The Importance of Twin Groups and Meetups

No one understands twins better than another twin parent. Messaging back and forth online can be helpful, but there’s nothing that replaces connecting with people face to face through twin groups and meetups. What are the different types of groups available to twin parents? What kind of support and services do they offer? And how can you find one in your area, or perhaps start a new one?

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Twin Talks
THE IMPORTANCE OF TWIN GROUPS AND MEETUP4

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Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: There are many great online resources for twin parents but they can’t replace the personal touch of local twin groups that provide support in face-to-face time. So, what do you need to know about twin groups? How can they be a great support?

Joining us today is Natalie Diaz; she’s founder of Twineversity and author of: “What To Do When You’re Having Two.” She’s here to talk about: “The importance of joining a local twin group.” This is Twin Talks Episode Number 14.

[Theme Music/ Intro]

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: If you’re pregnant with twins or you’re an experienced twin parent, odds are you have heard it all before. Now, it’s time to hear from the experts. This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.

[Theme Music]

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Welcome to Twin Talks broadcasting from the Birth Education Centre of San Diego. Twin Talks is your weekly online on-the-go support group for expecting and new parents to twins. So, I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald.

Have you heard about the Twin Talks Club? Our members get bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. Subscribe to our monthly Twin Talks Newsletter and learn about the latest episodes available.

Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Twin Talks App; available on the Android and iTunes Marketplace. Before we get started, we’re going to go around. We’ve got a roomful of panellists today.

So, let’s take a moment and introduce who’s here. So, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your twins – Mishell?

MISHELL RUDDEN: Hello. I’m Mishell Rudden. I am 34 years old and I work part time as a kindergarten teacher and I’m also the mommy of Sunny and Matthew. They’re my boy-girl twins and they’re 22 months old.

BRENDA RUHL: Good morning. My name is Brenda Ruhl. I’m 49. I work full time as a corporate accountant. I have three boys – my oldest Benjamin is 13 and my identical twins: “Joshua and Jonathan are 11.”

CAROLYN BENTLEY: Good morning. I am Carolyn Bentley and I’m 32 years old. I am a stay-at-home mom and then a part time science editor. I have two children – Lauren and Kyla; fraternal girls who are just about to turn two.

SHELLY STEELY: Shelly Steely, I’m the producer here at Twin Talks and I also teach high school history. I have identical twin boys – Greyson and Sawyer who are 19 months old.

So, another way you can join in our conversation is with our virtual panellists program. If you logged into our Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter, you can join the conversation live by using hash tag #TwinTalksVP. Make sure you could be able to some part of the conversation at home.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: All right. As your host, Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald and I think I’ve got the girls here since I grew outnumbered with boys. But, I’ve got four year old twin identical girls and then I also have a singleton girl who is 15 months and finally, she’s sleeping through the night.

SUNNY GAULT: Hey Twin Talks. This is Sunny from San Diego and I am mom to two beautiful little identical twin girls – Ainsley and Addison. I have a Twin Oops to share with you guys. Actually, it’s just happened today.

So, I have four children total and I was giving my older boys a bath, the girls started to cry because they were hungry and my husband was at home. So, I put the girls on the floor and one of the twins’ breastfeeding pillows to kind of support them and they’re ready to kind of be close together and it just comforts them.

So, I put them in the floor and it is [inaudible] pillow and they were all happy, giddy, started to smile and kind of play around with each around. In the mean time, I go to take care of my boys. So, I’m bathing my boys and all of a sudden – maybe five minutes later, I hear one of my twins. This isn’t funny I know kind of is.

But, anyways just starts whaling like crying and I run in there. My one twin has kind of her head just like positioned right on the other twin’s shoulder and which is kissing her or something but she can breathe and everything. There wasn’t an issue. That way and I go over and hear my one twin was so hungry.

She started to suck on the skin of the other twin. So, my one twin now has a hickey from my other twin. Yes, this is a pretty big Twin Oops. I guess the next time, I will learn to feed my twins before I bathe my other kids because they’re only 3 ½ months old and my one daughter already has her first hickey. So, that is my Twin Oops. Thanks so much.

