As any mother knows, finding out you’re pregnant comes with a full range of emotions. Finding out you’re pregnant with multiples takes those emotions to a whole new level.
In my experience, finding out I was having twins was exciting and welcoming news. My husband and I embraced the idea immediately. What I didn’t expect was that the news was going to be hard for others to wrap their heads around.
While most reactions to the news you’re expecting twins, triplets (or more) are going to be positive and full of genuine happiness and excitement, some can be hurtful or even downright offensive. Comments such as “better you than me,” “good luck, you’re going to need it,” “you’re never going to sleep again,” and even “I’m going to pray for you” can have negative connotations. To a pregnant woman with raging hormones, these comments can seem condescending, may imply that the mother isn’t capable of handling the pregnancy or two (or more) babies, or make her pregnancy seem like a misfortune.
Multiple pregnancies also bring out the curiosity in people (even strangers). This curiosity is usually well-intended but can cross some personal barriers. Questions such as “Are they natural?” or “Are you having a C-section?” are personal details not everyone is prepared to share, particularly with those we don’t know very well. Before you ask anything too personal, ask yourself whether you’d ask a mother pregnant with a singleton baby the same thing.
Here are three suggestions for positive things to say to someone expecting multiples:
If you have just found out you are pregnant with multiples, join your local multiples group (in Manitoba it is the Manitoba Family of Multiples). They are an incredible resource and support system made up of other families who know exactly how you’re feeling, what you’re going through, and can help answer all your questions and curiosities about the wonderful world of multiples.