A. Pregnancy massage is a great way to help relieve back aches. This can be done either by Apu or your friends. Sometimes hospitals will have nurses or others trained in this technique. Or you can look into hiring someone to come in and massage you.
This might be the time to look into finding a doula to help support you both before, during and after the birth. She is a trained woman who will look after your needs physically, emotionally and mentally, allowing others to care for you medically and as your spouse. This might also help take some of the burden off Apu.
Earlier in pregnancy you might do exercises such as the pelvic tilt to relieve back strain. When you carry multiples your back tends to start hurting a bit sooner than with singleton births. This may also not be advised later in pregnancy for women on bed rest.
The other easy and inexpensive alternative is heat and cold therapy. Simply use a rice sock heated up or a cold pack placed under the back for comfort. It's best to alternate the two to achieve the most effective pain relief.
Q. Apu: Since I'm doing the grocery shopping while my beautiful wife is pregnant, what foods should I buy? I want to satisfy her cravings, but make sure she is getting the nutrition she needs.
A. It's very important to stress protein right now. As protein is the building block for every single cell, this will promote the best growth for your babies and has been shown to help reduce certain complications like high blood pressure, which tend to be more common in multiple births.
You can find some great sources of protein in things like meats, cheeses, peanut butter, milk, etc.
Q. Manjula: I'm gaining so much weight for these babies. I'm afraid that once they're born, I won't have time to exercise. How will I lose these you lose extra pounds?
A. The worst thing you can do right now is restrict your weight. The weight you gain right now is either directly on the babies or in your support system for the babies, such as extra blood volume, the weight of your breasts and uterus.
The best thing for losing weight is breastfeeding. While some would say that this is impossible for multiples, the truth of the matter is that any amount of breast milk is very beneficial for the babies, particularly when you are anticipating that they will be smaller and probably a bit earlier than most.
Not only is breastmilk the best thing for the babies, protecting them from ear, respiratory and intestinal infections, but it can also protect mom from breast cancer. The immediate benefits of breastfeeding for mom include weight loss, increased oxytocin production which helps shrink the uterus and avoid postpartum hemorrhage (a big fear when the uterus is distended to this extent), and many other things.
I would encourage you to find a lactation consultant or La Leche Leader in your area who has experience with breastfeeding multiples. You can contact La Leche at: laleacheleague.org.
Once your doctor has approved you to begin exercise program, begin lightly. Taking care of eight babies will be exercise enough for the first few months, but light walks will not only get you exercise, but out of the house.
Q. Apu: How would I begin to find help at home?
A. If you've found a doula, then that is where I would start. She can help you think of all of the needs that you may not think of being a new parent. She can also give you suggestions for rallying help and in finding people to help you.
Help is very important for every parent, and when there are multiples involved it takes multiple amounts of help.