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The Ups and Downs of Having Multiples

Larsen & Talbert

When it comes to multiples, more than one often means double (or triple, or even quadruple) the fun. That first magical smile, those sweet baby coos...all of the good stuff comes in droves. Of course, the challenges of keeping pace with so many babies (multiple diapers, feedings and even tantrums) can sometimes overshadow the perks. Hence, it's important to master the day-to-day basics of tending to your bountiful new brood. The result: More time and energy for savoring the thrills they're sure to bring.

What's with the spike in multiples births? The increase is attributed to soaring rates of fertility drug and reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization, on the part of modern couples who have delayed starting a family, says John Moore, M.D., FAAP, a father of twins and assistant professor of pediatrics at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Since female bodies hit their baby-making prime in their 20s, with fertility steadily declining thereafter, these couples rely on technology to dramatically enhance their chances of conceiving, making later-in-life parenthood a happy reality, explains Dr. Moore. How common is this trend? The most recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that the use of reproductive technologies has more than doubled over the last decade, resulting in over 25,700 multiples born in 2006 alone. That's a whole lot of twins and triplets making their debut!

As common and socially acceptable as having multiples might be, there can still be a negative perception about what the experience of raising multiples is actually like. Sure, to some it may seem like a one-way ticket to the land of stress and exhaustion (and there are days when moms of multiples would certainly agree), but these powerhouse mothers can handle, and even transcend, the day-to-day challenges of handling their ample offspring. After all, these women are ninjas of efficiency: The scheduling precision, budgetary thrift and organizational prowess required to pull off even a simple run to the grocery store with multiples in tow should qualify these parents as Donald Trump's next apprentice. So, walk tall, new moms of multiples; you can do this! Armed with pertinent information from some of the nation's top experts, as well as tried-and-true tips from others in the moms-of-many trenches, you'll be leaping over the hardest hurdles of managing multiples in no time.