When you find out you are pregnant with twins or triplets, there is a world of emotions that you go through feeling.
It is completely normal to feel all these different emotions at once and not all of the emotions will be good ones at first. There may be feelings of shock, stress and even a little ‘what the eff’
Once you have begun your twin or triplet pregnancy it is important that you are receiving the best care throughout your pregnancy.
Most multiple birth pregnancies will be seen by a specialist team and not through shared care to ensure that both you and your babies stay healthy throughout the pregnancy.
Multiple birth pregnancies do come with higher risks for both mum and the babies and at times it calls for the babies to be delivered early for the healthy and safety for all involved.
If this is the case, there is the chance that your babies will spend time in the NICU or special care after they are born.
What is special care?
The SCN (special care nursery) is a unit within the hospital that caters for babies that need a little extra attention to their health before they are allowed to be discharged to go home.
The special care nursery is equipped with different teams and equipment that are there for your babies and to help them with the different health concerns that they may have and help both you and your babies develop your strengths before going home.
What is the difference between NICU and SCN?
NICU is short for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Many twin babies spend some time in the NICU before either being discharged home or being moved to the SCN.
The NICU is where your babies will go if they have health concerns that are more severe, need to have an operation after birth or need constant monitoring to ensure that they stay healthy.
The SCN is the nursery unit that they go to either straight after birth if healthy enough or are transported to after a stay in the NICU.
Why will my babies need to go to SCN?
Not all multiple birth babies will need to spend time in the SCN and if they do, the time that they are there will vary based on their health and development.
Reasons for needing to go to SCN vary from baby to baby. Some babies will go into the SCN due to their little size and needing to put on weight before being allowed home, or they may have trouble with their feeding and not being able to feed adequately.
If your babies develop an infection after birth than they may also need a stay in SCN to deliver antibiotics and get them healthy before going home.
A stay in SCN can last a few days, or it could be a few weeks – it all depends on how your baby progresses.
What happens in the special care nursery?
The SCN is there to provide support not only to your babies but also to you during this prebirth time.
The nurses and doctors that work in the SCN are trained to work with little babies and the conditions that they may have.
During your babies stay in the SCN they will be monitored constantly, given any medications that they need and their progress will be charted to show the changes within them.
At times a transfer back to NICU may be needed if their condition deteriorates, but you will be informed of everything that is going on.
Is there support in the SCN?
The SCN is not only full of qualified doctors and nurses but there is also the option for you to speak with a professional about how you are feeling and get the support you need. You are able to spend as much time with your babies as you want and you are given an opportunity to hold them and interact with them so that you can build your bond with them.
There is also the social support that you receive from the other parents that are going through the same thing as you.
Many friendships are built in the SCN and continue long after discharge.
A stay in the SCN is not always a bad thing, it is a way to ensure your babies are healthy and strong before going home. Take it one day at a time and cherish every moment with your new little babies.