[Theme Music]

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Today’s topic is: “Joining a Twin Group” and we’re talking with Natalie Diaz, founder of Twineversity and author of: “What To Do When You’re Having Two.” As a mother of twins herself, she’s a twin expert and she’s passionate about helping new and expecting twin parents get the resources they need from the online community as well as local classes and groups. So, thank you Natalie for joining us.

NATALIE DIAZ: My pleasure. Thank you for having me.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Maybe just give us a little bit of background in how you get started with Twineversity.

NATALIE DIAZ: Sure, well I am a local member here of the Manhattan Twins Club and that’s my local club where we meet in person. We’re about 900 families’ right here on the island of Manhattan. So, it’s one of the largest Twin Groups in the country.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s a big group.

NATALIE DIAZ: It’s insane actually. You have to see one of our meetings. It’s quite comical. We actually meet in Central Park. We can’t meet in an enclosed place because we don’t fit. So, I started going to Twin Clubs at my local twin club when I was about 14 weeks pregnant. You get that initial, there’s two embryos; if you are in the headlight. You don’t know the story on.

So, I just Googled: “Twin Support” and I found this local club that was already active for about 20 years. I went and I fell in love with those people and I feel like they have all the answers that I needed when preparing for my twins and especially after they were born. They were vital.

Honestly, they were crucial for my existence. These strangers who were then strangers – they did everything for me. So, I really feel passionate about making sure that people do have support. I started Twineversity because not everybody has a local twin group.

I felt that: “Where do you go? Or what if your family like a military family on the move and you don’t stay put for too long, everybody deserves to have support.” So, I found the Twineversity after being a member of my own local club and the rest of the days are history.”

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I mean Twiniversity – just to give us a little snap shot for those who haven’t visited the website or learn about it. I mean what are the types of support and the resources that you’re offering?

NATALIE DIAZ: Well, we have a lot of different venues that go along with Twiniversity. It’s certainly evolved; so, we have the online forums which are available 24 hours a day and are free of charge. We have a quite a few thousand families that are active participants.

But, you know feeding tube-babies in Alaska is the same as tube-feeding babies; feeding to babies in Thailand. So, all the forums are there for you 24 hours a day. Then, we have new resources available every single online which is something pertaining to parenting your twin.

We also have a magazine that is dedicated to families of multiples because you ladies, I’m positive – I am not alone when I say: “It’s wonderful to flip through the pages of a Parent’s Magazine but there’s never anything about twins.”

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Right.

NATALIE DIAZ: You know

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Maybe a few cute pictures.

NATALIE DIAZ: I’m tired of feeling like a leper of the Parenting Community because that’s how I felt on the playground. So, we launched Multiplicity Magazine two years ago. It’s free for everybody. We also don’t ever want people to have to choose Twineversity, Multiplicity or food for your family. So, our resources are 100% free for everybody.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: We’ll be sure to post links on our website as well.

NATALIE DIAZ: Thank you I appreciate that. Thank you.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes. With the online resource that you create in, so tell us more about the kind of the link that you started up local classes. So, what’s the added benefit for having local classes?

NATALIE DIAZ: The added benefit of having people locally is because as I’ve say: “Misery loves company.” We need somebody to commiserate with. I need somebody that’s sitting across from me at a table with either a cup of coffee or a Martini that I could stay and listen: “Here’s what’s happening in my life. My kids are driving me crazy. I’m going to go to a murderous rage without my husband.”

It’s nice people with one baby get it kind of but they really don’t. We really need to kind of being our own little cocoon of Twin Parent. I find that the support that they could offer me or the support that you guys can offer each other is invaluable and we mean that.

I need somebody to brush my arm when I’m crying. I need somebody to give me a hug. I love Twineversity obviously, hello. You need that human contact. You need that support group mentality to be in a room and when you say: “I can’t get my kids potty trained.” You need to hear these groups behind you go: “Yes, I understand. I feel your pain.”

You feel part of this later underground society that’s in Parent Park.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Empathy is a big factor in the Twin Community. I totally agree. How does one go about finding a local group? In Manhattan, you’re clearly blessed with a lot of resources.

