Cobedding of Twins: A Natural Extension of the Socialization Process?

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From the point of conception, twins share a small, dark, enclosed space in which their bodies touch and are jostled together. Each twin is constantly interacting with his or her fellow womb-mate. At birth, they leave their warm, comforting environment and are separated from each other by well-meaning healthcare providers. In recent years many have come to recognize a need for twins to remain together in a common crib after birth as institutions initiate developmental care, and implement policies that help to alleviate the stress after birth. Cobedding is a newly recognized developmental care practice that could help twins adjust to the extrauterine environment by allowing them to coregulate their body temperatures, sleep/wake cycles, and state-regulation, and self-soothe as well as soothe each other. The potential benefits and risks of cobedding twins are explored in this article through a review of literature.

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