Advice for first time twin pregnancy!

Jodi - posted on 09/21/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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I have an 18 month old daughter and I am currently 4 months pregnant with twins! NOBODY I know has ever had twins, there are no twins in my family or my husband's family to ask advice from! I have a few questions/concerns that I would SO appreciate some advice for!

I plan on breastfeeding them like I did my daughter. ANY advice for nursing twins in general or how to handle my daughter while nursing twins would be greatly appreciated.

Do I really need two of everything? i.e. swings, bouncers, play mats etc etc. Or will I really regret only having one of these things?

Is there anything you had or wish you had had in preparation for bringing home twins?

I look about 6 months pregnant, I'm getting new stretchmarks already and am really uncomfortable already, what can I do and how much worse will it get? lol (On this note, I would like to apologize to any moms of twins that I may have complained to about how "hard' my singleton prenancy was! lol)

How can I prepare my daughter, who will be just shy of 2 when they're born, for not just ONE baby...but TWO!!!!

Best tips for surviving the first month or so of newborn twins?

Thanks so much ladies, I am absolutely terrified about bringing home two babies and caring for them and my daughter and the house (I'ma SAHM) and everything else, any advice or suggestions are GREATLY appreciated!

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Liz - posted on 09/24/2010

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Congrats :)

I nursed my twins for 14 months. Things that helped me make it successful: 1) seeing an lactation consultant that specialized in multiples 2) getting a really good twins nursing pillow (I did them at the same time) 3) having an involved and supportive husband and 4) having a good breast pump. I didn't have any kids when I nursed, so I'm not sure how to keep your daughter occupied. Does she play well by herself for 20 or 30 minutes at a time? You could set her up with a fun game in a safe place that will keep her occupied?

As for the comfort level - to be honest it can get pretty bad. By 28 weeks I had a hard time breathing, couldn't sit up straight, couldn't be on my feet for more than 10 minutes at a time...but I also know women that were able to do much better than that all the way up to full term. But if you are already uncomfortable now, it will probably get worse. Just keep remembering it is a short time in the long scheme of things and get as much help as you can from your husband.

You don't need two of everything. You will eventually need two cribs, but you can start with one. You will probably need two bouncy chairs - we used ours a TON. We only had 1 swing (a really basic model) and it worked well for us. We started with one play mat but got a second when they got too big to share. A good strategy is probably to start with one of things you are uncertain about, and if you find you could use a second go get it. Also, see if there are any Moms of Twins groups in your area - they often have large sales 1 or 2 times a year where moms of twins sell stuff and you can get good deals on stuff.

To survive having new born twins - I think a really important thing to remember is that it is ok if they cry. YOu are not going to be able to sooth both of them all of the time so don't beat yourself up over it. It might be hard for you since you had a singleton first and probably was able to give her lots of attention. I'm not saying you can't give them attention, but it's not the same kind. You can't walk around holding a baby and getting stuff done when you have two :P But you figure out other ways. One thing we did early on was use our twins stroller that had a bassinet feature. We put the boys in that and would wheel them around to different parts of the house when we had to do things. That way they were always with us. Oh, also, a lot of people say keeping them "on a schedule" is really important. Feeding them at regular intervals at the same time, when they get into napping patterns making sure they nap at the same time, etc. It really does help you keep your sanity. And if one wakes up to eat in the middle of the night - wake up the other and feed them too. Otherwise, you will be up all night alternating.

I'm sure you'll get lots of good advice on here - but try not to pay too much attention to any horror stories you hear. When I was pregnant everyone we met would tell us how awful it would be and how exhausted and inhuman we would feel. Well, it really wasn't that bad. Yes, the first couple of months were tough, but I think they would have been tough with only one baby too. We found things to get a LOT easier around 4 or 5 months when they started sleeping through the night (we did do a little sleep training, but not much thank goodness, ti was hard!). Anyway, good luck - I hope you figure out what works for you!

Iridescent - posted on 09/21/2010

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Congratulations! We have 3 three year olds, twins and one 7 weeks younger. You shouldn't have any problem breastfeeding since you've already done fine with one.

