birth Club Playgroup if you are lucky enough to be close to one and have a chat with some of the other twin parents.
And don’t forget to add in some couch time to rest that tired back and belly.
You are about to spend your days caring for two new special people in your life so take some time to care for you mama.