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Pregnancy and baby

Getting ready for twins

Having twins is exciting but challenging, so it's a good idea to be well prepared before your babies arrive.

While family and friends may be experts when it comes to single babies, twins or more may be new for everyone.

Where to find information about twins

  • Ask your midwife whether your hospital runs any antenatal classes for parents expecting twins.
  • You can get useful information about what it's like to have twins from Tamba (Twins and Multiple Births Association). This charity offers some free information, but you can get access to all of their information and support by paying a small annual subscription and becoming a member.
  • Twinsclub has advice for parents of multiples, as well as an online community.
  • The Multiple Births Foundation provides information on twins, and has lots of useful leaflets and books. It also holds regular evening talks for families expecting multiples.
  • The NCT (formerly the National Childbirth Trust) runs some classes for parents expecting twins or more. Check the NCT website
  • Tamba runs antenatal classes for parents expecting twins or more. These are open to both members and non-members.

NHS Choices has plenty of information on everything from writing your birth plan to soothing a crying baby and helping your babies sleep.  

You can also find information on maternity and paternity benefits for parents of twins.

Twins clubs

You can find a list of local twins clubs on the Tamba or Twinsclub websites. These are clubs where parents expecting twins can talk to other parents of twins to find out what to expect.

Get ready for twins

You'll need to make a few extra preparations if you're expecting twins or more.

Ask if you can go on a tour of your hospital's maternity unit, and ask to see the neonatal care unit. More than half of all multiple births are premature, so your babies are more likely to need some special care. It's best to know what to expect.

If possible, arrange for someone to help you after the birth. An extra pair of hands is a must when you have newborn twins. If you're expecting triplets, you'll almost certainly need help for at least the first few months.

Ask if family and friends can help out or, if you can afford it, arrange for paid childcare at least for the first few weeks.

If money is tight, the charity Home-Start may be able to arrange some temporary help. Contact them early as their volunteers are in big demand. 

How to keep down the costs

Having more than one baby can be expensive. It's worth getting advice from other parents of twins about what you really need. Then you won't waste money on unnecessary extras.

To save money, you can visit NCT sales, local twins club sales and charity shops for second-hand baby equipment.

You can also ask around to see if friends and family can pass anything on. It's best to buy new cot mattresses rather than second-hand ones, though. Also, don't buy second-hand car seats, as you can't know whether they have been involved in an accident. 

Read more about buying baby car seats.

Pack your hospital bag

Pack your hospital bag early in your pregnancy, ideally from 26 weeks, as twins often arrive early.

Tamba's healthy multiple pregnancy guide (PDF, 1.8Mb) has a useful checklist of everything you need to take with you for the labour and birth of your babies.

Check with your hospital as some provide a list of what you need to bring. Pack enough supplies for two babies. Twins are often smaller than single babies, so they may need tiny baby rather than newborn-size clothes.

Find out more about giving birth to twins and feeding twins and multiples.

Healthtalk has videos and written interviews with women talking about having a twin pregnancy.

Page last reviewed: 04/06/2016

Next review due: 04/06/2018

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What to expect, including whether or not you can have a natural birth and what happens after the first baby is born