Delivering Triplets via C Section

delivering triplets via c section

A C-section delivery is a surgical procedure in which a baby is born through a cut (incision) in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. C- section is often performed when a vaginal delivery is not possible or when it is considered safer for the mother or baby / babies. Although c-sections are a routine surgery and considered very safe, they are major surgery and can be painful during recovery. If you are expecting three babies (how exciting!), you should probably prepare yourself mentally for the fact that you may well be delivering triplets via C section.

A C-section delivery for triplets is performed in an effort to ensure the safety of all three babies. The trio of infants are typically delivered within minutes of each other, and then often placed in an incubator to ensure their well-being. Triplets are more often than not born prematurely and therefore may have low bodyweight and need assistance regulating their body temperature. In some cases, one or more of the infants may need to be transferred to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for further care. This could involve the use of specialist equipment to assist with breathing.

Despite the challenges associated with delivering triplets via c section, it is an incredibly rewarding experience for parents and loved ones alike. Watching these tiny new lives take their first breaths is a moment that will be remembered forever.

Can triplets be born without C Section?

Triplets can be born without a c-section, but the risk for complications is high. There is a one in four chance that the triplets will be born premature, and there is also a high risk for hemorrhaging and other complications. In most cases, triplets are born via c-section.

delivering triplets via c section

What is full term for triplets?

Pregnancy duration for triplets is considered full term at 37 weeks. However, a triplet pregnancy usually doesn’t last much longer than 35 weeks. The lack of room in the uterus can trigger early labor, or there may be a concern with the health of any one of the babies or the mother that may prompt doctors to decide that earlier delivery is the safest option. This is about 5 weeks shorter than a singleton pregnancy, but most triplets are born healthy and without any problems.

The earliest a triplet pregnancy can be safely delivered is at 24 weeks, although the wonder of medical technology is starting to see the 23 week mark as possible, though with large risks of associated complications. After around 32 weeks gestation, the risk of complications for both the mother and the babies is significantly reduced.

When triplets are born prematurely, their chances for survival are lower, the earlier they are born. Premature delivery also increases the risk of lifelong health issues, but with advances in medical technology and care, more and more premature triplets are not only surviving, but thriving.

Is C Section very painful?

No two vaginal deliveries are the same, so it’s hard to compare levels of dicomfort between the two birthing methods. An uncomplicated vaginal birth with a short labor period is very different to a protracted labor followed by a complicated delivery involving episiotomy. Most of the time, a C Section is performed with an epidural, so localised pain is not felt during the birthing process, but post-surgical pain will be experienced afterwards. In the case of an emergency C Section, sometimes there isn’t time to administer an epidural, so the mother will be placed under general anesthesia. It’s important to discuss pain management with your doctor to ensure your pain is managed, whilst also ensuring the safety of your babies if you are expressing breastmilk.

While C section is a significant surgery, cutting through several layers of tissue, many women seem to soldier on famously, seemingly unhindered by pain as the excitement and chaos of new motherhood sweeps in. In the case of giving birth to triplets, there is so much going on around that it’s easy to be distracted from post-operative pain. The main complaints from women recivering from C Section revolve around trying to sit up, twist and carry their babies. the incision to your abdominal wall understandably affects your strength and stability, so it’s important to follow medical advice closely to ensure the best recovery outcome. Driving is usually off the cards for around 6 weeks.

There are several things that you can do to help manage the pain after a c-section. Some of the most effective strategies include using ice packs or heating pads (whatever you find gives more relief), taking pain medication as prescribed, and getting adequate rest. It’s also important to stay hydrated, as passing bowel movements can be uncomfortable post surgery and pain relief medications can sometimes make stools difficult to pass. It is also important to take care of yourself emotionally and mentally by accepting help from loved ones and seeking support from other mothers who have undergone c-section delivery.

c section for triplets

What are the benefits of a c section when delivering triplets?

There are several benefits of delivering triplets via C Section. One of the most obvious advantages is that it can save the life of the mother and/or babies. Delivery via C Section allows the medical team to more accurately monitor the heart rates of all of your babies, detecting any signs of distress. When there are several tiny humans in your body, there is more risk of awkward positions, which can make vaginal delivery more risky. In some cases, it may be necessary to perform a C Section to prevent damage to the baby’s brain or spinal cord.

C Sections are also often preferred when there is a risk that the baby may be born prematurely. C Sections can help to speed up the delivery process in these cases, which can be important for the health of both the mother and baby. Premmie babies frequently suffer from breathing difficulties initially, so getting them out and into the hands of a specialist neonatal care team as soon as possible is important.. Additionally, C Sections can sometimes be helpful when working around certain medical conditions in pregnant women, such as placenta previa or placental abruption.

How long should you rest after having triplets via C Section?

Resting? After having triplets? Yeah right!
Most doctors will tell you to take it easy for six weeks after giving birth via C Section. This means no strenuous activity, such as running or lifting heavy objects. Most doctors won’t clear you to drive for 6 weeks in case you are required to take evasive action or perform an emergency brake. You’ll probably need about ten days to recover from the surgery itself, but the six-week period is important for making sure your incision heals properly.

However, every woman and every pregnancy is different, so it’s important to listen to your body and your doctor’s instructions after you’ve had a C Section. Try to get plenty of rest and avoid takin on tasks that can easily be handled by someone else. Check with your doctor to find out how long you should rest specifically. If your newborn babies spend some time in hospital before being able to come home with you, try to focus on the extra time that gives you to make a good recovery. Once you have a home with triplet babies in it, there isn’t much opportunity to rest.

Final thoughts…

There are many things to consider when delivering triplets via C Section. The procedure is more complicated and carries more risks than a typical C Section, but everything is more complicated with three babies! However, for mothers carrying triplets, it is often deemed to be the safest option. Whilst it’s important to discuss any personal wishes you have about opting for a vaginal delivery with your medical team, it’s worth preparing yourself for the possibility of C Section if all doesn’t go to plan. When pregnant with their first baby, many women have detailed birthing plans and visions of what they want their child/ren’s birth to be like. The most important thing, above all else though, is your babies arriving safely into this world and that you survive the process to guide them through it.

Is Pregnancy Brain a real thing?

is pregnancy brain a real thing?

Pregnant women, or women who have given birth recently often report suffering from forgetfulness and lack of concentration. This well documented condition is known as Baby Brain, Pregnancy Brain, or Mom / Mommy Brain. I’ve often seen bewildered husbands eye-roll at their partner’s forgetfulness and i recently decided to research “Is pregnancy brain a real thing?”

The fogginess and memory problem that can accompany the lead up to and arrival of a baby is a real medical condition that can significantly impact women’s ability to focus and cause them great frustration.

Almost every mother will experience some level of Mom Brain symptoms but the intensity of this condition can be different for every woman. Some pregnant women have more intense symptoms while others just have mild effects.

What does being pregnant do to your brain?

Apart from the obvious external physical change that a pregnant woman goes through, the underlying changes happening in her brain, including mental health often gets ignored. According to the research, there’s a pinkish-grey tissue in the brain that shrinks after a woman has given birth.  It’s due to this shrinkage that causes women experience the condition of pregnancy brain.

