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Okay- I am currently going through my training with DONA and have started accepting clients to gain experience. Well, wouldn't you know that the first client that calls has twins and is completely loosing it. She has no local support and really needs help. I am going to her house next wednesday and could use all the advice I can get. I felt pretty comfortable helping with one baby, but since I have no real experience with twins I really need some suggestions! Thanks so much!
 

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Twins is not reallly much harder for the PP doula as it just changes your focus from doing things around the house to more hands on with the babies. Don't be nervous, just show up and see what it is that the mom needs help with. I spent last fall/winter doing overnights for a family with twins and I loved it so much.
 

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I'm not a birth professional - but my DH and I lived with my sister for the 6 months after her twins were born. I plan to become a PP doula at some point - and it was an interesting experience.<br><br>
Here's what she really needed:<br><br>
1) Time to take a long hot shower by herself. I would come home from work and her DH would hole one baby, I would hold the other and she would have some alone time.<br><br>
2) She wanted time with 1 baby. She wanted to go into her bedroom and hold, cuddle and bond with just one of them. She would nurse one up - and I would hold it and keep it happy in a different part of the house for 30 to 45 minutes while she spent 1 on 1 time with the other. Then we'd switch.<br><br>
3) She desparetly wanted to do housework. It sounds crazy. But she was spending all her time nursing and caring for babies (especially during the growth spurts) that she really missed things like cooking and folding laundry.<br><br>
Holding 2 babies is easier than it sounds. If the mama needs some time alone - I would put one in a sling (the fussier one) and then hold the other in your hands. An exercise ball to bounce on is also a great thing.
 

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I've worked with 5 twin families and they have all been so different that I can't give like a check list of things BUT really the most common thread it teaching tandem nursing so that she can get some breaks, helping her create a routine to her day, note I did NOT say schedule, but create some order. Order helps the mom feel a bit more in control. Another thing is getting her rest so she can function. I second the suggestion for putting one baby in a carrier and holding the other. This got me through the day. Teach them the methods through "Happiest Baby on the Block" as that will give them some great ways to soothe the babies. Good luck!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Amydoula</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11623888"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've worked with 5 twin families and they have all been so different that I can't give like a check list of things BUT really the most common thread it teaching tandem nursing so that she can get some breaks, helping her create a routine to her day, note I did NOT say schedule, but create some order. Order helps the mom feel a bit more in control. Another thing is getting her rest so she can function. I second the suggestion for putting one baby in a carrier and holding the other. This got me through the day. Teach them the methods through "Happiest Baby on the Block" as that will give them some great ways to soothe the babies. Good luck!</div>
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I have to say as a twin mama there isn't much about your advice that would have appealed to me. I HATED tandem nursing. Much preferred to focus on one baby at a time. I didn't want my helpers to "teach" or "create" anything. I wanted them to hold the babies once a day long enough so that I could take a nice hot bath. Other than that I needed someone to keep the house clean, laundry done and the husband fed. I was very clear that I wanted the babies with me and not to have to worry about anything else in the home. I really hate Happiest Baby too.
 

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I agree with all of the PPs, letting the mama have some alone time in the tub would be great. The pp hated tandem nursing but some of my friends with twins are enormously thankful for it, so familiarize yourself with tandem nursing positions and help her position her babies well. Refer an LC who specializes in tandem twin nursing if necessary.<br>
Another very important think is, before wednesday, research and compile a list of local resources for parents of multiples. A lot of twin mamas like to talk on the phone with parents who have done it before so that would be very helpful.<br>
But really just show up and do what you can do and she will be endlessly appreciative.<br>
Good luck.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>homewithtwinsmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11624236"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have to say as a twin mama there isn't much about your advice that would have appealed to me. I HATED tandem nursing. Much preferred to focus on one baby at a time. I didn't want my helpers to "teach" or "create" anything. I wanted them to hold the babies once a day long enough so that I could take a nice hot bath. Other than that I needed someone to keep the house clean, laundry done and the husband fed. I was very clear that I wanted the babies with me and not to have to worry about anything else in the home. I really hate Happiest Baby too.</div>
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Well its good you didn't hire a postpartum doula because that's what we do.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Amydoula</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11624844"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well its good you didn't hire a postpartum doula because that's what we do.</div>
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That was really rude!!!<br><br>
To the PP:<br><br>
My sister HATED tandem nursing too. She learned 3 different ways to do it - and never liked it. She much prefered to have the nursing time be time with a baby 1 on 1...<br><br>
I think that the important thing for a doula in this situation is to go with what the mom needs. If the mom wants to try tandem nursing - then help her. If she would rather retreat with 1 baby while you hold the other - do that.
 

