Now that it has settled in that you are having two, three or four babies in one delivery, it’s time to figure out your birth plan. By Martine Hendricks
Choosing a hospital
If you’re on a medical-aid plan, now is a great time to find out what the stipulations are around giving birth and staying in hospital with your multiples. What you may not realise is that there will be extra costs and expenses that you may not be able to afford and will mean that you opt for a public hospital.
Here’s how to decide which option and hospital is right for you:
- Shortlist three hospitals
- Navigate within closest proximity
- Chat to your healthcare practitioner or gynaecologist
- Gather information about what the hospitals offer should you and your babies have to stay longer than anticipated.
Remember that your healthcare provider may have one or two designated hospitals where they deliver, so be sure to ask them about this before you decide.
What are the birthing options?
It’s all about being in-touch with the growth of your multiples and aware of the possibility of whether you are able to give birth naturally – usually this is not what your gynaecologist or obstetrician will advise, but it is still an option. If there are any risk factors, which your doctor may be concerned about, be open to this and discuss it with your partner for peace of mind and clarity.
- Mentally prepare yourself for the alternative to your original birthing option.
- Run through on-the-spot decisions with your partner, in case complications arise.
- C-sections have been carried out for decades; so don’t be anxious should this be your main option.
- Ask your gynaecologist to explain the spinal block process.
Preparation is key, so don’t become overwhelmed and remember to enjoy the process of your pregnancy.
Think about who you want in the delivery room with you and how their presence will affect you. We have the notion that having our partner in the room with us will immediately put us at ease, but sadly this is not always the situation. Your partner should be there, but also nominate one other person who you know will keep you calm or inject some humour into the situation. Whoever you choose, try to make sure that these people will be there to make practical long-term choices on your behalf, should you be unable to make them yourself due to exhaustion or an emergency.
The time spent in hospital with your babies will be tiring, but should be joyful and not stressful at all. Be very clear with your hospital custodians about the amount of visitors you want, if any at all, and be upfront about your privacy and the quality time you hope for.
Being upfront eliminates unnecessary drama. These are your babies and you decide what works for you.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.