For first time moms, there’s often the expectation that after giving birth, the bond with your twins will be immediate, and it very well could be. But for some, the mommy-twin bond comes later and over time, or sometimes, we bond with one child before the other. If this is something you’ve experienced, know that you aren’t alone. There are many factors that detract from our bonding time within the first year of giving birth. Give yourself some credit — you just took on the hardest job there is!
Just with anyone you first meet, there’s a mesh of personalities that need to play out when first interacting with your newborns. You need to decide who your babies are, what they need and how they act. For a mom of multiples, this can difficult in the beginning, especially given the rush and mayhem that initially follows a twin birth. In the hospital, you might have pressure to have a C-section, the babies might be whisked away to the NICU or nursery, your family may be asking many questions that you may not yet know yourself.
In Gina Osher’s Rookie Moms twin post, she offers her own account of bonding with her boy/girl twins, and how at first, she felt extremely guilty for not understanding her daughter and her needs. Ultimately, the solution to bonding, she believes, is simply more one-on-one interaction.
In my experience, once you have determined that postpartum depression is not a factor, the greatest way to connect to your babies is to have one-on-one time with them. In the beginning this may seem strange, as the idea most of us have of twins is that they are always together. But there is nothing better you can do for your children than to let them have you all to themselves once in a while. If you care for your babies on your own, sometimes the only way to have that alone time is if one is sleeping and the other wakes early – take what you can get!
Patricia A. Malmstron, M.A. writes in The Twin Bond that it’s important to keep in mind that in some ways, your twins entered this world as a team. So not only are you trying to bond with the children on an individual level, you need to also realize that you’re introducing yourself to a team environment with a budding relationship.
Overall, you need to be patient with yourself and your babies, because the “aha” moment doesn’t always occur before your return from the hospital. Stef Daniel of Family Planning puts it well:
Whether you feel that metaphorical sense of ‘bonding’ or not, your twins feel it. There will come a day when you are pulling both of them in a wagon through the yard, listening to them giggle, and realizing in an instant how quickly they have changed; you will look at them and realize that IT has been there all along. You just haven’t had time to notice it. For every mom, whether she has one baby or three, the bonding develops slowly and surely just like it does in every relationship in our lives; the difference with out children is that the love part comes first. In addition, that happens long before you even see them and is the mark of being a mother.
Here are some tips and myths for securing a strong attachment relationship with your little ones.