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The Great Book of Twins and Multiples

Contents

Acknowledgements

Foreword

Introduction

1. The phenomenon of the multiple pregnancy 

  • Pregnancy of twins
  • Identical or fraternal, how can you tell?
  • Pregnancy of triplets
  • Pregnancy of quadruplets
  • Pregnancy of 5 or 6
  • Influence of genetics

2. The multiple pregnancy

  • A unique experience
  • Dealing with the news
  • Is it a special pregnancy?
    • Pregnancy of twins
    • Pregnancy of triplets
    • Medical check-ups
    • Putting on weight
  • Antenatal classes
  • Prenatal-tests
    • The ultrasound
    • Amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling

3. Fertility treatment

  • Stimulating ovulation
  • Artificial insemination
  • Is it possible to avoid a multiple pregnancy?
  • Multi-foetal Pregnancy Reduction
  • How do you take a decision?

4. The first trimester of the multiple pregnancy

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Growth of the uterus
  • Blood loss
  • Breast pain
  • The need to urinate
  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • Constipation
  • The importance of good nutrition
  • Maternity clothes

5. The second trimester of the multiple pregnancy

  • Anaemia
  • Backache
  • Groin ligament pain
  • Blood loss
  • High blood pressure
  • Pre-eclampsia and the HELPP-syndrome
  • Oedema (fluid retention).
  • Proteins in the urine
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
  • Gastric acidity
  • Stretch marks
  • Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome
  • Treatments for Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome
  • Symptoms of Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome

6. The third trimester of the multiple pregnancy

  • Resting
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Varicose veins
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tachycardia
  • Leg cramps
  • Itching
  • Contractions
  • Symptoms of contractions
  • Can I still travel by plane?
  • Sexual intercourse during the pregnancy

7. What is the pregnancy like for the father?

  • Prenatal contact with the babies
  • Changes in the partner

8. Prenatal bonding

  • The babies’ movements
  • Hormonal influences between the sexes in the womb
  • Prenatal contact between the babies

9. Birth of twins

  • Where should the birth take place?
  • The babies’ position
  • Special situations
  • Symptoms that announce the delivery
  • Admission to hospital
  • Stages of labour
    • Dilatation of the cervix
    • Transitional labour
    • Expulsion
    • Birth and delivery of the placenta (s)
  • Caesarean delivery
    • A planned Caesarean delivery
    • An unexpected Caesarean delivery
    • Recovery after a Caesarean delivery
  • Advice for protection of the belly

10. Giving birth to triplets

  • The biological origin of the babies
    • The foetal position of the babies in the uterus
    • The experience for the mother
    • Who is who?
    • Post-partum for a mother of triplets

11. Premature births

  • Can premature birth be avoided?
  • Symptoms of possible premature birth
  • The hospital
  • The incubator and its function
  • Together in the incubator
  • Physical needs of a premature baby
  • Warmth
  • Oxygen
  • Nutrition
  • When can the babies leave the hospital?
  • The relationship with the babies
    • The parents’ emotions
    • And then they arrive home
  • How does a premature baby develop?
  • Stimulation of a premature baby

12. Nutrition

  • Breastfeeding
    • Advantages and disadvantages
    • A personal choice
    • Stimulating breast-feeding
    • Do they get enough nutrition?
    • Night feeding
    • Positions for simultaneous nursing
    • Breastfeeding triplets
    • Uses of a breast pump
    • The importance of good nutrition
  • Problems with breastfeeding
    • Not enough milk
    • Pain in the breasts
    • Inflammation of the breasts
    • Allergy to milk
    • Breastfeeding after a Caesarean delivery
    • Breastfeeding quadruplets
    • Weaning
  • Bottle feeding
  • Feeding schedule

13. At home with the babies

  • Advice on how to reduce stress
  • Building a relationship with each baby
  • Help at home and lack of privacy
  • Postnatal depression