NATALIE DIAZ: I know that and I don’t think that’s for granted and I want people to find their local club. One of the main problems that I’m having because I do serve: “I’m still the director of my local Twin Club.” So, right the fact this Twiniversity I have a total separate task. I run this twin group of 900 people. But, I also serve on my state board.

The first thing that I would do is: “No matter what community, you’re planning on moving to; just like when you’re looking at good schools are in the area, I would certainly searched to see if there’s a twin club in the area.” I’m not saying that’s the reason in which you move but it could help a lot just to have a network already there when you move to a specific location.

So, one of the first things that I do is: “I would Google it.” I would Google the biggest city name in your area. So, it would be like Cincinnati Mothers of Twins club – and I also wouldn’t always do the Twins Club. I would sometimes type Mothers of multiples club or just multiples club.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Multiples, yes. I think as soon as we forget that specially for higher order multiples that clubs that are often called – I’ve seen moms of multiples that’s sort of title. You know, I went and go around ask our panellists here. How did you connect with your local twin groups?

MISHELL RUDDEN: Well, I actually started off when I first found out that I was pregnant with twins on an online support group and we started on the baby centre website. We’re actually still together to this day but it was moms that all across America and Canada and a couple of them happened to be locally from here in San Diego.

So, those moms I was actually able to meet in person and get some face-to-face time with and from there, we actually started our own playgroup and did a Facebook Page and people added people. So, we got to know each other that way and now, we’ve got events going on; moms’ night out and all these fun things that we do together, playgroup.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Cool, very cool. I’m thinking: “Carolyn, you’re in the same playgroup.”

CAROLYN BENTLEY: Yes, since the twins were born and I’ve been part of the San Diego Twins Group that has the meetings once a month, different topics and that’s been a great way to meet people and then also, perinatologist that I went to runs a multiples clinic. They have a monthly support group as well.

So, the first other twin parents I met were through there. Then, from meeting people at Target, going for a walk and meeting people, we’ve developed this playgroup that Mishell mentioned. We have play dates once a week, moms’ night out. Tonight’s actually the first dad’s night out. So, I mean it has been wonderful.

BRENDA RUHL: Because my twins are a little bit older, there wasn’t the same presence on the web as there is today. There weren’t quite as many resources that way but I was very fortunate and that I had a co-worker that when I went through my first pregnancy with my singleton; she had twins.

Two years later, when I got pregnant with twins – first she laughed and then she said: “You’re coming to a Twins Club Meeting with me tonight.” She was an officer in the San Diego Group. So, I did. So, I did start going while I was pregnant and never looked back. It was definitely a benefit.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Definitely, yes. I think it’s definitely helpful if you’ve got friends that can kind of rope you in but and if you’re in a larger metropolitan area, that helps as well. Natalie, if someone lives in a more rural environment then do you have any suggestions for that s well?

NATALIE DIAZ: I definitely do. I think stalking people at Target is a great way to make friends. I remember when my kids were three months old; I stalk this woman in K-Mart over a year. She had triplets and also, I firmly believe that: “Every parent of twins should have a friend that’s a parent of triplets.” Okay, that’s called: “Perspective” people.

It just keep [inaudible] and perspective for you. Everybody needs to that arsenal of fun. So, I stalked her and we’re still friends to this day. My twins are nine. We’re a little bit on the bigger side. But if you live in an area, I will definitely speak to your obstetrician and see if anybody else is due with twins at the same time.

High risk doctors also hold the keys to Twin Clubs. You know who else? IBF Clinic, IBF Clinic also they usually know what Twin Clubs are available because doctors are fantastic obviously but they can only take us so far with support. They like to be able to lead you in a direction of where to go – what kind of help you could use because then I’m not calling them every 10 minutes when I’m saying: “No, I can’t figure out how to bottle feed my baby.”

They want –they need those local support groups and sometimes what has happened actually is: “A lot of the times, people will meet through Twiniversity and in our Twiniversity Forum, you could sort by member and once you sort by member you could sort by zip code.”