You don't need two of everything, but will want 2 of some things.
Right away, 2 boppy pillows. 2 Bouncers. 1 playpen (if any). 2 cribs (some disagree, but it's safest). 2 high chairs (later). 1 swing. 1 exersaucer. Ours usually alternated between them and other equipment. I used slings - carry 1 in it, and the other on a hip. Tried 1 in a sling each way, and it was just too awkward, but some people can. We bottle fed, so 4 ounce bottles we ended up needing 48/day, 8 ounce, 36, Platex Ventaire due to reflux/colic issues. Pitchers to mix formula in should it come to that, 1 batch per evening, lasts 24 hours, also reduces reflux if it's a need. 1 changing table. 1 dresser per gender. A good diaper bag (we got the Baby Sherpa Backpack, as it can be carried easily, holds all we need for all 3 plus medical supplies and has a cooler in the bottom). TONS of diapers. Diaper genie and the like was a bust - everything stank so we walk each diaper outside. 1 baby monitor. May want reflux wedges (wait til they're born) and/or angelcare monitors. We used a lot of travel type equipment to save space, and also equipment with multiple uses (high chair is Combi Transitions, goes from infant high chair to child table, booster chairs fold and store, swing folds and stores very easily and is only 2' high set up, etc).

Stock up on meals in the freezer for yourself/family. Possibly use disposable dishes when possible to avoid wasting time while exhausted with things that aren't necessary if planned for.

Jodi - posted on 09/30/2010

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I have to say this on the weird comments topic...I already get them! I facebooked that I am pregnant and that it's twins and my inbox was bursting at it's hypothetical seams! I swear, every person on my friend list had to point out that they know twins through so and so or so and so's best friend etc etc! And I can't count how many times I've been asked about IVF! I always say, I have no clue, this was all natural!" Good to know it doesn't end! lol
Thanks ladies! Your advice is a God send!!!!

Heather - posted on 09/24/2010

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We had two swings and one bouncy chair. We really only used one swing and the bouncy chair though, and rotated them between the two. In the beginning we did use both swings at the same time for a bit, but not much... Oh, and our two swings weren't the same. All of our stuff was given to us by a friend and she had one regular swing which was REALLY nice and one travel swing. Both worked and served their purpose, but there is really no reason why you HAVE to have two of everything, or why anything has to match. It's all a personal preference, that you as the mommy (and of course with the help of the wonderful daddy) get to make the decision about. We had one exersaucer and one Johnny Jump-Up thingy. You probably only need one playpen (if you even use playpens -- they do work great as travel cribs if you ever travel, my mother-in-law borrows two when we visit her so they each have a "crib" at her house) We did have two cribs, high-chairs, a variety of double strollers (because some are harder to push and others don't go through doors...), two of the baby backpacks to carry them in, and obviously two car seats.

Make sure you have a good double sided breast pump and not a single, that's a major time saver! I know someone else mentioned something similar, but seriously.... double...

Liz - posted on 09/24/2010

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Oh and I just wanted to add - other people said get help, yes! Do if you can. We didn't have much family available so we got very little help and we still did it. The one week we did ahve help, it actually made things harder for us because after they left we had to go back to doing everything ourselves :P

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Keryn - posted on 10/10/2010

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Congratulations on your twins.

If you are breastfeeding DEFINATELY get a good breastfeeding pillow for twins. The hospital where I was had one that was awesome as it velcroed around your back and did not move even when you stood up. I only breastfed my twins for 8 weeks and then switched to bottle as I don't believe I had enough milk as they were unsettled all the time. The formula made a huge difference and it meant that my 2 year old could also help feed which made her feel part of the whole process. For bottle feeding I had 2 bouncers that I would sit between and hold their bottles.

Also, with regard to your eldest, keep them feeling involved - even if it is only to go fetch a nappy for you. It makes them feel important to be part of what is going on. My daughter was never jealous of my twins because I made sure she was involved where possible and as she was no longer having naps during the day, when the twins went down for naps, we would go outside and play together, just the two of us.

Also, getting help is good but if you are like me, I am way too independant and want to try to do everything myself.

Good luck!

