Seaside Mothers of Multiples

 

First Year Coping

Parenting multiples is so hard during the first year. For a first-time mom, this is the year of baby bootcamp, during which all kinds of expectations are being popped like bubbles before your sleep-deprived eyes. And for an experienced mom with new twins, chances are it's nothing like she remembered with a singleton.

The challenges include caring for preemies, facing medical conditions, breastfeeding multiples, customizing multiples food tolerances, scheduling sleep and feedings, anticipating developmental milestones, facing financial demands, not to mention caring for your own needs.

SIGN LANGUAGE FOR BABIES

At previous meetings, several SMOMs have asked about teaching infants sign language. Sign language opens up a world of communication and eliminates a lot of frustration for pre-verbal infants, toddlers and children with special needs, all of whom may be able to hear, but may not yet be able to communicate with speech.

There are many resources out there, but two that SMOMs have found to be very helpful include the book "Signing for Kids" and the Signing Time Video/DVD collection.

"Signing for Kids" by Mickey Flodin, is a well-illustrated introduction to signing, organized by subject areas (Pets, People, Numbers, Sports, Travel, Science, Thoughts and Feelings, and Places). "Signing Time" is a sign language video series for hearing infants and children that teaches them basic American Sign Language in a fun and memorable way. Big kids and grown-ups love it, too! There are six volumes to the Signing Time Video Collection (videos or DVDs). The first volume is rather slow and only teaches about 20 signs, but nonetheless it is a great introduction. The second volume teaches playtime signs, and the third volume teaches everyday signs. You can purchase them at www.amazon.com, the Signing Time Store www.signingtime.com, and other places.

LOCAL POSTPARTUM SUPPORT:
The Depression After Delivery support group is for women looking for compassionate support while experiencing the emotional and physical adjustments of the postpartum period. All new mothers and their families are welcome. The group meets at Jordan Hospital on the second Thursday monthly from 7-8:30 pm in the Meditation Room, 3rd floor. Call Gerri Piatelli (781-837-4242).

Another Depression After Delivery group meets at South Shore Hospital, on the first Friday of each month at 7:30 pm. Call the Postpartum Depression line at 781-340-3704.

Postpartum Support International offers resources for both mothers and fathers.



To find other local and online support groups, go to the Boston Parents' Paper listings:
http://boston.parenthood.com, go to Parenting 411, and Support Groups.

DO YOU KNOW ABOUT 
EARLY INTERVENTION (EI)?

If you have any questions at all about your child's developmental progress, you should get a referral with the Early Intervention program. It's a state program available to ALL families for children aged 0 to 3. EI conducts an assessment of your child's cognitive, language, motor, social, emotional, behavioral and self-help skills, and assembles a team of specialists to work with you in a home setting to provide any necessary services.

Because multiples are often premature and can have some developmental delays or disorders, our SMOMs have had a good deal of experience with the program; they can't stress enough how valuable its services are -- even the assessment itself is extremely instructive. If you're not sure there's a problem... better to have an assessment done early than adopt a "wait and see" strategy.

Click here for Early Intervention information (PDF download)


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