So, you could find other twin parents in your area that have playgroups and then often, paediatrician will let you use their available room after hours or sometimes even gym free. They donate their space kind of because of advertising for them and give to you guys an opportunity to play inside a nice safe clean environment.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s great. So, it sounds like you’re saying: “For those who may not have a formal group that there are these opportunity to maybe possibly form, create your own group.”

NATALIE DIAZ: 100% yes.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Now, that’s a great point. I’m going to throw out there as well. I know there’s a lot of different clubs that are part of an umbrella organization which is known as the – what’s now known as “Multiples of America” formerly known as the “The National Association of the Mothers of Twins Club.” It’s just a long mouthful.

So, I think if you Google “Multiples of America” as well, they can – you can search by state and by community as well. Maybe you can tell us: “What are the different types of groups out there?” I think there are a lot of different formats and I personally recently joined some just informal meet-up groups and it seems like there’s a whole bunch of different types of meet up groups out there as well.

I’m guessing there are probably some that are twin focused. Maybe you can tell us about names of these informal groups?

NATALIE DIAZ: Sure. Well, they’re like you said: “There are so many. It’s unbelievable.” You can check through your paediatrician, you could definitely check through meet-ups. Meet-ups sometimes are a little bit smaller but its all noble effect. So, if you find one group and you bring two moms with you, it just going to grow from there; a lot of times, there’s also groups that are organized by like a YMCA.

Sometimes, they don’t necessarily say: “Multiples meet up but they might have kids meet-up.” It’s also 1 in every 30 delivery for multiple births. So, if there’s 30 families, let’s hope these 31 families maybe they’ll be another family of twins but that’s another place that’s available. You just have to find the little smaller niche group.

Also, you know what’s interesting? If you have a local parenting magazine, if you write to the editor; often know let you write a little article or advertising that you want to have; a playgroup in this park at this time because then a lot of communities around the country that have like a parenting pages.

They may have a page on their local magazine on a Sunday about Parenting. Everybody is excited about: “Helping parents of twins get support.” Parents of twins still have that side show effect. So, as far as editor, you know they want to be like: “We help Natalie organize this playgroup in Central Park.”

So, it’s interesting that you can do more than you think you can by just making a phone call or two.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well, that’s great. That’s really great to know. We’re going to take a break right now. When we come back, we’re going to talk about: “Some of the benefits in these local groups and what you can expect and why you really have to join the group.”

[Theme Music]

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay, well welcome back. Today’ we’re talking about: “Joining a Twin Group” with Natalie Diaz. Our discussion continues as we look at ways to get most out of your local twin groups. What are some of those things – how do these twin groups offer support? So Natalie, when we look at some of these different types of groups; what are some of the big draws that can really help twin parents?

NATALIE DIAZ: Some things are usually are topics like a lot of twin groups would say: “On Tuesday, every last Tuesday of the month we’re going to talk about a new topic. This month we’re talking about potty training.” I do know that different twin clubs need a different time.

In Manhattan, we always meet after work and we rarely do things with our kids. I know that sounds horrible. But, a lot of us are coming from support and for education. It’s very hard to listen to a speaker or to take notes when you have babies attached to these boobs.

So, often that’s definitely one thing is that: “A lot of times for us like this month should have a speaker Joan Freedman who lives out by you guys” who’s coming to talk about twin psychology and making sure that your kids grow independently but still share this wonderful bond of being twins.”

So, the big draw all the local deposits is always having an open topic where you kind of get bent in, get angry and get some answers and they’re having a very formal discussion about a topic that really hits home in your house right now.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Definitely. I think too when I see a lot of the clubs, the more formal groups that have education. I think twin parents saying: “Hey, I need help.” Tell me: “How I’m going to get my twins to sleep to the night?”

MISHELL RUDDEN: How to do it with twins and not just a single child – all the issues of being in the same room or feeding at the same time; it’s nice to have a support group with the focus of having two babies at once instead of one.

