Are you possibly facing a stay in the NICU or SCN with your twins or triplets?
Twins and triplets have an increased chance of needing a stay in acute care. This can be due to early delivery, no birth weight or complications during delivery. The time that you will spend in special care depends on the needs of your little ones. It can be a difficult time for everyone involved, but your babies are in the best place they can be. If you are looking at an extended stay in the NICU or SCN you might want to be prepared.
Check out our list of things to take to the NICU or SCN for twins or triplets.
Things to take to the NICU or SCN for twins and triplets
NICU and SCN Acronyms can be very confusing. Especially when these terms relate to your tiny babies. This list may help you navigate those early days.
There will be a lot of time that you are sitting around, waiting between feeds and tests. This can be difficult on you. Not knowing what is happening and how to pass the time.
Books are a great way to keep your mind occupied and not thinking about all the what ifs.
Not only can you take books for yourself to read, but you can also take children’s books and start reading to your little ones. They may be sleeping a lot of the time, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t taking in your voice and what you are saying. Reading is a great way to start building a bond with your babies through your voice.
If you don’t have a book on hand, there are plenty of Twinfo blogs to keep you occupied!
NICU or SCN for twins and triplets: Snacks and meals
If you are in a private meal you may find that meals are provided to you and possibly even your partner. In some public hospitals they rules can vary. Sometimes they will only provide meals if the mother is breastfeeding. And it is unlikely that they will provide your partner with meals. Each hospital will be different, so be sure to ask the nurse or social worker as soon as you get a chance.
If you are pumping to feed your twins or triplets, you will need a lot of snacks to keep you going. Nuts, seeds and biscuits are a great snack to have on hand. There are different seeds and nuts that can help increase your supply, along with providing your body a bunch of great nutrients.
Fruits, veggie sticks and dips are also great healthy snacks to take along with you. This can save you from needing to leave and go to the cafeteria to grab food (not to mention the cafeterias are normally very expensive).
You can also take in left overs from dinner that you can heat up the next day to give yourself a good meal. All NICU or SCNs will have a parents meal room, just ask the nurses or social worker where to find it. Just make sure you label your container with your details.
Oh, and don’t forget a block of chocolate or a bag of lollies – you deserve it!
There are some amazing businesses that are now creating milestone cards that are specifically designed for premmie babies. They can include things such as; first skin to skin, breathing on my own and feeding tube removed etc.
The time that you spend in NICU or SCN with twins or triplets is a time that can be difficult. However it also comes with many exciting milestones and it is important to document and celebrate these moments.
The last thing you want is to try and take a photo of your little one and your phone battery dies.
Having a charger with you means that you are able to always have your phone charged for those important moments. It also means that you can keep family or friends updated.
And of course, it helps to pass the time by playing games or scrolling social media on your phone.
Make sure its an extra long charging cable, as sometimes the power points may be a bit of a distance. Always ask the nurse for permission before plugging it in.
Having a fully charge phone means you can listen to the Talking twins and More Podcast while your babies are sleeping.
It can get cold in the NICU and SCN units. While blankets will always be available at the hospital, sometimes having your own can help you feel much better! Having your own lap blanket means that you can start warm and comfy during the long days or nights when you are in the unit with your babies.
During skin to skin contact time, you can drape the blanket over you and your babies to help keep you all comfortable.
During your time in the NICU you will notice that you are washing and sanitising your hands a lot. This can cause them to become dry and irritated.
Taking with you a good hand cream will help to keep your hands moisturised and soft. Make sure you choose an unscented one so that it doesn’t leave a strong smell on your hands or your babies.
NICU or SCN for twins and triplets: Notebook and pen
There will be a lot of questions you will have for the doctors and nurses during your stay. There will also be a lot of information that you will want to pass onto your partner or family.
By having a notebook with you, you will be able to write it all down and not forget it when you need to ask the questions or pass on information.
It is also something you can look back on in years to come and see how far your little ones came.
NICU or SCN for twins and triplets
The time you spend in NICU or SCN can be hard. There are long days and nights and sometimes you may feel lost on what to do next.
Build relationships with the other parents in the NICU and be there to support each other. You may find you make lifelong friends.
The following blogs may be helpful as you navigate this time.
Twinfo is Australia’s largest, most supportive, online community for parents of twins and triplets. Twinfo offers advice, products and services that make raising your babies easier, freeing you up to enjoy all the precious moments.