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ladies can you help me please

(26 Posts)
liahgen Sun 05-Oct-08 22:50:58

i have an interview on Weds as post natal doula for a lady expecting twins December.

I have 5 children myself, and a couple good friends have twins but my questions are

How best can I support this lady in the early days?

I'm assuming she will breastfeed to some extent

She isn't English and her language was not fab on the phone, I'm sure that will be ok when we are face to face.

She has 2 other children, "they are not here", is what she said to me on the phone.

tia. x

Sullwah Mon 06-Oct-08 02:33:14

Why are you assuming she will breastfeed?

Ask her.

liahgen Mon 06-Oct-08 07:05:07

yes i will ask her when we meet obviously, but for the question, I was assuming she would.

obviously noone has any tips for making her life easier. sad

throckenholt Mon 06-Oct-08 07:29:45

I am not sure what a doula does post birth - how much will you be there ?

Do you just do baby stuff or general household help ?

Depending on how much you are there - holding babies, changing nappies, bathing etc, feeding if bottle feeding, taking them out for walks to give her a break, washing up, washing, cooking maybe.

All the normal things with a baby - just twice as much at the same time. I would just go with a few suggestions and ask her what she is thinking of.

liahgen Mon 06-Oct-08 07:40:36

was thinking of how to help get into some kind of

does she feed both babies at same time,

sleep times, both of seperately?

sleeping arrangements, will it be easier for babies to sleep together?

that sort of thing.

A postnatal doula will help mum gain the confidence to look after her own baby/ies. Look after mum she is having elective cs

Cook meals, etc

what comfort measures can i offer her post cs?

mamadiva Mon 06-Oct-08 07:59:16

Hi not sure if this really what your looking for but my mum had twins 3 years ago.

I found helping her with little things like putting on a washing was a big help to her

Cooking a meal

Even minding the twins whilst she went for a bath

Sterilising and making up bottles for her or if BF make sure she is comfortable and be on hand when you can to keep her company it can be a lonely experience at times

mamadiva Mon 06-Oct-08 08:03:18

Oh as per the routine definately a priority life is hectic with twins don't know it would have been without it!

Obviously depends on the lady herself but I'd say

Put them down for a sleep tobether and go for a sleep herself

Feed them at the same time if possible

Bath them together, basically if she can do it then get them to do it together and then she is guaranteed some rest at some point through the day.

Perhaps to start with if she would prefer you sit with her and do one whilst she dpes the other whether it be feeding or whatever.

Sorryf or wittering on am not to sure what you are looking for as I have never known anyone with a doula, hope I'm of some help

ChopsTheDuck Mon 06-Oct-08 08:21:25

if she is breastfeeding, making sure she has a ton of pillows and helping her learn to position two babies so they can feed at the same time. Early days I think it is easier to have them both in rugby holds. the more pillows, the better, so hands are free to wind one or drink tea or whatever. Make her flasks of tea so she has something to hand to drink while feeding.

The biggest help for me in the early days was ccoked meals.

I personally, think the last thing need to be thinking about with baby twins is bathing them. Help with the endless nappy changing would be a godsend though.

The problem with routines is that babies change so much, even if you do get into one sort of routine things change again fairly quickly. If you are going to help to implement any kind of routine the best thing would be a daily walk. It wills end the babies to sleep and set a naptime.

It's best to see if the babies actually want to sleep together. Mine hated it and prefered their own space. They used to hit and scratch each other and wake each other up. They liked to be swaddled though, they needed the security and hated the expanse of their cots to start with. I think after being squished up for so long, it was scary for them and they needed the comfort.

throckenholt Mon 06-Oct-08 08:30:28

definitely keep them in sync re sleeping and feeding - otherwise you never get a break.

If you can feed them at the same time that is great - not easy with tiny babies though.

Mine slept in a carry cot to begin with - one carry cot, then we migrated them to a cot bed - again both together - until they were about 6 months.

Bathing - I would not make a big issue of this - my littlies hated baths - so we just did it when they needed it - ie they had thrown up or pooed all over themselves. I would only attempt bathing when someone else was around unless I had to.

throckenholt Mon 06-Oct-08 08:31:52

oh - I forgot - the two hour rule - my golden rule - babies back to sleep at most 2 hours after waking.

There is nothing worse than overtired twins (I learnt the hard way).

ChopsTheDuck Mon 06-Oct-08 08:32:49

I like the sound of that one, do you think it would work on three year olds wink

throckenholt Mon 06-Oct-08 08:52:58

not in my experience - but worth a try ;)

liahgen Mon 06-Oct-08 11:47:00

thanks ladies.

Some good tips. Will let you know how i get on. smile

Leoloopydoo Tue 07-Oct-08 09:53:44

Do everything else that needs doing so she can spend as much time being with the babies as possible. I found that it was too easy to hand the babies over to whoever was there to 'help' and do all the other day to day things that needed doing. If I hadn't breastfed I would hardly have had the babies in my arms at all.
If she is doing something with one baby and the other is crying then take the other baby away completely so she can really focus on one baby. THe best time for me was when I took the dts to the cranial osteopath, it was the only time I really felt that I had handed responsibility for one of the babies over to someone else and could be 100% focused on the other, it was a lovely relaxing time.

Help her get out and about, before I did it I had no idea how I could get around with a double buggy and practical things with 2 babies, I was really terrified I would get into a complete mess. Go with here so she is not alone the first time.