NATALIE DIAZ: Well, a lot of times Twin Groups were two halves because you have the one side that we are supporting education. Then, you have the other side which is just about socialization and fun in the playgroup. So, depending on what you want to get out. If your local group, you usually should be able to get and adjust what you need.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: As far as the education and the support, what other types of support do twin groups offer in terms of helping new parents especially like that first three months?

NATALIE DIAZ: Well, a lot of times there’s a welcoming committee. So, sometimes when new babies are born, we might have a family just bring you a hot diner. How often would that be?

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s wonderful.

NATALIE DIAZ: Our group has a Tweenie Support Group so if you’ve had kids that are in the NICU what would you do is: “You call me immediately.” It comes to my phone in 24 hours a day. I don’t think any Twin Clubs offer that kind of support but we do because we’re so big so if you called me at 3:00 in the morning and said: “I just delivered my preemies at NYU.”

By the morning, I’d find another mother who is also in the NICU for an extended period of time who might know a nurse, know a doctor, what day has the best lunch in the cafeteria.” So, that’s another benefit that we offer. We have a same sex support group. So, if you have your two dads or two moms and you just want to meet other two dads and two moms, families we could do that.

We have a single family support group, a subgroup of our Twin Club because a lot of people just are tired of waiting for Mr. Right. So, they’re like: “Hey, for $500 I’m going to find Mr. Right and I’m going to have some babies.”

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I’d never thought a dating within a Twin Group. That puts a whole other perspective on things.

NATALIE DIAZ: Yes, we have it. We also have a special need support group. So, if you have babies that were born early or a little bit later and you’re growing the early intervention process – a lot of us has been there and done that. There is no need for you to relearn those things.

We already have the connections of the speech therapist and physical therapist and feeding specialist. So, why not use those resources and that’s kind of where a twin club thrive that is what you need us for. You need us for those. Hopefully, you’ll never need any of those services but it’s nice to know they exist if you did.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Absolutely. Now, I’m going to turn it back to our panellist. So, maybe you guys can tell us: “What are some of the things that you really appreciate most about the club that you’re in?”

BRENDA RUHL: As a working parent, I have a little bit different perspective in that. I really appreciated the structure of the once a month evening meetings that as described. You have the first hour. So, as just to go around the room, what’s everyone going on right now – little guidance from the rest of the members and then the second hour was the guest panellists.

My position, when I joined the board that my second year, I was the person who got to arrange all of those. So, that was really fun – helping pick the topics and working up the people. Because I was never available during the day to go me with the meet-ups, it was really difficult to connect with everyone without that evening once a month.

Hearing about the different types of services that are enrolled in the twin groups now; I love that it’s evolved into that because I would have loved to had some of that back in the day. The preemie follow-up, the developmental issues – all of that, I love hearing if that’s where it’s gone now.

CAROLYN BENTLEY: I could say: “One benefit for me – I think the biggest thing are the education topics and then just being able to sit down and chat with other people that are going through the same things.” That’s how we found a lot of things that worked well.” Hey, this method worked well for you. Why don’t I try it?

Just getting all of those ideas from people that are doing it and being able to say: “Hey, I’m having a Me-Mommy day” and someone to be like: “Yes, I had one yesterday.” Just to have that report with people is just priceless. Yes, to be able to find – your children were early too. Just to have other people to discuss those sorts of things with is nice.

MISHELL RUDDEN: Just the socialization in general I think. A lot of us at least in our particular group went from being full-time workers and had a completely different life and then all of a sudden, we’re the mom of two and maybe working part-time or not at all.

It kind of just gives you something to do during the day and to be able to socialize with people that are going through the same thing as you.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Absolutely. I’m just thinking: “If you have any specific needs, for example – you’re looking for a support for breastfeeding twins or I think single parenting.” So, Natalie what’s the best way to find out if you can get that type of support? Where you can get that support?

NATALIE DIAZ: Well, for breastfeeding in particular. I think it’s crucial. The concept – I have to remember when I was pregnant and just envisioning having two babies on me. I couldn’t even have them. Of course, they get here. My babies were born early. So they were preemies. So, the doctors are like: “We really recommend that you breastfeed.”