There is actually a good side to this. The shrunken parts are areas that are responsible for social cognitive activities such as understanding non-verbal communication and the tuning in to feelings of others. When it shrinks, it’s not so much a loss of function, but rather an intensifying or distilling of those functions.This enhancement might be helpful to mothers in taking care of their children, understanding the needs of newly born babies, and in protecting their babies from possible threats. Moreover, it is also reported that women who have lost greater amount of the grey matter are more attached to their newly born. Pretty cool evolutionary stuff, hey?

The trade-off is that memory (spatial memory in particular) may suffer as a result of these brain changes. The brain is simply focusing it’s attention on the parts that are most critical for the survival of offspring and where you parked the car just doesn’t make the cut!

Mom Brain Symptoms

Experiencing forgetfulness, fogginess, and lack of concentration is normal during pregnancy and postpartum is extremely common. Below are the most commonly reported symptoms of Mom Brain:

  1. Difficulties in reading
  2. Forgetting dates, appointments, and tasks easily
  3. Lack of concentration
  4. Difficulty in recalling names
  5. Fogginess in brain
  6. Memory issues
  7. Forgetting what you were about to say, in a conversation.
  8. Inability to solve problems
is pregnancy brain a real thing?

When does Pregnancy Brain start?

There’s no exact information on when Pregnancy Brain starts. However, many mothers have reported that they’ve experienced the symptoms more obviously the third trimester. It makes sense because lack of sleep (which can be happening due to the discomfort of a growing belly) back pain or heart burn, can cause lack of concentration. Mom Brain can also be experienced in the first trimester because that’s when the hormone levels change much more suddenly.

Do you recover from Mom Brain?

The exact duration of this condition is unclear, however, symptoms usually subside a few months after delivery. From a physiological perspective, the grey matter stays shrunken for almost 2 years, so it might be possible that the symptoms also persist for some women.

Don’t get stressed. Due to our ability to adjust, at the end of the day mothers will cope and Mom Brain simply won’t be a hassle anymore.

How to combat Pregnancy Brain

Learning tips and strategies to help cope with this condition is helpful for some women. Managing symptoms can be particularly important if you have ongoing responsibilities such as paid work or caring for an elderly parent or other little ones. The techie age we are living in has made things a little easier, so by making minor changes and using some tools available, you can hopefully cope better with any memory issues. Keep reading on if you’re searching for some coping strategies:

  1. Set alarms for important dates, appointments, deadlines, or even tasks such as grocery shopping. There are a ton of great apps out there that can help with calendars, checklists and reminders. If you’re not much of a cellphone person then you may also use sticky notes for reminders. Be sure to stick the notes in obvious places!
  2. Keep all the important things such as keys, wallets, and chargers in the same spot. You might specify a drawer to keep these things in.
  3. Get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep is one of the major causes of poor concentration. For advice on helping with insomnia during pregnancy, check out this article.

Last but not the least, ask for help either from your partner, parents or friends. Don’t work or drive if you’re not feeling good. Taking a break in these situations is perfectly fine. You might even be able to talk to your employer about flexible hours or remote working arrangements if that’s easier for you.


Don’t worry if you’re facing Baby Brain symptoms. This condition is completely normal and the majority of women all over the world face these symptoms in pregnancy!

However (and this is really important), if you think that your symptoms go beyond ‘typical’ Mom Brain or you’re experiencing sadness or anxiety that feels more severe than “normal” then you should consult a doctor.

What to expect after delivering triplets

what to expect after delivering triplets

Giving birth to triplets can be a very rewarding experience, but it also comes with its share of complications. After giving birth, you will likely experience a number of physical and emotional changes. Here is what to expect after delivering triplets in the days and weeks that lie ahead:

Long hours of restlessness, immense bleeding, and many more common post-delivery symptoms such as constipation, back pain, and varicose veins. These are all typical symptoms experienced by women who deliver one or more babies. When delivering triplets or more, there are some extra things to consider, which may come as more of a surprise.

You will likely experience fatigue and sleep deprivation and you may have difficulty breastfeeding due to the added stress of feeding three infants at once.

Many women experience swelling in their feet and ankles. These are all common side effects of pregnancy and childbirth. Talk to your doctor about how to best treat these conditions. With time, you will adjust to your new role as a mother of triplets.

Emergency Or Preterm Delivery Of Multiples:

Multiple pregnancies often cause a cachetic effect on the mother’s health, that is, a loss of weight and muscle wastage, similar to what might be seen in someone who is very unwell. This is generally found in women who experienced extreme nausea during pregnancy (much more common in multiple pregnancies). A negative health effect on the mother during pregnancy plus the inability to carry multiple babies to full term can increase the risk of those babies being born with health complications.

It’s common for triplets to be born preterm (often between 28-32 weeks) and this is usually by c-section. Emergency c-section or sudden deliveries can equally effect the health of mother and potentially compromise her ability to carry more pregnancies in the future. The good news is that medical technology is constantly advancing and multiple pregnancies born early have better odds at thriving now than ever before.

A preterm delivery most commonly means babies are born underweight and may need to stay in a humidicrib for warmth. Premature babies may lack the strength to suck properly so feeding via a gastronasal tube is a common way to get them nourishment until they are strong enough. Underdeveloped lungs can often mean that preterm babies have breathing difficulties, but in the case of triplets or more, doctors will often give the mother steroid shot in weeks leading up to delivery. The steroids are aimed at helping the unborn babies lungs get stronger and since most multiple pregnancies result in preterm birth, it’s a smart strategy!

I guess the aim of this information is to make you aware of some common things to expect after delivering triplets. There are some factors that are unique to having higher order multiples and emergency or preterm delivery is not unusual.

Common Birth Complications With Triplets Or More:

As I explained before, birth complications with triplets or more are more common than with a single baby. This is largely due to the increased chance of preterm delivery and so most complications are associated with premature birth than the fact that it’s a multiple birth. There are certain risk factors linked to the fact that you have three or more babies growing at once, but even these risk factors have many variables such as the types of triplets you are carrying. Many, many triplets are born early with minimal complications every year, so this information isn’t designed to cause alarm. Hopefully you have an excellent medical professional taking care of you who can answer any questions you can and give you they best reassurance when preparing for the birth of your babies.

Potential health problems for your babies can include anemia, infections or neonatal sepsis, heart complications (eg; patent ductus arteriosus), respiratory distress syndrome, neonatal jaundice and hemolytic anemia. It’s best to discuss these conditions with your doctor as chances are some of them have already been screened for and potentially ruled out.

With a triplet pregnancy, the mother is at increased risk of high blood pressure. This can lead to many other precarious factors, including placental abruption (early detachment of the placenta), pre-eclampsia, hormonal imbalance and grave loss of fluids or blood during the birth process. Again, your doctor should be all over this, but if you are keen to discuss potential complications further, this list might give you some points of discussion.

Leaving hospital before your babies can:

Ok, this is definitely something i didn’t prepare for well enough. I your babies are born preterm or having other complications they will likely be staying in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). The strict timings and sophisticated nature of NICU can be emotionally crippling for parents. God NICU staff (and most of them are amazing) will be as sensitive as possible, but there will be times you can’t visit or hold your babies. If you’re discharged before your babies are (which happens a lot) you will be going home to a quiet house with a decked out nursery, yet your babies aren’t in your belly any more. It’s pretty rough emotionally, but your little ones are in the best of care. This bit could have a bit to do with increased risk of postpartum depression which is so common now a days.

what to expect after delivering triplets
delivering triplets or more

Recovering from C-Section after triplets:

Undergoing caesarean section means a woman can face significant long-term health risks later in life. The incision itself can take 6 to 10 weeks for recovery. The main thing to remember after c-section is that your abdominal wall has been sliced open, so your trunk stability and core strength will be greatly compromised while the healing process takes place. It’s important to attend any follow up appointments to ensure infection isn’t occurring and to allow your body to recover fully. The cut is close to the lining of uterus so there is risk of infection from surgery leading to endometritis (an infection of the uterine lining).