Lily - posted on 10/09/2010

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Schedule and routine!!! Best advise I ever got. Feed them at the same time, nap them at the same time, bathe them at the same time. It will save you! I didn't have two of everything but I did have similar things; i.e. bouncy chair, swing. Once they get older it will be more difficult to not have two of everything. I was very determined to breastfeed and so I did, for 14 mths. Get a boppy pillow, you can get one at Target, there are also special twin nursing pillows you can get online. You should definitely have one of those. I brought mine everywhere with me. Being pregnant with twins was especially uncomfortable for me, I'm only 5'3", so I think it probably all depends; on how tall you are, how much the babies weigh, what position the babies are in, but I guess Yes, it gets worse. Good luck! Twins are the best blessing you'll ever have, so much fun and so exciting.

Tara - posted on 09/30/2010

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oh yay! twins are loads of fun and tons of work! I have a boy and a girl 2 and a half months old. the first week at home with the twins is the hardest so try to have lots of help because you will be exhausted and going through a roller coaster of emotions. i cried for the first 24 hours they were home and so did they! it was rough but we made it through. i got anti anxiety pills which help alot. dont be afraid to ask your doctor if you are feeling a lot of anxiety or depression symptoms. its hard. you deff. dont need two of everything. i have one swing, two bouncers, one crib for now until they get bigger. i have a double changing table which comes in handy alot. and one play pen. you might actually need two dressers. i almost do because my kids have so many clothes. get lots of bottles so you dont have to be washing bottles three times a day. now that the twins are older when they get hungry at the same time i can prop one with a bottle while i feed the other one. i tried breast feeding the first 24 hours in the hospital but i couldnt do it. they were constantly bringing me a baby to feed and i couldn't sleep. but they did teach me how to feed them both at the same time. its easy if you have someone to sit and help you with it but otherwise it is rather difficult. i wish i would have gotten more smaller clothes because my babies were in between preemie and nb sizes and most of the clothes i had were too big on them. my stomach was absolutely sick right before i had my twins it looked like it was on fire. bright red stretchmarks that were huge and fat and it itched and hurt so bad sometimes. nothing i tried worked for me except hydro-cortisone cream extra strength or benedryl cream to rub on it when it gets really itchy. hopefully this helps because i didn't know anything about twins either and it was insane. Good Luck and have fun!

Cat - posted on 09/30/2010

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Everyone has such GOOD suggestions! I ditto about everything lol Especially the "Get used to weird questions"

I swear until the girls were a year and a half, everyone and their uncle would stop me in any store or mall... Some would ask vitals (one woman asked 'both boys' even though I'd JUST covered both with pink flowered blankets) they'll tell stories about twins they know, twins they had, twins they are.... They'll want to know identical or fraternal even when you think its completely obvious... AND the most nosey of people will want to know if they're 'natural' @@ I felt like a sideshow going out with my double stroller until they werent as 'cute' anymore I guess.. Right now at 2 1/2 they look nothing like each other, and I even had a woman look at them recently and say, disappointed with a frown "Oh I thought they might be twins" wth... People are bold...

Stock up on baby sleepers/pjs... I dont know how many I used in their first 3 months, on a bad day they could go through six each between spitup drool and pee/poop... Have two sturdy bouncy seats or swings, they're great for just about everything when you need a hand or hands free... Accept any help offered, and have lots of frozen, ready to cook meals on hand... And a breastfeeding pillow is a must... Also, best advice I ever got, was try to keep them on the same schedule as much as possible, even if it means waking one up to feed.... If you're feeding them at the same time, that's an extra 10 mins you're not spending feeding the other one, and some days those extra minutes add up, helps with the 'I am just a milk machine' feeling lol
Congrats and good luck!!

Bec - posted on 09/30/2010

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on a note about getting twon of everything I found my girls needed things a bit later then most of the bubz in our mums and bubz group which was really handy as most of their bubz equipment we were able to borrow. Especially the things you only use for a couple of weeks. I kept my stretchmarks low with Bio Oil mainly but unfortunately you blow up so much towards the end its enivetable that you will get them. Cover your bubz wen you go out if you don't want to be stopped. Find a routine as early as possible. Do everything together if you can. it teaches your bub they are a twin and may need to wait. I can't help sorry with feeding and your daughter as that is different to my situation however my girls cousin is 2 and wanted to help so much so maybe just find things that she can do like collect diapers or pick up dummy.

