Most of us are interested in Naturally Parenting Twins because we find that there is inherent wisdom in the “natural” way of doing things (however we define that), even as we are thankful for those times that medical intervention is available when warranted. Frequently, our providers, not recognizing how much time and thought we have put into our birth and parenting decisions, may say to us that there is one best way for things to happen. And indeed, in some narrow and specific instance, there may be! But most of the time, there are different options open to us that are safe, and there may be research to support what we intuitively know is right for our families.
Remember, RESEARCH + INTUITION = SPECIFIC DECISION
One of the tricky things about research conclusions is that they are sometimes contradictory. Part of the reason for this is that we’re all unique individuals, and our pregnancies, babies, and bodies are unique as well. We also recognize that it empowers women to have peer-reviewed research to back up their choices. With that in mind, here are some of our favorite links to research that are supportive of (or at least somewhat encouraging for) natural choices in multiples pregnancy, birth, and parenting! Again, these are the studies that support AVOIDING intervention. We’re quite certain providers can find the research to support intervention on their own! This list is a work in progress!
Nutrition and Prenatal Care
Dr. Barbara Luke’s guidelines for nutrition are here: http://www.twinsmagazine.com/fostering.pdf
More on nutrition in her book (though she advocates a more medicalized approach to pregnancy and birth): http://www.drbarbaraluke.com/Books/Expecting.aspx
Elizabeth Noble’s more natural-friendly book about twin pregnancy, birth, and parenting, _Having Twins and More_: http://elizabethnoble.com/file/Books.html
Birth Weight Discordance and Vaginal Birth (Larger twin B)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23200164 (This one has lots of potentially scary details about complications of TTTS, but the takeaway is that TTTS affects 8-10% of Mono-Di pregnancies).
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23447913 (Vaginal safe for mono-di)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22812918 (“The neonatal outcome was not affected by the mode of delivery, and therefore vaginal delivery seems safe in MC twins.” Does support birth by 37 weeks.)
Vaginal Breech B (This is a pretty easy one to find studies for, so I’m only posting a few.)
We have a homebirth with multiples support group on Facebook: Contact us for more details.
Mary Cronk (UK Midwife) Guidelines for Twin Birth: http://www.chcroft.com/share/mary_cronk_twins_guidelines.pdf
Ina May: DVD Delivery of Twins:http://www.inamay.com/natural-delivery-vertex-twins-dvd
“High Risk” homebirth about weighing risks, not “designer births”: http://www.midwiferyjournal.com/article/S0266-6138(11)00181-1/abstract
http://evidencebasedbirth.com/category/gestational-diabetes-2/ (All articles from EBB pertaining to gestational diabetes)
Ultrasound, Fetal Weight, Birthweight Discordance
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22762512 (Singleton, 38% false positive)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16964298 (Singleton, 1 in 4 off by 10% or more)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21311174 (Birthweight discordance, twins, 65% detection, 15% false positive)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18827117 (“The accuracy of the ultrasonographic estimated fetal weight seems to be lower for twin gestations than for singleton gestations, especially for second twins.”)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10492103 (Essentially, the “Femur 4″ method of birthweight prediction is easier with twins, but still “problematic” at determination of BW discordance.)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7900521 (“Prediction of individualfetal weight seems to be more accurate than prediction of inter-twin discordance.”)
Importance of Support from Educators, Doulas, Providers, and Friends
If Cesarean Becomes Necessary
This is a document that used to be available from ICAN (although I can’t find it online any more) that I believe can be invaluable for times when cesarean is medically necessary: http://www.chcroft.com/share/icanfamilycenteredcesarean.pdf
Late preterm birth and bf challenges: http://www.internationalbreastfeedingjournal.com/content/7/1/16
Epidurals and bf challenges: http://www.internationalbreastfeedingjournal.com/content/1/1/24
Solace for Mothers: http://solaceformothers.org
Solace for Mothers is an organization designed for the sole purpose of providing and creating support for women who have experienced childbirth as traumatic.
ICAN’s Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ICANOnline/
Includes support for CBAC mothers who were planning for a VBAC but ended up with a repeat cesarean.
AP Multiples discussion group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/apmultiples/
This list is a great place for information and networking about attachment parenting with twins, triplets, and quads!
Sidelines National Support Network: http://www.sidelines.org
If you end up with pregnancy complications and/or bedrest, this organization helps provide support and assistance to mothers experiencing higher risk pregnancies.