Physical movement should be limited, especially lifting things and driving is usually not recommended until a 6 weeks follow up have taken place with your doctor. This might mean having someone pass you your babies rather than lifting them initially (although multiples are often quite a bit smaller than full term, single babies, so you may find you can lift them sooner. Discuss pain management with your medical professional. Some women experience a great deal of pain and discomfort following c- section, while others seem to bounce back robustly. Regular follow-up should be maintained with the respective doctor to negate any other disease factor such as formation of blood clots or hemorrhages. For more information specific to recovering from c- section, there’s a separate article here.

Complications with breastfeeding preterm babies:

Breast milk is considered one of the most valuable ingredients in baby’s growth and development. In the case of preterm babies, colostrum will be rich in proteins in order for full growth that is yet to complete. For some mothers, breastfeeding isn’t an option for a multitude of physiological or psychological reasons. Fortunately, in our modern world, baby formula has been developed to a point where it can provide a newborn with a solid start to life, regardless. For women who do intend to breastfeed, having three or more babies who arrive early can make for a rough road ahead. The main complication in breastfeeding a preterm is their size. If the baby is born after 34th week the baby is often (though not always) able to feed directly from his or her mother. For infants born earlier than that (or who are still undersized as if common with multiples even in later gestation), being able to feed from a breast or even a bottle may be troublesome. Nasal-gastric tubes (a tiny tube inserted through the nose and feeding directly into the baby’s stomach) allow expressed breast milk or formula to be delivered to your little ones to help them grow and thrive.

The flip side to this is the actual breast milk production at the mother’s end. Premature deliver and c-sections mean that the usual hormones which flood the body as labor and vaginal birth occur don’t get released as the optimal time. These hormones tell the body to start producing breast milk for the newborn, but when a preterm birth catches the body by surprise, the message doesn’t always get through! Once bubs are born, your body will realize and the breast milk production begins, but it’s not uncommon for there to be a delay. Other factors that impact breast milk production include poor health during pregnancy, extreme loss of blood / fluid during delivery and serious conditions such as pre-eclampsia. If you’re interested in hearing from other women and their experience breastfeeding triplets, check out articles here and here.

Body changes after having triplets

Of course everyone is different and no two women will experience that same changes to their bodies. Since you’re reading this article, I’m assuming you’re curious, so I’ll list off some of the more common bodily changes you could expect after delivering triplets:

Belly: Your abdominal skin is really stretched out and you will probably look as though you’re pregnant with a single baby at first. I remember being shocked when someone held an elevator door for me and commented that I was pregnant 4 days after delivering my triplets! Your belly will go down, but give it time. Wearing a maternity belt is recommended in this part for added support, but you might want to wait until your c-section stitches are healed. Just see what feels more comfortable for you.

Breasts: Enlargement of breast and leakage is the main physical change. Engorged breasts can feel pretty sore.

Vaginal bleeding: Increased stretching of vaginal walls during birth may lacerate the internal lining of vagina that leads to more blood loss than normal. Even for a c-section delivery, you will probably have heavier than ‘usual’ bleeding. The site where each placenta attached to the uterine wall needs to heal.

Perineal pain: Excessive pushing can leave the muscles extended beyond their normal lengths that damages the nerve supply of the perineum and hence resulting in pain. If you have your triplets via a vaginal birth, the good thing is that they are generally smaller than single babies so hopefully your body will undergo less trauma getting them out into the world! (Having said that, there are three…*winces*)

Back pain: The hormones that helped your body stretch and shift to accommodate your babies has been super helpful during pregnancy. The downside of these stretchy ligaments and muscles is that they are more prone to injury. Also, the sudden change in your center of gravity (ie; having three or more babies no longer hanging off the front of you) can cause pain and problems too. I highly recommend swimming and pilates (if your doctor approves) during your pregnancy and as soon as possible following delivery. Treat it as medicine and make it a priority, because the better you take care of yourself, the better you can care for your babies.

Some women do need corrective surgery after carrying multiple babies to reconnect the two sides of their abdominal muscles that have had to separate in order for your pregnant belly to grow. It usually knits back together on it’s own, but if it doesn’t, surgery can help with returning core strength and reducing back pain.

Postpartum acne and itchy skin: The rise of estrogen and other hormonal imbalance can have a significant effect on the skin of a new mother. Drink plenty of water and try to eat good food, but also know that the hormone fluctuations are temporary.

Postpartum Hair Loss and Stretch marks: It’s not uncommon to experience hair loss or thinning of hair after having a baby and it’s just a hormonal thing. You should see your hair start returning to normal soon enough. Stretch marks are a common worry for women who find out they are pregnant. There are some things you can do to reduce your likelihood of stretch marks, but a lot of it hinges on your individual skin type. I wrote another article specifically on stretch marks a while back, which you can check out here. Honestly, once your beautiful babies are born, you’re not going to be thinking about stretch marks!

In summary: What to expect after delivering triplets

Most triplet pregnancies are delivered by cesarean section to avoid complications. There is an increased risk of preterm labor, which carries potential complications for your babies and your body. After delivery, there is a likelihood of neonatal intensive care unit admission for one or more of your babies. Get your midwife or medical professional to give you a tour of the NICU mid way through your pregnancy, so you have a better idea of what to expect.

Nutritional Deficiency and Postpartum Depression

nutritional deficiency and postpartum depression

Nutritional deficiency and postpartum depression:
Foods to focus on during pregnancy

We all know how critical it is to eat well during pregnancy – it’s so important to keep both you and your baby healthy. Focusing on a balanced, nutritious diet is even more important when you’re expecting triplets – growing multiple babies requires a lot of energy! Healthy development of your baby isn’t the only benefit of good nutrition during pregnancy – there’s also a strong link between nutritional deficiency and postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression occurs more frequently in mothers of multiples, and can lead to feelings of sadness, mood changes, and exhaustion, all of which may last for months or even years if not treated. Many aspects of postpartum depression aren’t fully understood, including many of the causes. As we do learn more about postpartum depression, we’re beginning to understand the importance of a healthy diet, and the role that several key nutrients may play in preventing this condition. Read on to learn more about nutritional deficiency and postpartum depression.

Examining the link between nutritional deficiency and postpartum depression

Postpartum depression can be caused by many factors – more often than not it comes out of the blue and catches unsuspecting mothers by surprise. Hormonal changes, a history of depression, and a difficult pregnancy can all increase your chances of developing postpartum depression. Recently, more research has been performed to assess the link between nutritional deficiency and postpartum depression. Here are some of the things we know:

Fun (or not) fact: Your brain actually shrinks during pregnancy to support the growth of your baby

Specific foods that may prevent nutritional deficiency and postpartum depression

Trace minerals, fatty acids, and B vitamins may all help to prevent postpartum depression, but how do you make sure you’re getting enough of these nutrients? Let’s take a look at some of the foods you really can’t get enough of during pregnancy.

nutritional deficiency and postpartum depression

Vitamin D nutritional deficiency and postpartum depression

As well as the role it may play in preventing postpartum depression, vitamin D serves many important functions during pregnancy. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and bone development, and also plays roles in the immune system and preventing autoimmune diseases.