Anna - posted on 09/26/2010

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If you plan on breastfeeding, invest in a good pump. The Medela brand is a great one. It is especially helpful when you are first nursing, to build up a good supply for both babies. I would buy a handsfree pump bra. Then you can have your hands open to do whatever you want instead of holding onto pump parts.
My mother always had my older sister and I next to her on the couch "feeding" our baby dolls while she nursed our baby sister. We liked to pretend that we were mommies too. In fact, we both preferred to "nurse" our dolls instead of giving them bottles! I also agree with the box of special activities for your daughter to play with when you feed the babies.
Make and freeze meals now, and if friends and family are asking how they can help. Set up a schedule of when they could bring meals and when they can come over and clean up around the house. Even if it is just to start a load of laundry, vacuum, or load/unload the dishwasher.

You might also want to schedule someone to come over and play with your older daughter, or take her out on special outings so you can have some naps when the twins are sleeping.

Charlene - posted on 09/24/2010

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Jodi, yes u do need 2 of everything it's def.easier. and i breast fed my twins (girls) but i alternated breast/bottle,so if i was breastfeeding someone was feeding a bottle to the other,i also didn't have enough breast milk so i supplemented with formula which my doctor said was ok (check w/yours first)any breast milk is better than none.good luck it's alot of work but worth it the good out-weighs the bad!

Liz - posted on 09/23/2010

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First of all right now you need to get as much rest as you can. Second you should be rounding up some family/friends that will be able to help you when you bring the babies home at least for the first few weeks or until you feel more comfortable with everything. Trust me on this one, you will need the help! One thing you have going for yourself is the fact that you already have a child so you kinda got a idea of whats going to happen. Except this time its going to be times two. When I had Max and Maddie they were my first. I was scared, tired, and probably a little out of my mind for the first few weeks. Thankfully I had lots of help and we were able to them on a regular schedule right away. Just try to stay clam, everything is going to be great!! Oh, and one more thing, do yourself a favor and get two of everything and make sure that they are EXACTLY the same. Best of luck to you and yours!!!

CHERYL - posted on 09/23/2010

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HI CONGRATULATIOMS ON HAVING TWINS. MY G-B TWINS ARE 15M AND I GOT 2 COTBEDS BUT THEY DID SHARE FOR 6M AS THEY WERE SMALL.(BORN AT 32W)A MUST FOR ME WAS MY 2 BOUNCY CHAIRS AS WHEN I STARTED WEANING I FED TEM IN THEM AND THEY COULD BOTH BE ROCKED TOO. DONT BOTHER WITH THE SMALL BOTTLES THEY WONT LAST LONG.AND ALWAYS FEED AT THE SAME TIME EVEN IF IT MEANS WAKING ONE UP.AND ENJOY

KERI - posted on 09/23/2010

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Hi there,

Huge congrats on your double blessing on the way. First off let me say you are going to get SOOOO tired of hearing double trouble, and eventually you are going to take offence...dont :) People who dont have twins dont know that it truly is double work, but double reward!

Only a few peices of advice what I think everyone would agree with...
Twins are expensive, start with one of each item if you are unsure. they should learn to share at some stage anyway, you can always get another later
Dont feel guilty if you CANT breastfeed - my twins were my first kids and I only made it for 6 weeks
If you can stand your mother/mother in law or sister, get them to come stay with you for the first 2 weeks while you figure out how to keep one twin happy while dealing with the other, PLUS your first born

biggest and most important piece of advice....ask for help! and Accept offers! Take a few hours off for yourself once a week. it is NOT easy, but we all have found little ways of keeping sane and managing

Stretch marks...sorry im 26 and now hate my body but i love my children so most days i dont really think about it :) they do fade so just hang in there

Jodi - posted on 09/22/2010

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Celeste, I did not know there was a nursing pillow MADE for nursing twins! What a GREAT tip Thanks! Thank you everyone for the tips and advice! I think I'll get 2 swings and 2 cribs (they'll co-sleep for the first bit, but then be "seperated" for safety reasons), but only one of the other bigs things. Also, thank you Destiny for the tip on the booster seats with trays, what a money and space saver that will be! And online, they're not too expensive!!! Definately some tips that will save me money and space and trim down on stressful times! Thank you so much!!!

