On average, the recovery time for a woman who gives birth to multiples, either vaginally or via C-section, is no longer than that of a woman who delivers one baby. Moreover, in the case of a vaginal delivery, your recovery may even be a little easier. "Multiples are smaller than singletons, so you're less likely to tear as they're coming through," Dr. Bender explains. But as with other births, your doctor will tell you to wait six weeks before you start exercising and having sex again.
While your body may bounce back quickly, the emotional adjustment could take longer. A new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore, found that women who deliver multiples are more apt to develop moderate to severe depression within nine months of giving birth than mothers who have just one baby. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, streamline your routine as much as possible, suggests Dr. Flais. For example, aim to get both babies on the same eating and sleeping schedule right off the bat. That means when one baby wakes up to eat, you should wake up the other one too. "If you're consistent, the babies will naturally adapt, so you shouldn't feel like you're doing them a disservice," she says.
Getting support from those around you is also essential, so make connections with other moms of multiples (check out the Website of The National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, nomotc.org, to find a group in your area). And when friends ask how they can help, don't brush them off; suggest that they bring over dinner or babysit so you can get a little break. That way, you'll have more energy to enjoy the double dose of adorable that's been added to your life.