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As a PP doula who has worked with tons of twins families (and one family with triplets!) I can only give the same advice I would give if you were working with a family w/ one LO. LISTEN with your ears and eyes and heart wide open and find out what THIS family needs from you. There really is no standard. If mom is having trouble identifying what she wants just gently make suggestions like, "would it feel good for you to get an uninterupted bath right now or to lay in bed with the babies while I make you some lunch and take the garbage out"? It's not as overhwelming as it seems and you'll learn as you go. Just follow the lead of the mom and then always try to do a little extra. You're making lunch in the kitchen? Could you also quickly sweep the kitchen floor? Little things like that. Have fun and good luck.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Kessed</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11624914"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That was really rude!!!<br><br>
To the PP:<br><br>
My sister HATED tandem nursing too. She learned 3 different ways to do it - and never liked it. She much prefered to have the nursing time be time with a baby 1 on 1...<br><br>
I think that the important thing for a doula in this situation is to go with what the mom needs. If the mom wants to try tandem nursing - then help her. If she would rather retreat with 1 baby while you hold the other - do that.</div>
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What I stated wasn't meant to be rude, its just TRUE. Postpartum doulas are not for everyone. That is why they have all kinds of careproviders for women: housecleaners, mother's helpers, Nannys, Night nurses, etc. The role of a doula is to teach, give support and ideas, etc. This is why the initial phone conversations and interview are so important. If I don't provide the kind of support that a person is looking for I go out of my way to find another kind of provider to support that family. To the PP I would have suggested she hire a housecleaner and a mother's helper. She truely didn't need a postpartum doula and that's ok.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Amydoula</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11624844"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well its good you didn't hire a postpartum doula because that's what we do.</div>
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Unfortunately you are speaking for yourself only because that isn't what I do. I truly believe in touching bases with the mother and finding out what she needs. Even as a doula to a single baby family I think it is most important to find out what the mother desires because for everyone that can be different. One family may want the doula to really just take over and care for the baby, clean the house, etc so she can rest, while another might just want someone there as a second set of hands to pick up the slack if the mother needs it.<br><br>
I think the most useful doula is the one that is meeting the needs of the mother and family and for every family that means something else. For the original poster I would meet with the family prior to starting to work with them (if they can't meet ahead of time then at least ask if you can come early to talk with them) and find out what direction they would like to see your help going and then go from there. Personally I like to meet the family ahead of time, tour the house and get a feel for where everything is, etc before I start working with them. This gives both parties the chance to talk more and get to know one another too.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Amydoula</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11624844"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well its good you didn't hire a postpartum doula because that's what we do.</div>
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I disagree strongly. I have several good friends who are pp doulas and they do not have such an overwhelming attitude of "I know better than the mama how she should do things" when they go into a situation. They are there to serve and will of course offer knowledge if desired, but they do not go in planning to show the mother what she should do.<br><br>
I am a labor doula. I don't show mothers what to do or tell them how to labor. I help empower them to find their own way and make choices that serve them. And when they get home with their baby or babies I believe that empowering them to find their own mothering style is STILL the better choice.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>DoulaMary</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11625220"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As a PP doula who has worked with tons of twins families (and one family with triplets!) I can only give the same advice I would give if you were working with a family w/ one LO. LISTEN with your ears and eyes and heart wide open and find out what THIS family needs from you. There really is no standard. If mom is having trouble identifying what she wants just gently make suggestions like, "would it feel good for you to get an uninterupted bath right now or to lay in bed with the babies while I make you some lunch and take the garbage out"? It's not as overhwelming as it seems and you'll learn as you go. Just follow the lead of the mom and then always try to do a little extra. You're making lunch in the kitchen? Could you also quickly sweep the kitchen floor? Little things like that. Have fun and good luck.</div>
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Yes, oh wise and experienced doula goddess. You have it exactly correct!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>homewithtwinsmama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11625918"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Yes, oh wise and experienced doula goddess. You have it exactly correct!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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Awwww, shucks. Thanks for the kind words. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> I can hardly wait to get back to work! (but not too quickly...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> )
 