They were kind of pushing me in that direction and I didn’t know what to do. I was so glad they are local club has a Breastfeeding Support Liaison. So, I was able to pull her and say: “Hey Maria. What would I do? What do I buy? Where do I start? How do I do this?”

You know what I loved about that? That sometimes the people at the hospital, they might be some a particular organization that might be on it; so ask a little bit more about breastfeeding and I’m already overwhelmed and I feel like after the pushing me – this lactation consultant is pushing me.

Having somebody that I felt was like on my side, just been here: “Hey Nat. Here is how we’re going to do. Here’s how’s it really done. You got to get a twin breastfeeding to low.” It was those simple things that she helped me with. She really understood where I was coming from because she is still breastfeeding her twin.

So, anybody, any local twin club and if you don’t have that, that’s where Twiniversity kind of comes in to play because I could usually find a twin specialist lactation consultant at any area around the globe – believe it or not.

Yes, honestly we just connected our legally blind single mother of twins with another legally blind single mother of twins. So, if you want to talk about a needle in the haystack sometimes the local club can’t.

They can’t match people off that way or if you had a child who had a hearty sack or if you have a child who had a particular disability. That’s kind of where Twiniversity came to play a crucial role in the lives of parenting multiples because just because you can’t get that support locally doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have that support.

So, we’re trying to fill that gap. But, as far as locally, it was so wonderful to be able to call somebody and say: “Hey, listen. I really need to breastfeed this thing. How do I do this? I have no shooting out all over in the shower, how do I get that in check?”

So, it was all those things that I don’t think I would have spoken to with anybody. But, knowing that there was another mother of twins who have been there and done that, I felt very comfortable discussing a very personal issue in particular with breastfeeding. So, I think that’s an important part of a local group.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s great. Yes. It sounds like then: “You can get a lot of support from the local group and perhaps, maybe that local group may not have a support in a very, very specific area.” But then, you’ll be creative and look online or hook-up with real people elsewhere. So, we don’t want to limit ourselves. We just want to keep our possibilities open. Yes.

NATALIE DIAZ: You got to get help wherever you need it. There is no right place to get it and there’s no wrong place to get it. As a parent of twins, you have to do what you have to do and we are such a non-judgemental crew. I don’t know if you guys notice that. But, I mean

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Whatever it takes.

NATALIE DIAZ: We’re like whatever like if the kids have a clean diaper on – we shower that. That’s like enough for us. That’s good. That’s all. I’ve checked everything else might to do with. But I love that. I love being in a community where I feel normal. I didn’t find that before.

When I go to like playgroups and when I went to music class and I see the only mother of twins in the group and one kid was hiding under a chair and the other one was grabbing a maraca out of somebody’s hands. I was like: “I was upset. I was embarrassed.”

I was like: “My God. I can’t get control of these kids.” You know what? There are two kids and one parent and I should have never felt that way. But, when I started going to more play groups and more things that had more twin parents, I stop feeling that guilt and that embarrassment and shame and I started feeling joy being a parent.

I started to enjoy having two instead of saying: “Class, why would there some extra kid? What would am I going to do with this?” So, I’d love that and I love feeling normal. It is so important to me and it took me too long to find that and get out of the house with both of them. I wish that I would have just done this sooner.

So, anybody just listening: “Don’t wait.” If your babies, there are two-weeks old and your doctor gave you clearance to leave the house – go today. Get out today and find another parent of twins that you could just miserate with.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: There is a good point. Is there a good time to join? Do you think there’s benefit in joining early on in the pregnancy versus having the kids? When should we start the search to connect with other twin parents?

NATALIE DIAZ: I think by 14 weeks pregnant, you should know that you have a local twin club. Whether you go or not – it’s a different story. I think you’ve got to go before these babies are here. The first year after the babies are born with a [inaudible 00:29:53] you’ll be lucky if you pay the bills in the first year.

It’s ridiculous but, I would say: “Try to go within the first 14 weeks and then, definitely at around 24 weeks. After 30 weeks your body’s going to start to get a little bit more uncomfortable. So, try to not to wait till the end.” They’ll also help you with things like when you should go on your hospital - if your hospital even offers a local chore and if there is a breastfeeding class available, would you thing to want to know now.