Donna - posted on 09/22/2010

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yes there are somethings you will need 2 of. We chose 1 crib untill it looked uncomfortable for them, then bought a second. you obviously need 2 carseats, 2 swings depending if yur babies will even like sitting in a swing. I know my daughters loved them though so we had 2. We only went with 1 highchair at first since there was only one of me and 2 of them I was only feeding one at a time. Then when they were able to feed themselves we just bought booster seat. thats about it that i can think of

Celeste - posted on 09/22/2010

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Congrats on your twins!!

Breastfeeding twins: I successfully nursed my twins. If at all possible, I'd tandem. I had the EZ2Nurse pillow that is specifically for nursing twins. At the beginning, you might not but keep trying. Nursing twins works the same way as nursing a singleton-supply and demand!

I'd also highly recommend the book "Mothering Multiples" by Karen Gromada. She has a website and a yahoo ap multiples list. Mothering Multiples also has a FB page. I'd also read about nursing premature twins. I nursed my older daughter but nursing premature twins was a whole new ball game.

As far as equipment. It really depends on the babies and their personalities.
I had two highchairs, 2 cribs, 2 bouncers and 2 cribs and 2 PNPs. I also had the full size Arm's Reach Cosleeper. My boys ended up not liking the bouncers but the 2 swings were a necessity for us. We had one exersaucer but I wish we had two! I used one PNP when they were first born but as they got older, the 2 PNPs were good to have when we would go out of town.

If you have any questions, feel free to message me :)

Ciera - posted on 09/21/2010

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Well, mine are opposite, i have 19 month old b/g twins and a 5 week old baby girl. as far as preparing them for the baby, there really wasnt much that i did besides teaching them to be gentle. now that she is here i just constantly help them be gentle with her bc they alwys want to play with her and kiss her and i dont want to discourage that so i just help them learn to be easy. as far as what you need two of, everyone is going to say different things are imprtant bc just like everyone parents differently, everyone uses different things differently. just think about what you used the most of with your daughter and most likely that is what you will need 2 of. i could not have survived without 2 swings, bumbo seats, high chair/booster, and cribs. everything else i just had 1 of. i know a lot of twin moms though that think 1 swing is enough and 1crib. most everyone i have talked to agrees on 2 bumbo seats. to save money, i did not buy the high chairs, instead i bought 2 booster seats with trays and used them as high chairs bc they are the exact same thing but only cost about 15-20 dollars while high chairs are anywhere from 60-200 dollars or more. regarding the breast feeding, MANY women do great breastfeeding twins so hopefully you will do great but dont allow yourself to get stressed out about it if it becomes too difficult. i was able to for 2 months but then i could not due to several factors after that. Initially i was really upset about it but then came to realize that if i stress about it then i am not helping anything for myself or for them so i made the decision to switch to formula. (im really enjoying it with my new baby now and the twins dont really bother us when i am nursing besides wanting to sit beside me or kiss her on the head which i always let them do bc i want them to know that they can be a part of her life. but they do good even when i am breastfeeding her so hopefully it wont be very difficult for you with our daughter.) as far as the pregnancy goes, mine was really an easy and uneventful pregnancy. i went into labor at 36w5d but i had already decided on c-section for baby-safety reasons so even the delivery was pretty uneventful. they were in the NICU for 10 days for a few different complications with lungs, heart, temperature and eating but they were 6lb.5oz and 6lb.15oz so they were big babies. (drink a LOT of milk during pregnancy to produce larger babies) if your babies have to go to the NICU, take that time to sleep and recover from delivery so that you are in better shape when they come home. The first month or 2 are actually pretty easy bc all they do is eat and sleep. after that it gets a little more tiring bc they are awake more but you gradually adjust as do they so when the harder times come, they are not really so hard bc you have had time to prepare. dont be worried about it. twins are easier in a lot of ways bc as they grow they always have each other to entertain so you can get some stuff done. mine are 19 months and are so close and just love each other more than anything. it makes it easy to put them in their room so i can clean the house or take care of the new baby and they dont mind as long as they are together. congratulations and enjoy the pregnancy even when it is hard bc once you have them, you will wish you could still feel them inside of you. nothing compares to that feeling!!!

