January 7, 2011

Having Twins and More

Having Twins and More: A Parent's Guide to Multiple Pregnancy, Birth, and Early Childhood by Elizabeth Noble with Leo Sorger, M.D.

I chose this book for the Postpartum & Birth reading I needed to do because I know from talking to parents of twins that the postpartum challenges everyone experiences are magnified tremendously for parents of multiples.

This book was an interesting mix of data (or at least reference to data) and assertion.  Noble quotes LOTS of research, but in a kind of random-seeming way (i.e., quote anything that seems to support what you want to say, rather than a review of all possible research on the topic you're discussing - see this fascinating article about the fallacy of medical research in general, much less when you're trying to prove a point.)  And she obviously has some pet theories, some of which I think make common sense (eat more), others not (dairy is evil for everyone).

It is informative though, for someone like me with no direct personal experience with parenting twins or more, about what that experience is like.  I'd like to read something more evocative on the topic at some point, because this book is only informative.  Even the side-bar quotes from parents are pretty dry.

Since I don't have twins and am not pregnant with them and I leave the book feeling kind of scared of the whole idea, I imagine it might not be a confidence builder for someone actually expecting twins.  I think I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book to parents, at least not as a primary source.

Birth: she does include photos and the story of a successful, term, homebirth of triplets after cesarean, which is undoubtedly pretty cool.  Otherwise, none of the birth information was particularly new to me - she's basically saying, try to find someone who will support a vaginal birth because it's better for you and the babies - even better if it can be as natural as possible.

Postpartum:  again, her general gist is that parents of multiples will need LOTS of help or disaster may overtake them in the form of stress, divorce, depression etc.  This is useful, and there are some ideas about how to cope, but I imagine that I'd learn a lot more from the Internet in terms of tricks to try and gadgets to buy if I were expecting multiples.

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