You don’t want to know later. What could be knowing later? You got to know sooner than later between.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I personally feel like: “Once I met folks at the Twin Club that I just felt that connection and we’ve bonded. So, you made friends for life.”

BRENDA RUHL: We had a happy hour about two weeks ago. Since my twins are 11 year – you really go back 12 years and we still get together with my group. It’s awesome. It’s amazing.

NATALIE DIAZ: That’s fantastic. I was going to say to the parents that are on bed rest, you may want to speak to the authors in your local Twins Club. If you have a smaller Twins Club with maybe 10 families, they may even be able to meet at your house if you were willing. Just so that you could kind of braise them and not me a better off.

The other thing that we’ve done for some of our members is: “We Facetime them into a meeting.” You could Skype somebody in and Facetime in there and leave them on in an iPad just so they don’t feel so alone because we all know.

I mean 80% of families of multiples go on bed rest here in New York City. So, it’s very common for us. So, you might want to recommend that to your officers for your local twins clubs if that’s a possibility.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: What a great idea.

MISHELL RUDDEN: I would have loved that.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Definitely. Okay, well that’s going to wrap us up for today. We’re running out of time here. So, I just want to say: “Thank you so much Natalie for joining us.” For more information about: “Joining a Twin Group” or for more information about any of our experts or panellists, visit our episode page on our website.

This conversation continues for members of our Twin Talks Club. After the show, Miss Diaz will tell us about: “Some of these clubs can help with the challenge of babies and kids outgrowing their clothes and gear.” For more information about The Twin Talks Club, visit our website – www.TwinTalks.com

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CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: We’ve got a question from one of our listeners in Florida, Leticia. She called in our voicemail and she said that:

I’ve heard that the twin moms have to get detailed ultrasounds every month. So, why are these scans necessary and what are you looking for in these scans?

-Leticia

DR. SEAN DANESHMAND: Leticia, my name is Dr. Sean Daneshmand. I’m a perinatologist at the San Diego Perinatal Centre. A very good question – so, with multiples, obviously the first ultrasound that you have is important to determine the number of placentas you have and obviously sacs.

So, when you have two placentas, that publication with twins decreases. After that, you have something called: “The Nuchal Translucency” which is offered everyone which is looking behind your skin and the soft tissue behind the baby’s necks. That’s also screening test for cardiac defects and also chromosome abnormalities may lead down syndromes and other triseemies which is triseemie team.

The anatomy scan are done between 18 to 22 week is important because you want to look at the baby’s from head to toe. Just make sure there are no structural abnormalities with these pumpkins. Now, when you have two separate placentas in fraternal twins, the risk of congenital mouth formation is the same as having a singleton baby.

I remember about 3 to 4 percent of pregnancies are complicated by having a congenital abnormalities and heart being the first. The most common about 34,000 babies are born annually with heart defect.

After that, if they missed any seen any of the anatomy, they want to have you come back in the next two to four weeks to get those images that they want to look for and also look at your cervix because you’re at risk for pre termed delivery, then after that – we look just for in over growth.

We want to make sure that these babies are growing well because if for example, with twins, you have a higher likely of having abnormal placentation or abnormal cord insertion into the placenta or the number of vessels. For example stitches instead of having three vessels in the cord, you have two vessels. Then, you want to make sure that these babies are growing well.

But, the anatomy scan is really around 18 to 20 weeks and then maybe one more follow up scan after that to obtain all the images that you may have not gotten because of the baby’s positions. The rest are really to make sure that these babies are growing well.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, that wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks. Join in on the discussion by posting your comments on the Twin Talks Facebook Page or calling our voice mail at 619-866-4775.

Don’t forget to check our sister shows:

• Preggie Pals; it’s for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies and
• Parent Savers; an online support group for the new parents.

Next week, we’re going to find out: “How the nutritional needs for twin pregnancies are different than for singleton pregnancies.” This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.

[Disclaimer]
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit www.NewMommyMedia.com .

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