Kylie - posted on 09/21/2010

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hi you dont need two of everything we made do with one and they would take turns we did have two cots but they shared one for the first few months. i breastfeed for the first few months but then it got to much so went to bottle i felt so much better for it. take the help when you can from others eg doing a lil house work taking the kids for a walk so you can rest for half n hour i didnt do this and run myself into the ground trying to keep everything done. and with your daughter its really no diff than bring one home just make sure you let her help when she wants and make mummy and her time every day so she doesnt feel like she has been pushed to the side. good luck im sure youll do fine:)

Tina - posted on 09/21/2010

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I bought two swings and i'm glad i did. There have been times where they both were fussy and only the swing would do. I also got two bouncers and two playpens, my twins sleep seperately so each has their own crib. I let them sleep together until the morning when i woke up to find Karleigh had turned completely around and was kicking her sister in the face. I have two playpens because at first i had one set up in my bedroom for them and one in the living room, we also didn't have cribs for them at first. We have one bouncy toy and one exersaucer and that is plenty, they are crawling now so they don't spend much time in the stationary toys anymore. I also bought two little feeding chairs. I spent 30 dollars apiece on them so totaled i spent less than i would have for one high chair. They are well worth their money, they have washable seat covers, they recline for younger infants and then sit up for when they are older, they strap onto regular chairs so they take up less space and i can take them with me when i need them, they also have removable trays that i believe can be put into the dishwasher.

The best advice i can give you is to be flexible about your plans. I breastfed both of my singletons without a problem but with the twins( and two older kids to care for) it was to much for me. It took up way to much of my time, even then i still wanted to continue with it but i had nurses telling me i HAD to supplement with formula because my babies were losing to much weight and if they dropped under five pounds they would be kept in the hospital and an IV would be placed. To me it seemed like it would be silly to allow that to happen and in the end i had to put them on high calorie formula just to get them to gain weight. You hopefully won't have those problems but it is really hard to be so disappointed when it doesn't work out.

As far as house work goes....it probably won't get done for a while and that is just fine. When i was pregnant i was always to tired to clean and then when i had my twins i was to tired to clean lol. Now i can clean....sometimes, my girls have their days where they want to fuss the day away so i let the housework go until they are sleeping and just do what i can until they wake up.

When you go out into public( especially during flu season) if you put blankets completely over the carseats you won't get stopped by nearly as many nosy and germ carrying people since they can't see the babies. Get used to being stopped frequently and being asked stupid questions. I get asked all the time if my identical girls are both girls, boys or one of each i wanna say yeah i dressed my son in pink so he would be in touch with his femine side lol. Even when they are both in pink people still ask.

Amber - posted on 09/21/2010

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I say start with one of everything and buy a second if you feel you need it. I say this because I can see the advice you have received so far is different then what I would say : ) For instance, we found that 2 exersaucers was a must, but made due with only one swing. We had two bouncers, but kept one downstairs and one up, so we only really needed one. As far a breastfeeding the best advice is to nurse them both at the same time, this is save you, seriously. I tried nursing them one after another and hardly got a break in between. My husband was always saying, didn't you just finish nursing. As soon as I got the hand of nursing them at the same time, it was soooo helpful. I did double clutch (or football hold) and it worked great for me, but there are a few different positions for simultaneous nursing. As for the older sib, I recently read somewhere that a mom in a similar situation would have a special box or bag or 2 that she would only get out while nursing for her toddler to play with. Sorry I'm not much help there as mine were my first. Definitely stock up on meals in the freezer. The first months are not easy, but you will survive.

Amanda - posted on 09/21/2010

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Hi there! I have a set of 3 year old Fraternal twin girls. We let the girls share a pack and play and then when they got a little bigger we put them in one crib. We bought two of everything that they would need. I carried two diaper bags one for me and on for my husband.... We didn't use a twin stroller we had seperate strollers for the girls. My girls were always good sleepers so I never worried about that, they started sleeping thru thenight when they were a month old but remember when they nap during the day you nap as well.... Just remember lots and lots and lots of diapers and wipes and bottles and nipples.

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