We cannot even imagine!
On Monday, a woman gave birth to six boys and two girls weighing between 1.8 pounds and 3.4 pounds. This is only the second time ever that a set of octuplets has been born alive.
It is important that all newborns are put in soft, nurturing environments immediately following delivery -- so that the transition from womb to world is easy and comforting. But how can this mother, who has asked not to be identifed, do that for eight babies -- at once?? Jill Spivack, ML parenting expert, weighs in:
Since the babies will be in the hospital, hopefully a lot of people will be touching and stroking the little ones. Having eight babies at once, you really need to have a lot of help in order to be "hands on." The mom should enlist the help of relatives, friends, neighbors, people in the community, even child development masters students to volunteer to pitch and help with holding the children and helping out with the day-to-day stuff such as swaddling, diapers, and feeding.
These babies spent nearly 31 weeks in very tight quarters, and are now in a completely shocking environment. So the mother should try to get "contraptions" or devices that can help recreate a womb-like environment -- slings, swings, swaddling blankets, basinettes, miracle blankets, white noise. Pacifiers are especially important with multiples to help them self-soothe (since you can't always attend to their needs at every instant).
As for sleep, I would like to see them closer together. Transitioning from womb to world ... it will be comforting to twins for first eight weeks to be with each other. As they get older and are ready to sleep independently, it would be okay to split them up.
The hospital will probably have them on a feeding schedule, but once they come home, she should make a master schedule as well. With eight, she may have to stagger feeding and sleeping schedules, but the goal with multiples is to keep them on relatively similar eating and sleeping schedules so that Mom can have some downtime to regroup and rest.