Foods containing high levels of vitamin D include some fatty fishes that don’t contain mercury, including salmon and sardines. Other great sources are eggs (the vitamin D is in the yolk) and mushrooms – the only good plant-based source of vitamin D.

Trace mineral nutritional deficiency and postpartum depression

Trace minerals are small but mighty when it comes to preventing postpartum depression. In particular, zinc, selenium, and iron deficiencies have all been linked with an increased risk of postpartum depression. Zinc is also important for cell division and tissue growth, promoting the healthy development of your baby. Selenium plays important role in thyroid function, which may help to explain its role in postnatal depression. Iron is important for red blood cell development and making sure your growing baby can get enough oxygen.

Good sources of zinc include red meat, fortified breakfast cereals, and whole grains. To boost your selenium intake, focus on grass-fed beef, canned tuna or sardines, and Brazil nuts. Foods containing high levels of iron are beef, chicken and eggs, or spinach, kale, beans, and legumes if you’re looking for plant-based sources.

Omega-3 fatty acid nutritional deficiency and postpartum depression

Omega-3 fatty acids are so important during pregnancy. Not only do they help develop your baby’s heart, immune system, and brain, but they also play a role in preventing postpartum depression, and helping to control pregnancy-related mood swings.

Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include fish such as salmon and trout, eggs, grass-fed beef, and free-range chicken. Plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, flax seed, and some leafy greens like rocket.

Can supplements prevent nutritional deficiency and postpartum depression?

Surveys suggest that around 97% of US women aged 18-45 took prenatal vitamins during their most recent pregnancy. Although prenatal vitamins can certainly help give your body the nutrients you and your baby need, particularly during the early stages of pregnancy, there isn’t a lot of research suggesting that prenatal vitamins can reduce the likelihood of postpartum depression.

If you’re concerned about postpartum depression, talk to your doctor about dietary and other measures you can take to reduce your chances of developing this condition.

Can you exercise during a triplet pregnancy? This might surprise you.

exercise during a triplet pregnancy

Pregnancies are about as individual an experience as they come, whether you are carrying one, or more babies. There are a number of factors that dictate how much exercise, if any, a woman can undertake during her pregnancy, and they aren’t always factors within our control. This article is designed to help answer some common questions that are asked by women about whether you can exercise during a triplet pregnancy, but please, please, please discuss your individual circumstances with a trained health professional. This information is general in nature and should not be used as medical advice. There are a few risks associated with exercising during pregnancy, but there are also some wonderful benefits as well.

When considering an exercise routine during any pregnancy, it’s important to ask yourself what your intention is behind doing the exercise. Women exercise for a variety of reasons, including, but limited to;

  • Looking after your mental health;
  • The acute rehabilitation or long-term management phase of an injury;
  • Managing weight;
  • Social interaction;
  • Training for competitive sports; and
  • General strength, fitness and conditioning for optimizing performance in work related or lifestyle activities.

These are all noble reasons for having a regular exercise routine and being pregnant doesn’t mean you should give up our goals. You will probably find, however, that adjustments need to be made while you are pregnant in order to fulfill your intentions whilst doing what’s best for your body and your babies.

Whatever your intention is, understand that for the duration of your pregnancy and the following period of caring for one or multiple newborns, your priorities will be different to what they were prior to falling pregnant. You are now responsible for not only your health, but the health of you babies. If your goal is to get your pre-pregnancy body back as soon as possible or to gain as little weight as possible while pregnant, you might want to take stock of the reasons behind that pressure being placed on you. Is might be unrealistic expectations of your partner, peer pressure from a competitive friendship group or comparing yourself to celebrities you may have seen in tabloids. It’s important to remember that your body is undergoing massive transformation and doing amazing things. Be gentle with yourself and accept that bouncing back will take time.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to exercise during a triplet pregnancy (or any pregnancy for that matter), is that you don’t start an exercise routine that you weren’t doing beforehand. If you didn’t go running before getting pregnant, now isn’t the time to start. If you weren’t lifting weights beforehand, stay out of the squat rack for now. You have a lot of life ahead of you to get into those activities, but now isn’t the right time! If you weren’t doing any exercise before your pregnancy and want to get started with something, go for a gentler activity like swimming or work with an accredited health professional such as an exercise physiologist. They can help you with strength and mobility training in a safe way while you are pregnant.

exercising while pregnant with triplets

What precautions should be taken during a triplet pregnancy?

Exercising during a triplet pregnancy must involve talking to you doctor. Everyone’s circumstances are unique and your doctor will consider things like:

  • Your current fitness level, age and lifestyle;
  • Your past history with pregnancies and/or pregnancy loss;
  • Factors relating to the types of triplets you’re carrying that may affect the risk of complications.

Pregnancy isn’t the time to take on new physical challenges or push yourself in the gym, so it’s important to view your exercise as something to help you in your pregnancy, rather than something you want to do in spite of your pregnancy. The mental health benefits of exercise can be greatly beneficial during a triplet pregnancy and activities like swimming can feel sensational to take the load off for a bit and enjoy the buoyancy of the water! Pelvic floor strengthening work like Pilates and gentle resistance training may also alleviate back pain and help in recovery from your pregnancy when it comes to bladder weakness.

What are the main risks associated with exercise during a triplet pregnancy?

The main risks associated with exercise during pregnancy include:

  • Fatigue is a common symptom in pregnancy but it comes with a side of Absolute Exhaustion during a multiple pregnancy. It’s important to listen to your body and rest when you need to. Being rigid about “to-do” lists, exercise schedules and work deadlines can really take its’ toll.
  • During pregnancy, the body produces hormones called relaxin and progesterone, which make the tendons and muscles more stretchy than normal. The idea behind this is that your body needs to shift things around to make room for growing babies and eventually childbirth – pretty clever, huh? It’s important to understand this because it also means that the connective tissues that normally stabilize your joints during exercise with me more relaxed as well and therefore your joints will be more mobile and vulnerable to injury. In a triplet pregnancy, there are more of these hormones present and the joints will be even looser.
  • The enormity of your pregnant triplet belly means your abdominal muscles have to separate in order to allow for expansion. The rectus abdominus (basically your deep seated six pack) separates down the middle to make room for your growing babies. The flip side of this is that your core stabilization is affected significantly as your trunk pulls apart, making you more prone to a back injury.
  • Placentas, amniotic fluid and the actual development of multiple tiny humans growing inside your abdomen means your center of gravity is thrown way off as your pregnancy progresses. Not only can this affect balance, but it also places a lot of extra load on your lower back. Back pain is pretty common in single pregnancies and more prevalent when carrying multiples.
  • Lying on your back for an extended period is discouraged during pregnancy, as it can obstruct blood flow to the fetus. During a multiple pregnancy, this is much more critical, so the position you are in during exercise may need to be modified.

When should I stop working out with triplets?

