Pregnant with Triplets? How to Prepare
If you have recently been told that you and your spouse are expecting triplets, your first reaction was likely shock! Triplets only occur in about 1 in about 7900 births and the odds of having identical triplets range from about 1 in 160,000 to 1 in a million. As you can see, triplets are quite rare and as a parent of triplets, there are some unique challenges that you will have to meet both before and after their arrival. Here are some of the things that you can do in order to prepare:
Keep in Close Contact With Your Doctor
The first thing that you will need to realize when you find out that you are pregnant with three babies is that you will need to stay in close contact with your doctor. You will almost always be considered a high-risk pregnancy and likely have to go on bed rest at some point in your pregnancy. Most single pregnancies will go to about 40 weeks to be considered full term, but as the parent of multiples, you will likely have your babies earlier than that.
Your doctor, of course, will be monitoring you at least weekly, and it is fairly common to have triplets before 37 weeks, meaning they will be considered premature. Thanks to advances in medical care, premature infants typically do very well, there are still concerns that your doctor will likely speak with you about. These concerns include developmental delays and conditions such as cerebral palsy.
Think About Your Finances
Once the shock of triplets has lessened, the next thing most parents of multiples think is, “How are we going to pay for this?” Estimates for raising a single child from birth to the age of 18 is just over $241,000 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Multiplying that by three will give you $723,000. In the first year alone, it is estimated to be about $12,000 per child. With three, in the first year you are looking at $36,000. None of this is meant to scare you, of course, but it should give you the motivation to start planning for your triplets, financially.
First of all, you will want to start budgeting and getting yourself used to a budget. The sooner you do this, the better off you will be. Another thing that you will want to do when it comes to finances is only buy the bare minimum before the babies are born. Many parents will spend hundreds of dollar on supplies for their newborns, only to find they never use these items and simply waste money. Finally, you may need to start thinking creatively as your family grows. Spending the money on a membership to a warehouse club, for instance, can be a great investment that can save you a lot of money in the long term.
Gather Your Friends and Family
Another thing to keep in mind before your triplets arrive is who will help you in the days following the birth and who will be there to help you when you bring your family home. Some parents believe that they can handle it, especially new parents, but if you have ever had a single birth, you know that both you and your partner likely had their hands full and now, you will have three times the tasks. Most of the time, you will find that friends and family are happy to help, especially when it comes to things like making food, running errands and holding fussy babies. Trying to make a schedule and having a list of helpers available to you beforehand will make the process easier when you arrive home.
Relax and Keep Yourself Healthy
Finally, it will be extremely important that you keep yourself healthy and relax as much as possible before the birth of your babies. You may find that you are put on bed rest in the weeks leading up to the birth of your triplets and it is important that you heed this advice. This is the best way to care for your babies and to allow them to grow and develop as much as possible before their imminent arrival.
By doing the above, you can be sure that you are well prepared for your new babies and will be able to bring them home to a healthy, happy home.