During pregnancy, I read every available baby book. When we found out that we were expecting not one -- but TWO -- babies, my husband's first reaction was, "I guess we need to get more books!"
Among the numerous books about twins and multiples, many are extremely helpful; some are merely interesting, and others, well... who has time to read them all? Here's a list of some of the best.
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Many of the books about parenting twins are heavily concentrated on the physical aspects of pregnancy and the logistical aspects of coping with two babies. Few take such an in-depth look into the psychology of twins and the intricacies of their relationship. Joan A. Friedman, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist specializing in twins, as well as a twin and a mother of twins. That combination of experience led her to develop a philosophy that "parents and others need to treat twins as two separate children who happen to have been born at the same time." She outlines seven basic concepts for raising twins, and then applies them to each phase of parenting, beginning with pregnancy and concluding with issues pertaining to adult twins.
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Competition, classroom placement and puberty times two: topics that parents of multiples talk about, but little has been written about until now. Christina Baglivi Tinglof addresses the unique issues of raising older twins and multiples with sensitivity backed up by solid scientific research. Parents of school-aged twins will find this book very relatable, with fascinating insight about the nature of twins as well as helpful advice for rasing them.
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by Cheryl Lage, (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2006)
Starting with the "Twintroduction," this book takes a friendly, encouraging tone as it guides parents through the process of having twins.
Because the authors are triplet parents, this is probably one of the best books available for parents of higher order multiples. This is a must-have survival guide for parents of twins, triplets, quadruplets and higher. It's an excellent collection of true-to-life, practical advice on managing -- and even enjoying -- life with multiples.
This 2003 release is the third edition of Elizabeth Noble's classic reference on multiple birth. The newer edition steers toward a more encouraging, less medical view than the 1991 work, which was criticized as overly pessimistic. While it still contains some weird tangential topics, it remains one of the most comprehensive guides on the science and psychology of twinning, and offers a detailed look at the experience of multiple pregnancy and birth.
Author Karen Kerkhoff Gromada is an excellent resource on the topic of caring for multiples; not only is she a parent of twins herself, but she's spent years providing support to parents as a breastfeeding consultant and LaLeche League leader. For mothers are are committed to breastfeeding their babies, this is a must-have.
This popular book led a new wave of publications in the late 1990's, as multiple birth rates soared and parents clamored for up-to-date information. Written by two medical specialists who are leaders in the field of multiple pregnancy and high-risk infant care, it is a comprehensive approach to twin pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care.
Although this nearly ten-year-old book is out of print, and somewhat out of date, I've always enjoyed and appreciated the words of wisdom and encouragement it contains. Co-written by a group of mothers of multiples, it asks the questions on prospective parents' minds, then answers them from the perspective of each author.
Does glamorous actress Jane Seymour really experience the same crazy quirks of multiple motherhood that you do? Don't look here for practical advice, but if you want to fantasize about what it would be like to be wealthy, beautiful, famous and have twins, then this is your book. Written in a personal, conversational style, Seymour gives a detailed account of her pregnancy and life with twin boys.
Cheryl, a mother of toddler twins, says, "This is the best book I read - and recommended to friends having twins. It was fabulous and very up-to-date." Her accolades echo the thoughts of many parents who regard it as a valuable resource. Dr. Luke, an expert on prenatal care, outlines what to expect during pregnancy and delivery, giving proven, practical advice on maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
When you've read all about having, delivering, raising, and coping with twins, and you just want to be immersed in fascination with their unique status, then pick up a copy of "Entwined Lives." Subtitled "Twins and What They Tell Us About Human Behavior," it is full of interesting anecdotes, interviews with multiples, and scientific explanations about human behavior. Simply fascinating.