The biggest risk for most HOM (Higher Order Multiple) pregnancies is the increased likelihood of preterm labor. As your babies grow and begin to compete for space and put pressure on your body, every day physical tasks will become increasingly difficult. It’s important to keep the conversation open with your doctor about what sort of exercise you’re doing. Activities such as Pilates and swimming can actually become increasingly enjoyable in those later stages of your pregnancy as they can ease lower back pain. Water based activities are particularly good for that temporary feeling of weightlessness! Some women experience additional complications such as having a shorter cervix, early cervical dilation or infection, which may mean the risk of preterm labor is higher. Bed rest is not commonly prescribed these days, like it was in the past, but if you are at increased risk of early labor, you may be told to limit physical activity. The volume of blood in your body increases as your pregnancy progresses as well, which can leave you feeling breathless as your heart works hard to move that blood around your body. It’s normal to get puffed out more easily, so be mindful not to over do it!

Do you burn more calories when pregnant with triplets?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that women consume an extra 300 calories per baby they are carrying. This increases to 450 calories per day by the third trimester. It’s common for women pregnant with triplets to be ravenously hungry (when they’re not experiencing nausea!) as their metabolism works hard growing those extra humans! The main thing to remember is that all calories aren’t created equal. Be sure to include plenty of vegetables and protein in your diet and especially foods rich in folate, zinc and iron. Your developing babies are completely dependent on your for their nutritional needs, so try to make good choices.

can you exercise during a triplet pregnancy

Running while pregnant with triplets

There are women who are able to run throughout their entire pregnancies or for a good portion of their pregnancy. It’s not the case for all women and the women who do manage to continue running are generally seasoned runners prior to becoming pregnant. Running when pregnant with triplets, however, is not usually advised, for all the reasons we mentioned above. If you are a dedicated runner and are getting twitchy at the idea of not hitting the pavement, you may need to drop back to a walk or swap out your miles for laps of the pool instead. Remind yourself that it’s temporary.

What are the best baby gifts for triplets?

best baby gifts for triplets

There are few occasions I love to buy gifts for than the arrival, or anticipated arrival of a tiny human. However, when that tiny human becomes two, three or even more babies at once, it becomes so much more complicated! There are certain practicalities that need to be considered, the temptation of buying matching sets of clothing and some specific products that are seemingly invisible to most new parents, but can make a life altering difference when used by parents of multiples! I’d like to draw your attention to some of these considerations, to help you give the most appreciated gifts possible. Based on my own lived experience, I’ve put together some tips on buying the best baby gifts for triplets.

There are a few distinct categories of gift givers when it comes to baby presents. I find we sometimes drift from one category to another depending on our life stage and personal circumstances. Read on and see if you recognize any of them in yourself or in people you know!

The 6 Types of Baby Present Gift Givers

1. The Practical Gifter

This is often someone who has already has babies of their own and clearly remembers (or is still living in) the chaos. They opt for big boxes of nappies, wet wipes and plain, yet quality singlets or grow suits. They realize your babies will spend such a small window of time in the tiny sizes of clothing that its’ not worth spending loads on fancy outfits and their clothes will probably be covered in nappy leakage, milk spit up or swaddled in a muslin wrap most pf the time anyway! These folk are the ones most likely to drop a cooked meal at your house in the first weeks after coming home from hospital, too.

2. The Well Meaning, but Impractical Gifter

I hope this doesn’t come across as ungrateful because it isn’t intended to be. This gift giver has the best of intentions with the presents they give, but it’s usually the most beautiful outfits that the babies will never wear. The outfits with lots of buttons, hats and even tiny shoes (although they are for humans who cannot walk); The outfits that would take patience and persistence to dress even one newborn baby in because of the fiddly nature of it’s design. Trying to to change the poop-leaking nappy of a wriggling, uncooperative baby in a button up shirt with dungarees over the top is an experience you only attempt once; The outfits that require ironing. You get my point. These gorgeous outfits might make for a beautiful photo shoot, but the reality of having triplets is that you just don’t have enough time!

On this note, decorations for the nursery can be problematic. Once triplets are born, there is little time for hanging pictures, taking plaster casts of hand and feet or crafty scrap booking to record the first time the babies roll over or their first teeth. If you want to gift something like this, consider also offering to help with it. For a keepsake scrap booking project, you could offer to beautifully record everything for the first 12 months so all the parents have to do is send you a text and a quick photo from their phone! A photo shoot could also include your time to assist with changing, settling and feeding babies during the session. We had a plan for how we wanted our nursery to look, and knowing this would be our only pregnancy and with limited space (due to 3 cots in the room), we had carefully selected some pictures that we wanted on our nursery walls. We then received several gifts (some from friends of my parents – people I’d actually never met) of lovingly embroidered artworks to be hung on the wall. I felt pressured to hang them up so as not to offend anyone and I genuinely appreciated the gesture. The problem was that we sacrificed having the baby nursery as I’d always imagined it because we had to hang what other people thought we should put on the walls.

3. The Self Care Gifter

This is the gift giver who focuses on the parents. It’s a dinner voucher, a massage voucher or a nice bottle of wine. If this style of gift resonates with you, please do me a favor and always couple that gift with the offer of babysitting. Parents of multiples find it harder to ask for someone to babysit that parents of a single baby, because it feels like so much more of an imposition when there are lots of babies. This really sucks because it’s the parents of triplets or more who probably need a few hours off more than anyone! I’ve found a good way to make everyone more comfortable with this arrangement is to buddy up with someone. For example, “This dinner voucher is from both of us. We will both come over to your place when you decide to book and babysit the triplets together so we can help each other out.” It’s important to give new parents a nudge too. Whether it’s feeling overprotective or just being too exhausted on the hamster wheel of life to actually book a night out, you might need to encourage your recipient to lock something in.

best baby gifts for triplets

4. The Multiple Birth Frother

There are some people (my own mother included) whose eyes light up at the opportunity to buy gifts for multiples! The temptation to buying matching sets of clothes, toys or color coordinated bibs definitely gets people excited. Just a couple of words of advice, if this is you…
When it comes to matching outfits, suss out the parents to find out how they feel about it. Some parents of multiples absolutely love dressing their children the same, whereas others make a decision to deliberately dress them differently. If the parents feel strongly about it one way or another, you can buy presents that you know will be appreciated and used just as you hope they will be! If you know the sexes of the babies, this also makes gift buying easier. Consider staying away from the stereotypical pink and blue gender assigned items – this tends to be intensified with multiple births of different sexes. Try colors like orange, aqua, green and red for something different!

5. The Personalized Gifter.

These gifts are actually my favorite ones and are the gifts that have me thinking about the person that gave them to us every time I use them. It’s simple items like nice fluffy bath towels, cushion covers or individual cutlery sets that have the babies’ names on them, whether it’s embroidered, printed or engraved. The extra effort that goes into getting those items customized means so much. There is something really special about seeing your child’s name on things when you’re a new parent. Just make sure you get the spelling correct! A really lovely idea, if you want to get something for the parents, that will get enjoyed for years is a personalized /engraved cheese board. My partners’ work colleagues bought us a beautiful stainless steel carving tray and had a personal message engrave around the rim to the effect of “Commemorating the births of J, B and E. From your friends at ***********.” It’s a lovely gesture that we see whenever we eat a roast dinner and our children (now 10) ask us about it.

6. The Gift Registry Lover

If there’s going to be a proper baby shower event, it’s a really good idea to create a gift registry. I felt really uncomfortable having a gift registry at first as it felt greedy (I never had a wedding, but I imagine it’s a similar feeling for wedding gift registers too). As my sister explained to me though, people are going to buy gifts anyway and they WANT to buy things that are needed and appreciated. People don’t have to buy off the gift register, but it does help people who aren’t sure what to buy and it reduced the chance of people buying something you already have or something unsuitable that needs to be changed.

