Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Parent to Parent: Multiple Births
There was a time when you didn't see many twins or triplets, but not anymore. The number of multiple births is skyrocketing in the U.S. In tonight's Parent to Parent, Seven's Lynn Martinez takes a look at multiples, and how they present unique challenges to new parents.
WSVN -- Meet the Alminaque brothers. They are 4-year-old identical triplets. Mom and dad say they are prodigies at keeping them rocking around the clock.
Stacy: "My first thing I said was, 'I'm having a litter.'"
Gustavo Alminaque: "Good thing there was a wall behind me to brace me when we found out, and we just kind of looked at each other and smiled at the time."
In this house, it's three of everything all the time, shoes, outfits and toys. Stacy and Gustavo have the routine down now, but at first it was hard.
Gustavo Alminaque: "We worked in shift rotations. She'd take days, and I would take nights, so she would do 12 hours a day, and I would do 12 hours at night."
Identical twins and triplets run in Stacy's familiy, but Dr. Valerie says other factors are increasing the number of multiple births nationwide.
Dr. Valerie: "There are women that are waiting to have babies much longer and, as they get older, sometimes, their eggs are not as fertile, therefore they're taking fertility drugs, which increase the amount of births you have at one time."
Having three children the same age can put a big strain on mom and dad, physically and financially. Dr. Val suggests setting up a special expense fund as soon as possible.
Dr. Valerie: "Knowing that these things are going to come up and not being surprised in first or second grade when they're both taking gymnastics at the same time or when they first start to drive a car, and now, all of the sudden, everyone needs insurance and cars."
Dr. Val says if you find out you're having twins, don't be afraid to ask for help.
Stacy: "Our families have been amazing. We're fortunate to have the support system that we've had with them."
A big issue most parents will face fairly early on: encouraging individuality. Dr. Val says parents should give each child distinctively different names, never dress them alike, and, when they have a moment to spare, try to find special one-on-one time with each child.
Dr. Valerie: "We have to be aware as parents what the personality of our twins are or triplets or however many, quintuplets. It doesn't matter, they're all different children, and they all have different needs."
Keeping on top of their rambunctious crew is a job, but the Alminaque's say their rewards are three times as great as the challenges.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Valerie Goode