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You are all ganging up on Amy. Do you really think she goes in and bosses around mothers!<br>
Lighten up everyone, go have a glass of wine!<br><br>
Most nursing mothers that hire a doula do not always feel as confident as you all are. Many do hire a ppdoula to teach them things and reassure them.<br><br>
Personally I have never met or known a twin or triplet mom who did not ask for the doula to help them with tandem nursing.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dewi</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11626098"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You are all ganging up on Amy. Do you really think she goes in and bosses around mothers!<br>
Lighten up everyone, go have a glass of wine!<br><br>
Most nursing mothers that hire a doula do not always feel as confident as you all are. Many do hire a ppdoula to teach them things and reassure them.<br><br>
Personally I have never met or known a twin or triplet mom who did not ask for the doula to help them with tandem nursing.</div>
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Thanks Dewi! Your comment made me smile. I'm pretty much going to bow out of this thread as I don't want it to get closed down and I obviously don't see eye to eye with the other posters. I think I'm not getting my point across well, its hard to over the internet. If anyone needs to take anything up wtih me feel free to PM.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dewi</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11626098"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You are all ganging up on Amy. Do you really think she goes in and bosses around mothers!<br>
Lighten up everyone, go have a glass of wine!</div>
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I agree- I think Amy's words were just misunderstood. I have been in lots of conversations with Amy on these boards and I think she was just trying to express that not every mom needs the kinds of care a pp doula provides. Personally, I agree that if all a mama needs from me is housekeeping duties, then I am tremendously over qualified and she should hire a housekeeper.<br><br>
But that is not the subject at hand. We are focusing on how I can best help this mother and I appreciate all of your input. I have been doing a lot of reading on twin issues and am going to bring a few things for her to try if she wants (like different carriers), but most of all I think she need some to talk things through with and sort out what is going to work for her family. Thank you all for your advice and if you have anything else, I would love to hear it.<br><br>
Oh, by the way- I have not been able to find any twin groups in Eastern Washington- anyone know of any?
 

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As others have said, I think the key to helping any mom pp is to have some skills you can share if she'd like and to have some information you can share if she would like BUT to focus your attention on listening to what the mom wants from her time with you. Ask why she hired a pp doula and what she feels would be most helpful. Assure her that she is doing a wonderful job. Hold the babies and admire them out loud. And, whenever you are not sure what to do - clean or get water for mom or make food, etc. I like to have things I can suggest if a mom is not sure. if I show up and the baby is asleep on her lap, I take out all the trash in the house, ask if she'd like fresh linens on her bed, see if laundry needs to be done, make some healthy snacks to bring to her, etc.<br><br>
Good luck to you.
 

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My first PP client was a family with twins, too! I remember that experience very fondly. You'll do great!<br><br>
So much of what I wanted to say has already been said. But I must agree that every single family is so different. Be prepared to listen, listen, listen and also to be able to assess needs with each visit. I have worked with families that needed me to do completely different things with each visit, and some that were mostly the same thing each time(twin families have been like this for me, it's more of a routine...) It really depends.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Amydoula</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11623888"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've worked with 5 twin families and they have all been so different that I can't give like a check list of things BUT really the most common thread it teaching tandem nursing so that she can get some breaks, helping her create a routine to her day, note I did NOT say schedule, but create some order. Order helps the mom feel a bit more in control. Another thing is getting her rest so she can function. I second the suggestion for putting one baby in a carrier and holding the other. This got me through the day. Teach them the methods through "Happiest Baby on the Block" as that will give them some great ways to soothe the babies. Good luck!</div>
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yes yes yes<br>
I am currently working pp with a first time mom of twins and the tandem nursing helps, as does the HBOTB techniques... basically, swaddling, side-lying, swaying, white noise (shhhhh-ing) and sucking. It helps immensely and mom feels more in control. Also, make sure your mom is well hydrated and well rested. It's imperative that she do these two things above all else, or she will start to feel a little crazy!!!<br>
Keep encouraging her, verbally giving lots of praise and support and encouragement. It means a lot to moms who feel "in the weeds" and like they're losing it!!!<br><br>
- Jen
 
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