The key to a good gift register is to cater to all budgets. Have plenty of small items such as bottles, nappies, pacifiers and wipes for people who have a smaller budget (after all, it can be a costly baby shower when there are three or more babies to buy for) as well as plenty of mid range items (under $100). It’s also okay to include a few big ticket items as you may have friends or family who opt to join forces and chip in to buy a larger gift together.

If you’re the one looking through a gift register to buy a gift and there’s nothing there you want to buy, ask yourself why not? If it’s because everything is out of your budget, consider asking someone to go in a joint present with you. If it’s because nothing on the list seems fun and it’s all just so practical and impersonal, consider how you can personalize an item off the list (as mentioned before). The simple embroidery of an initial on a cot blanket can make a huge difference. What about a few heartfelt messages of support and encouragement tucked between nappies for when they’re fished out of the box in the wee hours of the morning?

7. The “Tell Me What You Want” Gifter

This is the Practical Gifter, but even more direct. The best kind of Tell-Me-What-You-Want-er is the one that says, “I’m just going to wait until after the babies are born and you get a feel for what you think you need.” Whether it’s a breastfeeding pillow, a motorized swing to help with settling, or a nappy bin with a pedal for when your hands are full, sometimes you don’t know what you need until you need it! They don’t want to waste time, money or energy on something that won’t get used. It might mean their gift is less cute, less pretty or less sentimental, but you can be sure it’s going to be meaningful!

best gifts for triplet babies

The Best Baby Gifts for Triplets

When you have newborn triplets, the main thing to consider is efficiency. Efficiency of time, of space, of money. Because let’s face it – it’s a lot.

Most expectant mothers have a plan for whether they intend to breastfeed or not. I think we all understand that breastfeeding doesn’t always go to plan, especially when you’re talking about multiple (and likely premature) babies. Products such as twin breastfeeding pillows, breast pumps, bottle sterilizers or even a voucher for a great store that specializes in bras could be a really practical gift for a triplet mom. These are probably gifts that are best coming from someone who is pretty close to the recipient, and maybe warrant a conversation first to make sure you’re on the right page. Some new mothers of multiples find the idea of breastfeeding three or more babies too overwhelming and have already made the decision to express breast milk and/or use formula right from the start. Each mom’s experience with breastfeeding is unique and while some specialized gear can make whatever option they decide to go for a lot easier, it can be a pretty personal topic.

When it comes to baby clothes, go for simplicity, rather than the cutest looking item on the shelf. A parent of triplets needs clothes than are as easy to put on and off as possible! Press studs, snap-crotches and machine washable is key. Steer clear of fiddly buttons and things that need to go over the baby’s head or require hand washing!

There are certain baby products that are on most expectant mother’s wish list as essential, but just don’t work for parents of triplets. My favorite example is the nappy bag. You know, the compartmentalized “baby bag” that holds a few essentials and is either slung over mom’s shoulder or tucked underneath the pram? It’s not unusual to see these in the baby stores in designer brands for several hundred dollars. When it comes to going anywhere with three or more babies, this style of bag just doesn’t cut it. A good backpack is what works best. Hands free, lots of compartments and plenty of room inside!

Everything you need to know about types of triplets and higher order multiple pregnancies.

different types of triplets

Triplet pregnancies can come in a few combinations of shared embryonic sacs, shared placentas, identical, fraternal etc. The types of triplets you are carrying can affect the likelihood of experiencing complications during your pregnancy. Triplet pregnancies in themselves are pretty rare. Recent (2020) figures from the CDC show a triplet or higher order birth rate of 79.6 per 100,000 live births. Higher Order Multiples (HOMs) is a term used to describe triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets and more.

Read more

Should I dress my triplets the same?

should i dress my triplets the same

There are some things we’re taught not to bring up in conversation unless we know people very well. Religion, politics, views on vaccination (that wasn’t on my radar until the last couple of years!) You know the topics the rules around bringing them up. I’d like to offer a piece of friendly advice and throw another one in the mix when you’re talking to parents of twins or more. Unless you enjoy debating or aren’t worried about offending people, do not under any circumstances mention your views on dressing twins or triplets in matching outfits!

I’ll happily share my own views here and the reasons behind them, because I recently had an expectant triplet mom send me the question “Should I dress my triplets the same?”. Please know, however, that while I may sit firmly on one side of the fence, we are all different. You do you.

My own experience being dressed the same as my sister:

I am three and a half years younger than my sister. We are, and always have been polar opposites. She’s the girliest girl you ever did meet and grew up playing with dolls and makeup. I wore a toy gun on my hip, played with ninja turtles and loved dinosaurs. Despite our different personalities and preferences, our mother dressed us the same A LOT, and always if we were going out somewhere for an occasion or where a photo might be taken. There were totally identical outfits, such as dresses (much to my tomboyish dismay) or sometimes we wore the same outfit, but in different colours. My sister usually got pink if it was an option, and I had the same ensemble in orange or green.

My sister also disliked being dressed the same and increasingly so as she hit the preteen years and cringed at being matched with her annoying younger sibling (oh, and I was so annoying!). Her protests must have finally made an effect as the practice seemed to fade out around the time she hit high school.

As the younger sibling, I copped an extra irritating blow from the matching outfits obsession. Not only did I have the first round of wearing the same as my sister, but then I also got her hand me downs, so had the monotony of the same outfit for twice as long!

To give credit to my mum where it’s due, as I progressed through my teenage years, she was pretty supportive of letting me make my own clothes choices. My fashion sense definitely didn’t align with hers, but she willingly agreed to take me to buy my first pair of Doc Marten boots! My sister and I tease her to this day about making us dress the same, but she has no regrets, responding with “Everywhere we went, people always commenting on how nice you looked!”

Why I don’t dress my triplets the same:

Fast forward 20 years and I find out I’m pregnant with triplets. My mum’s matchy-matchy inclined brain goes into overdrive as she starts suggesting name combinations.
“If you have 3 girls, you could name them, Amber, Ruby and Jade!”

Riiiight. Then we’ll have ourselves a set of traffic lights…

should i dress my triplets the same

We ended up with two girls and a boy, all fraternal and completely different in appearance right from when they were newborn in size, shape and hair colour. My partner and I had decided before they were born that we wanted to help them be individuals as much as possible and deliberately gave them names with a different initial since they would already have the same date of birth. Predictably we received several matching sets of clothes as gifts in the early days, which we received gratefully and got a few cute keepsake photos with them wearing these.

But here’s the reality…

Three babies at once meant the finances were stretched. When friends offered us near new, but second-hand baby clothes, we said “hell yes!”. We bought very, very few items of clothes for our kids when they were babies. Hand-me-down items meant they weren’t matching, but we still tended to keep certain items for individual babies, so they had their “own” clothes. With 2 out of 3 suffering from reflux, one too small to get the smallest nappies to create a good seal around the legs and the general fluid-leakiness of babies, the average number of outfits worn each day was 2-3 per child. Our priorities with clothing choices were simple and fast, not aesthetic! Snap crotches, no fiddly bits and machine washable were non-negotiables!

Even if we had dressed our triplets the same at the start of the day, there’s no way we would make it to lunch without having needed to do a clothing change – and like hell I was going to change the other two every time so they stayed matching! Our babies were born on the first day of summer, so they also spent a fair amount of their first few months in nothing more than a nappy and a muslin swaddle!