And to answer the questions:-

feed both at the same time, or one directly after the other.

Sleep at the same time definitely.

We slept ours in the same cot side by side across the cot until they were about 6 months. there was enough room for them not to disturb each other.

lindseyfox Tue 07-Oct-08 19:04:50

i dont mean to be rude but as a doula should you not know what to do, you must have had some training even if no experience as a doula.

I am a childrens nurse and night maternity nanny.

I can strongly advise feeding at the same time, wake one if the other is awake to be fed. do try and get into a routine which will mean waking them.

putting them sleeping side by side across the cot is a good idea have done this before.

go out with mum for walks, if she has a c-section she will not be able to drive for 6weeks.

As a doula some of your role is shopping, caring for older children, cleaning, preparing and cooking meals, - all those household chores none of us like at the best of times!!

think the above is the big difference between mat nanny and doula as mat nanny is there for babies and to support mum but doesnt really do any household tasks.

Neenztwinz Tue 07-Oct-08 21:51:59

I had twins five months ago and what kept me sane was expressing milk so my mum could do one night feed for me per week. Then I could get five hours sleep in one go (bliss!)

My DTs used to sleep great in the day (would wake them every three hours to feed) but then would keep me up most of the night. I didn't need help in the daytime (have no other kids) but found DTs to be very unsettled from 10pm till about 4am so that is when I would have loved the help.

liahgen Wed 08-Oct-08 16:32:26


As a Doula, my role is to support the mum and help her become confident in her new role, not a housekeeper.

You sound abit of a maternity nurse snob if i'm honest. I am also a trained nanny so am perfectly aware of the difference thanks.

I was posting as i've never supported new born twins and was asking mums what they most found useful so i could support my mum in the best possible way, and help her become confident in her new role as mum to twins. THAT is the role of a post natal doula.

thanks for all your advice ladies, lindsey included. Certainly helpful

lulumama Wed 08-Oct-08 16:37:22

doulas 'mother the mother'

we leave her free to get to grips with her own baby/babies by doing all those jobs that need doing, that don;t go away just becasue you have had a baby

we have the added bonus of being able to offer breastfeeding support, sleep support and general post natal support too

some women want someone else to get the babies into a routine, some want someone to do household things/ help with other DCs, so they can get to know their baby

doulas don;t know it all! neither do nannies, mothers, aunties, sisters etc

so asking for advice and support is great, we learn throughout life, you don;t stop learning the day you get your qualification

for instance, i have lots of experiences with singletons, and more with bottle than breast feeding mums, so would be arrogant for me to presume i could just get on with it, with a breast feeding mother of twins, without checking or asking for advice from other more experienced people

each birth and each mother gives us something new to reflect on and learn from and that is a wonderful thing IMO

Neenztwinz Thu 09-Oct-08 13:30:42

The OP was perfectly justified in asking the advice of mums of twins. Seems obvious to me. How did the interview go liahgen?

poshtottie Thu 09-Oct-08 14:48:02

I am a maternity nurse/nanny (not a snob though) grin

I have a client next month who is having twins. I have worked with other clients with twins. It varies very much from client to client on their requirements and also on a day to day basis. I think its important to be as flexible as possible and though I am not there to to other things if it is in the best interest of the mother and the rest of the family I do it. I don't sit on my backside if the babies are sleeping. I have been known to run the hoover round (no show cleaner), get dinner started etc.

Good luck with your interview

MarsLady Thu 09-Oct-08 14:56:40

Liahgen... how did it go?

You can always contact me for how to support a mother of twins postnatally. I work with lots as birth and/or postnatal doula.

I can't remember... are you a member of DUK? If so I wrote an article on just that subject for the last newsletter.


liahgen Thu 09-Oct-08 17:29:38

Hi ladies,

Unfortunately we had to postpone as the lady had to go into the hospital as she was concerned about movements.

She is fine though, seems babies are quite big for their age she was told. Anyway, we have rescheduled for a few days time.

Yes i'm a member Mars, actually i think i remember seeing that article, I will dig out my back copies.

thanks for all your replies. Tis kind of what i was expecting to hear really, but it's useful to hear directly from mums and people who have worked with newborn twins. I am happy to push a hoover round, or get some shopping in, cook light meals etc.

I'm really looking forward to meeting her actually, she sounds really nice. I have got the impression, she doesn't have family over here.

Will let you know how i get on.

I got my Gold star btw Mars. Now fully recognised. I am on my 10th birth awaiting call as we speak.

MarsLady Thu 09-Oct-08 19:11:44

Well done you! Postnatal work with twins is much the same as with singletons. The difference being that you get to hold the babies more so that mum can get some well earned sleep! grin

Neenztwinz Fri 10-Oct-08 10:25:00

Send the mum to bed as often as possible! I made the mistake in the early days of thinking 3 hours sleep a night was enough cos I was just buzzing after the birth, but at two weeks it hit me like a brick when DS didn't sleep ALL NIGHT! Rest is essential for her to get her milk production going too.

galaxymummy Sat 11-Oct-08 14:11:07

Dear Mars,
Hope you are well I have been abusy bunny in reading teaching twins antenatal classes every 2 months and had someone come with triplets, born now and very cute. I would love to read your article on doulaing twins. I am recomending doula uk to all parents expecting now. Busy with flu clinic today and lately so little time to spend on web
best wishes
galaxy lacking chocolate

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