14. 0 – 6 months

  • Sleeping
  • Should they sleep together or apart?
  • The babies’ rhythm
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Crying
  • Who do you comfort first?
  • Bronchiolitis or the VRS virus
  • Taking the babies outside
  • Economical aspects
  • How do the parents experience this period?
  • The mother’s recovery

15. 6 – 12 months

  • Mealtimes
  • Crawling and safety at home
  • Speaking
  • Girl-boy twins
  • Visits to the a paediatrician
  • Stranger anxiety
  • Sleep
  • How to tackle parents’ exhaustion?
  • The twins’ relationship 
  • The couple’s relationship  

16. 1 – 2 years

  • Motor skills development
  • Development of speech
  • Discovering the sense of "me"
  • Learning to share
  • Kissing and biting
  • Tantrums
  • Safety at home
  • Starting to set the rules
  • Toys: the same or different?
  • The importance of routine
  • Eating
  • Illnesses
  • A different treatment for each child
  • The grandparents

17. 2 – 4 years

  • The "no" phase
  • Motor skills development
  • The identity of each child
  • Empathy
  • How do I teach them rules?
  • Their relationship: Love and hate
  • "This is mine!"
  • The pacifier and other comforting objects
  • Kindergarten
  • In the same class?
  • Painful divorces
  • The invisible friend
  • Copying each other
  • Jealousy
  • Learning to use the potty
  • Discovering sexuality
  • Sleeping problems
  • Different sleeping patterns
  • Dividing attention

18. 4 – 6 years

  • The special unique relationship between twins
    • The unique relationship between triplets
  • A block against the parents
  • The twins’ relationship with their siblings
  • School
    • Advice for twins in the same class
    • Advice for twins in  different classes
  • Development of language
  • Competition
  • Aggression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Solutions for hyperactivity
  • The difficult task of raising 2 or 3 children of the same age
  • A relationship under stress
  • Typical day to day problems of living with twins
    • Three children instead of two
    • Lying to get attention
    • Switching behaviour
    • Snitching
  • The influence of birth order
  • Sharing a room
  • Their birthday
  • Their contacts outside the family

19. 6 – 12 years

  • School
  • Shyness
  • Competitiveness
    • ‘You love him more than you love me!’
  • Fighting
    • How do triplets interact?
  • Jokes and insults
  • Nurture or nature?
  • How to keep a good relationship with each child
  • Education to independence (of each other)
  • Other problems
    • Their birthday
  • Their intellectual development
  • Their physical development
  • Their hobbies

20. 12 – 18 years

  • Physical changes
  • Change in the relationship with their parents
  • The twins’ relationship with each other
  • Day to day problems
  • Who am I?
  • Crushes and relationships
  • Secondary school
    • In the same class
    • In different classes
    • Different schools
    • Exam stress

21. 18 years and ……………….

  • Finding your own way
    • The couple effect
    • Discovering your own identity
  • Being apart for periods of time
  • Choosing a profession
  • Their relationships with the opposite sex
  • The adult twins’ relationship 
  • Positive and negative aspects of being a unit
  • Competitiveness
  • Twins who do not get on well
  • Are we identical or not?
  • Changes in DNA
  • Does telepathy exist?
  • Unexplainable experiences
  • Did we raise them well?
  • Growing old together

22. The place of twins in the family

  • The oldest sibling and the twins
    • The arrival of the babies
    • Advice to help the jealous sibling
    • When jealousy comes later
  • The twins and a younger sibling

23. Daily schedules of different families

  • Schedule 1
  • Schedule 2
  • Schedule 3
  • Schedule 4

24. Difficult situations

  • One of a multiple is handicapped
  • One parent families
    • Talking about a divorce with the twins

25. The death of a twin

  • During pregnancy or around birth
  • The influence of the death on the surviving twin
  • Death of a twin during childhood
  • Death of a twin during puberty
  • Death of a twin during adulthood

26. Scientific studies about twins

  • Studies by Francis Galton
  • Different surroundings, similar characters
  • The research goes on

Glossary

Bibliography

Useful adresses

Alphabetical index

Coks Feenstra - Psicóloga Infantil

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