From babies to toddlers, we were the centre of attention everywhere we went with our triple pram turning heads constantly. The barrage of well-meaning people wanting to strike up a conversation as we tried to do a quick grocery shop was overwhelming. I remember trying to avoid eye contact or even pretending to talk on my phone to avoid the same questions over and over again from strangers whilst waiting in a queue. If we were playing at the park, the last thing I wanted to do was draw extra attention to the fact they were triplets by dressing them the same.

When I do dress my triplets the same:

Okay, I have a confession to make. My partner and I are mad for a fancy dress occasion! I’m not referring to a black tie cocktail event here – I mean a Disney themed character or superhero party. The one thing that made me wiggle with excitement as our kids got a little bigger was the idea of family themed Halloween costumes, and being able to send them as a trio of characters from the same story for the school book week parade. Our efforts of always honoring their individuality bit me in the foot though as the closest we got was out girls wanting to dress as Anna and Elsa, but our son wanting to be a Toyota Camry. (sigh.) Eventually (at age 8) they decided to capitalise on a shared love of Harry Potter and go as Ron, Harry and Hermione to Book Week, much to the delight of their parents!

Why do people dress their triplets the same?

I have a few friends who have twins or triplets and dress them in matching outfits on a regular basis. I have always been (and continue to be) perplexed by their choice, but these are their reasons:

Reason 1 for dressing your children the same:

“It saves decision fatigue. I grab 2 (or 3) of something off the rack at the shops and I’m sorted. I also only have to decide what get out of the drawer once in the morning instead of thinking about what each child will wear.”

My response:
Firstly, I have bought very few brand new clothes for my kids when they were young because we were fortunate enough to be given many excellent quality second hand items. When they are growing so fast that you only get a season out of an outfit before they outgrow it, I’m pretty reluctant to go spending much on new items.

Secondly, there are many every day tasks that I understand can lead to decision fatigue… what to cook for dinner, what to wear myself etc. When it comes to young kids though, it’s just not difficult for me. Ninety percent of the time, they’re in play clothes (shorts, t-shirts, comfy dresses etc) and the only decision is if they need a jumper or not. Plus I think letting your kids choose what they want to wear and attempt to dress themselves is an important part of learning autonomy and basic motor skills. Not to mention the entertainment value that comes with kids picking their own “unique” combination of clothing items from the drawers to make up an outfit! I have great memories of taking my daughter to the shops at age 3 wearing tracksuit pants, a pink tutu and a leopard print jacket because that’s what she decided to wear that day!

Reason 2 for dressing your children the same:

“I don’t want there to be arguments over who wears what”

My response:
Toddlers will throw tantrums over unreasonable issues – this is as inevitable as death and taxes. I am very much someone who will “pick my battles”, although I’ve never relented my stance in response to a tantrum.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve always tried to keep certain items of clothing as “belonging” to an individual child. This can be really easy when they are different body shapes or one has sensory issues or dislikes for certain fabrics. I’ve found that most of the time, my kids have had their own personalities and interests, so if one likes flamingos and the other likes pandas, it’s easy to make them feel like their clothing reflects their individuality when you do go shopping. If my kids really want to wear matching items, I’ll certainly oblige, but it’s not something I’ve found to be common.
If there is a stand-out item of clothing that has been gifted to us that I know will cause arguments, I have either two choices. I source something very similar or the same so each child can have one, or I simply pass on it. A few years back I was given a pair of brand name shoes that lit up when you walked. These retail at around $100 new and had barely been worn (just outgrown) when passed on to us. There was no way I could afford to buy extra pairs and I knew all my kids would love them, so I simply put them aside before showing my children and passed them on to my niece.

Reason 3 for dressing your children the same:

“They like it.”

My response:
Do they really though, or do they like the way it makes you feel? Okay, I’m aware that my opinion here might ruffle some feathers, but hey, this is my blog so I get to say what I really think…

dressing triplets the same

There is undeniably a significant portion of multiple birth parents who just bloody love the attention. They might have “Twin Mommy” as a bumper sticker, or be the ones to let the local newspaper know when they triplets are available for a photo opportunity when they start school, celebrate Mothers Day, finish school etc. It’s my experience that these parents are the ones more likely to dress their kids the same (at least ones of the same genders) and this is why I believe this to be so.

For identical twins, I honestly cannot see any real reason why you would dress your children the same unless you want to draw people’s attention to the fact that you have twins. Seeing a matching set of outfits is eye-catching and will often draw attention at a park or playground. It makes it SO much harder for others to tell your children apart though, so means people either lump them together as a collective (“The Triplets”) or avoid having one on one interactions with them in case they make a mistake.

I have been a child going to school with identical twins and I remember avoiding talking to either of them because I was never sure who I was talking to and therefore didn’t want to seem silly. I’ve been an adult who struggled to tell my friends’ kids apart and for years had to start with “Which one are you?”, which sounds awful, but I felt was better than avoiding conversations and pretending! Once I knew who was who on a particular day I would quickly do a mental exercise to find whatever distinguishing features (usually by clothing) to help me get it right!

I actually love seeing parents who proactively make it easier for others to tell their identical children apart. It might be a different haircut or a consistent accessory such as a bracelet or a scrunchie that friends or teachers can learn is an identifying characteristic of each one’s appearance!

For fraternal siblings, I definitely feel like matching outfits is an attention grab. It’s making sure that no one assumes these are closely aged siblings or even friends – these are multiples, dammit! My own kids are so different in appearance, I don’t even think you’d pick them as siblings if you walked in to their classroom. There’s even around 12 cm in height between them! I honestly believe dressing your twins, triplets or more in matching clothes is a way of shouting at everyone, “Hey, over here! Did you know they’re multiples?”

If you’re reading this and you’re one of those parents, please don’t take this the wrong way. I think you’ve earned the bragging rights to let everyone know you’re a multiple birth parent and if you love talking to strangers about your kids and a little extra attention, then go for it. We are just very different creatures.

I just wish more parents would come out and say, “Heck yeah, I dress them the same. I want to make sure everyone notices I’m a bad ass parenting wizard who has managed multiple babies at once and get my credit where credit’s due!”

why do your dress your twins the same

Finally, Reason 4 for why you dress your children the same:

“I just really like them in matching outfits.”

My response:

Finally, an explanation I can’t argue with. I like putting cheese on my hot cross buns.

Some people think I’m weird. Many just don’t get it. I love it.

You do you.

Everything you need to know about sleeping arrangements for triplets.

sleeping arrangements for triplets

As with so many aspects of parenting, deciding on sleeping arrangements when you have multiple babies requires more thought than if you were to be caring for a single baby. While parents expecting one newborn may have no problem fitting a cot or bassinet in their bedroom with them, space limitations might make fitting more than one cot in the room impractical. Do you keep your babies together in one crib or give them each their own space, but have them in a different room at night? What about once they start school? Do your triplets each have their own bedroom or should you keep them together? There is no “one size fits all” answer here, but this article will hopefully give you some things to consider when making decisions about sleeping arrangements for your triplets.

Will my newborn triplets share a crib in hospital?

