From the moment the ultrasound captured two separate heartbeats, my pregnancy was classified as high-risk. While I was excited about the twins, I was crushed when I was told to expect more doctors' visits, a higher chance of pre-mature labor, a C-section, and difficulty breastfeeding. My hopes for a natural birth in a birthing center were instantly replaced with a highly medicalized birth in a hospital. Nevertheless, I was committed to raising my children as naturally as possible.
A twin pregnancy and birth brings extra joy, but it also brings extra challenges, and oftentimes parents are too tired to research and choose natural ways to raise their babies. Here is a list of some of the things you can easily do to raise your twins naturally.
1. Choose a natural birth if possible - this is dependent on many factors, including the orientation of the babies and your own health.
2. Choose organic baby food, or better yet, make your own baby food using organic food. Remember to offer your babies a wide variety of age appropriate foods. See Making Your Own Babyfood.
3. Use cloth diapers - cloth diapers help to decrease your weekly trash, they keep the plastics and synthetics in disposable diapers away from your baby's skin, and they teach your babies to recognize when they are wet, making potty training easier. While cloth diapers mean extra laundry, the also mean less money spent of disposables and less runs to the store. There are also some compostable diapers if you lack a washer/dryer.
4. Breastfeed - It's better for you and baby. It is possible for most women to breastfeed their twins, or at least partially breastfeed their twins.
5. Choose quality non-plastic toys - even at a young age, babies appreciate quality toys. Opt for fewer, higher quality toys made of non-toxic materials. Don't go out and buy tons of toys, be creative and look around your house for possible toys, wooden spoons and pans make a great toy.
6. Limit household cleaners near your baby - vinegar makes a great disinfectant and baking soda is a great cleaner. If you do use store bought cleaners, wash the surface with water thoroughly after you've finish cleaning, remember your babies put everything in their mouths.
7. Choose organic clothes and fabrics for baby's nursery - there are many companies that specialize in organic baby products.
8. Choose bottles/cups/dishes/etc made of BPA free plastics, wood or metal.