Many triplets are born prematurely and this increases for higher order multiples such as quadruplets or more. Premature babies will often requires a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and may potentially require help with breathing and keeping warm, so may spend their early days or weeks in a humidicrib, hooked up to life saving specialist equipment. if your babies require this sort of intervention, they will likely have their own crib, so that it is easier for doctors to monitor them. Once your babies are strong enough to sleep in an open air crib, some hospitals may ask if you would like your babies to share a cot together, but this practice is becoming less common, so it’s important to accept that whatever your hospital prefers to do is in the best interests of your precious babies.

Hospitals in different parts of the world will have their own set of guidelines that they follow when it comes to co-sleeping multiples. These guidelines can vary from state to state and even just from one hospital to the next within the same geographical area. Most hospitals follow the Safe Sleep guidelines relating to SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy), which recommends each baby has their own sleeping space. These recommendations also advise that it’s best to have your baby sleeping in the same room as an adult for the first 6-12 months. Easy enough to achieve in hospital, but maybe less so once you get home.

sleeping arrangements for triplets

Sleeping arrangements for triplet newborns at home.

In order to reduce the risk of SUDI, you should be aiming to have each of your babies in their own safe cot and sleeping in the same room as an adult. As with everything when you have multiples, what’s ideal doesn’t always work! Logistically, you might not fit 3 or more cots in your room, so this is a decision you need to make according to what works best for you.

The safest way for two babies to share a cot is to sleep “head to head” with their feet at opposite ends of the cot (see image below).This positioning reduces the risk of the babies chances of smothering one another. Obviously with three or more babies, this set up isn’t possible and your babies may be sleeping side by side across the length of the cot until they get too long for this to be feasible. If separate cots mean spreading your babies across more than one room, you may be able to have one parent in each room with a camping mattress on the floor and share the load that way. Remember – safety and sanity is what’s important in these early days… who cares what your home looks like!

While your babies are small enough to fit into bassinets, this can also be a more compact way of fitting them all in your room, since bassinets are generally smaller. Otherwise you may decide to have 2 babies in a cot together and a single (or other 2 if you have quads) in a second cot.
Other things to consider are if you choose to use devices like movement sensors underneath your babies, you will need to have them in separate cots for this to work effectively. Also, some multiples are more in sync with their siblings than others. I know of parents who report that as soon as one baby started making sounds as they got hungry, the others would wake up and it would be really hectic getting everyone up and fed at the same time. For those parents, having their babies sleep in different rooms to one another made it a little easier to get one baby up before the next one woke. Then there are those babies who will happily sleep through any noise!

Image courtesy of Red Nose Australia

Sleeping arrangements for triplet toddlers

Toddler beds are a great transition from cribs to single beds as they are lower to the ground and have a partial side rail to help prevent any falls. they’re also much smaller than single beds so might allow you to fit all your kids in one room for a bit longer. Toddlers sharing a room can be a lot of fun as they entertain themselves and have cute little conversations. It can also make settling down for sleep more challenging, so you need to do what works best for your family! Some of my favorite memories of my triplets as toddlers is capturing the adorable games they played amongst themselves when it was supposed to be nap time by filming them through a crack in the door! It doesn’t always seem quite so cute when you are sleep deprived and desperate!

Many families with multiples look into bunk bed options, which are great for maximising space and keeping siblings sharing a room. If you haven’t had bunk beds before, be warned that the changing of sheets on a top bunk is far more labour intensive than a regular bed. If you have any physical limitations such as back or upper body injuries, I would urge you to think twice before going down the bunk bed path. Ask friends if anyone has a set of bunks and have a try of changing the sheets there first, so you know what you’re in for before committing!


looking after your teeth during pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, there are so many things on the “to-do” list, like buying baby related products, doctors appointments and ultrasounds, clothes to fit your growing belly, maternity leave or work arrangements, finances and even considering how parenthood will affect your relationship with your partner. Dental health is not usually high on the priority list for most pregnant women, but actually, it should be.

How does pregnancy affect your teeth?

The hormonal changes of pregnancy can result in inflammation of the gums (often experienced as bleeding gums). Pregnancy gingivitis (gum disease) has been shown across several studies to affect between 30-100% of pregnant women, usually beginning in the second month of the pregnancy and increasing from there. Advanced gum disease during pregnancy can sometimes result in loose teeth and has been linked to low birth weights and premature births.

Some movement in the teeth can also occur during pregnancy due to the presence of the hormone Relaxin. This hormone is designed to help loosen and relax the ligaments that will assist with bodily changes and eventually childbirth, but it can affect other ligaments causing hip and back pain through hypermobility and also allow the teeth to shift as the ligaments that help the teeth bind to the jaw and gums soften. It’s not generally anything to be concerned about, but if you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment such as braces, it’s worth letting your orthodontist know about your pregnancy as soon as possible.

looking after your teeth during pregnancy

The risk of tooth decay can be higher during pregnancy for a few reasons:

 – Hormonal changes increase acidity in the mouth. (Acid and your tooth enamel are not friends);

 – Women suffering from severe nausea and vomiting expose their teeth to the acidic contents of their last meal on a repeated basis;

 -Sugar intake may be higher due to cravings for certain foods

– Grazing on food all day may occur due to either suppression of nausea or for some women (particularly those carrying a multiple pregnancy), they may have a reduced stomach capacity, but increased appetite). Constantly eating means your mouth keep producing acid to start the digestion process.

 – Oral hygiene can take a back seat as for some women, their gag reflex increased during pregnancy, which can make using a toothbrush uncomfortable.

How can you protect your teeth during pregnancy?

Maintaining good oral hygiene, having a professional clean with your dentist and a good diet are the best things you can do for your teeth during pregnancy. If you find yourself needing to eat more regularly throughout the day, try to make good nutrition choices and rinse your mouth out after each meal, to help remove food particles that may be stuck to the teeth. Brushing twice a day and flossing is recommended all the time in order to look after your oral health, but is especially important during pregnancy.

How can your pregnancy affect your unborn baby’s future dental work?

A lot of enamel quality is influenced by the health of the child (or the mother) in utero. The baby teeth (milk teeth) develop between the 6 and 8 week mark of a pregnancy (when many women haven’t even realised they are pregnant) and the hardening of the enamel is competed by the 20th week in utero. This means that if there are nutritional deficiencies or illness (especially one that requires antibiotics) during certain stages of the pregnancy, this can affect the enamel quality.

Nutrition is important in preconception and during pregnancy. Women need to load up on their intake of enough calories, protein and numerous vitamins such as A, C and D as well as important minerals such as calcium, phosphate for proper tooth formation.

It’s during the third trimester of pregnancy that the unborn baby accumulates overall stores of calcium and phosphate and Vitamin D. In the case of premature babies, they can miss out on some of these goodies and this may be worth talking to a health professional about after they are born to see if these can be taken as supplements. For babies who make it to full term, they are reliant on the nutritional intake of the mother during this important phase of pregnancy. Once baby teeth emerge, products such as tooth mousse may be appropriate for remineralising the teeth, but it’s worth chatting to your paediatric dentist about the options.

When should you visit a dentist during pregnancy?

visit dentist during pregnancy

Routine dental treatment can be performed safely throughout a pregnancy, but it’s important to advise your dentist regardless. Lying back for extended periods is not recommended during the later stages of pregnancy as the pressure can restrict blood flow to your unborn baby. If you’ve left it a little late, discuss how your dentist can position you in order to minimise any risks.

If you don’t manage to make it to the dentist during your pregnancy, book yourself in for after your baby is born so you can have a routine check up to make sure everything is in order.