Irish Twins - What does it Mean, Risks, and Postpartum Recovery

Irish Twins - What does it Mean, Risks, and Postpartum Recovery

Twins occur when a woman becomes pregnant with two children from one conception. Twins are carried in the womb together and delivered at the same time. Irish twins occur when a woman has a baby within 12 months of having another child. As you can tell twins and Irish twins are very different, but that still doesn’t explain everything. Why are they called “Irish twins” if they aren’t twins? Where did the term come from? Are women even able to have children so soon after birth? What does it look like for your health and well-being to have two children so close together? In this article, we will explore the answer to those questions and more.

real moms wearing a bellefit postpartum girdle

What does the phrase Irish Twins Mean?

“Irish” twins is a phrase that refers to when two children are born within 12 months of one another to the same mother. These siblings are born so close together that they are practically twins.

Is it Offensive?

Many people use the phrase as a way to describe the small age gap between siblings. Some people who are “Irish twins” may even use the phrase to describe themselves. However, the phrase originated as derogatory slang towards Irish Catholic people, so it is in its essence offensive.

History of the term “Irish Twins”

During the early 19th century when many Europeans were emigrating to the United States, the term Irish Twins became a popular derogatory slang against Irish Catholic people. The Catholic faith is the dominant faith of Ireland and therefore many people who immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland were practicing Catholics. In the Catholic faith, birth control is thought to be sinful and against the will of God. Therefore, many practicing Catholics are taught to avoid birth control. This avoidance causes many women to become pregnant soon after they give birth.

Because of this, many Irish Catholic families are quite large with many children. With a large family and few work opportunities in the U.S., many of the Irish immigrants were poor. Therefore, “Irish twins” was a slur that was used to imply that a family had more children than they could support. Today, there is not a negative stigma against Irish people in the United States so many people do not think of the term as offensive. However, based on its history, it is probably wise not to use the term. Instead, you can just refer to them as siblings who are close-in-age or as closely spaced siblings.

are irish twins common?

Risks of Having "Irish Twins"

Recent research has discovered that becoming pregnant within six months of giving birth does lead to increased risks on the fetus. These risks include

  • Higher chance of a premature birth
  • Placental abruption
  • Low birth weight
  • Congenital disorders
  • Maternal/Gestational anemia

The precise reason for these risks is still unknown. However, researchers believe it has to do with the mother’s inability to heal properly between pregnancies. Pregnancy, labor, and breastfeeding all deplete a woman’s nutrients--particularly folate. These nutrients are essential when a baby is growing, so if there are not enough of these nutrients it can lead to problems. Waiting an extended period of time between pregnancies, preferably 18-24 months after giving birth, allows your body to heal fully.

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Pregnancy with Irish Twins

Depending on how quickly your body begins its ovulation cycle after giving birth it is possible for a woman to have two children 9.5-10 months apart. While this is possible, it is not likely. For the majority of women, their first ovulation cycle does not occur until about one month after they have given birth. In addition, the majority of healthcare workers will suggest you wait 6 weeks after birth before having intercourse. So while pregnancy with close-in-age siblings is still viable, it is becoming less popular.

Spacing between your pregnancies is ultimately a choice you and your family need to make on your own. There are many reasons that a woman may choose to space her children close together. And you should not feel any shame if you want to do the same.

It's ultimately up to you and your family, but there are a lot of different things that might affect the decision. Some people prefer a short time between each child because they enjoy having their children close in age and are excited to see them grow up together. Other people prefer a longer time between each because they want the first child to have more attention. The spacing between births is also affected by many different factors—such as if you have had a Cesarean section, if you have a history of miscarriage or infertility.

what is an irish twin?

Postpartum Recovery with Irish Twins

Due to the limited amount of healing time between pregnancies, many women have a very different labor experience the second time around. With a closely spaced pregnancy, there is an increased risk that your labor will be premature and fast. While a fast labor sounds great, there are some complications that you can experience from it as well. If the contractions are coming too quickly, it can be difficult to manage the pain. Similarly, fast contractions can lead you to want to push which can cause lacerations and tears to your vagina and cervix.

In addition, pregnancy hormones and breastfeeding hormones can be at odds with one another and cause problems. Some of these include Braxton-Hicks contractions and your milk drying up. Not only will your physical recovery take a toll, but your mental health may take a toll as well. Postpartum depression is common among mothers who have had closely spaced siblings.

Postpartum depression is a pretty common experience for women who have given birth, but many new mothers are unaware that it can also be experienced by those who have recently had a baby after having had a previous one who was born less than two years ago.

irish twins meaning

Is Raising Two Children Close In Age Considered Irish Twins?

Postpartum recovery is a struggle in general and raising a toddler at the same time can be difficult. You will have to deal with twice the number of diapers, twice the amount of supplies, navigate two separate schedules, and deal with different developmental struggles. That being said, raising "Irish twins" is a great journey and a wonderful experience. They will have a friend for life and as they grow older the journey will continue to change. Raising two children close in age will come with its struggles but it is all worth it.

Postpartum Recovery of Irish Twins

As you know, having a baby requires special care for the recovery of the mother's body. Having Irish twins is no exception.

Having two babies within a short time of each other, whether that's less than a year or even just a few months, puts a lot of strain on the body. After giving birth to your first baby, you're still experiencing all the hormonal changes and physical recovery from labor and delivery, but now you have another being growing inside you. The result is that the body goes through the typical changes of pregnancy without having fully recovered from the birth of the previous pregnancy.

The most common issues are fatigue and nausea. With one baby, it may not be a problem for you to go about your daily routine and keep up with your usual activities. But when there's another baby inside you, everything is harder: work, playtime with your first child, even sitting up in bed. You can expect to feel exhausted much more often than before—not tired while you're taking care of one child but tired all day long because your body has to work hard to take care of two children at once.

Here are some tips for recovery after giving birth to 2 babies born less than 12 months apart.

healthy eating with irish twins

Food Tips for Mothers of Irish Twins

Women, and the nature of their bodies, are designed to ensure the survival of children. When a mother has another baby a short time after having her first, she has not had a sufficient period of time to recover the essential vitamins, minerals and fats lost during pregnancy. This means that in pregnancy while the first baby is receiving optimal nutrients for development during breastfeeding, the fetus may not be receiving adequate nutrition. Likewise, when the second baby is born, nutrients may not be sufficient to nourish both babies.

To avoid this, it is important for the mother to eat a nutrient-rich diet in order to feed both babies well. A nutrient-rich diet will help ensure that you are providing your body with all of the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients it needs to boost your fertility and increase your chances of delivering healthy babies. But what exactly does a nutrient-rich diet look like? And how can you make sure you're providing your body with everything it needs?

While the placenta is working hard to supply the baby with nutrients, it is important for the mother to eat a nutrient-rich diet in order to feed both babies well. She may need to eat a special diet and eat more but always controlling portions and especially the nutrients contained in each food. High protein foods can be good choices as they contain amino acids which help build muscle and tissue. Calcium is also essential for bone health and should be included in the diet as much as possible. Dairy products, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, beans, fish, nuts, seeds and fruits all contain calcium.

Proper nutrition will help the mother regain all the nutrients she has lost during the pregnancies and births and help her stay strong and healthy to care for her Irish twins.

Mental Health Care for Mothers of Irish Twins

It can take several years for a woman to recover from a pregnancy. A lot of women find themselves struggling with physical, emotional and financial changes that last for a long time after the birth.

There are steps you can take to minimize the effects of pregnancy on your life, though. Take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. It's important for you to recognize what symptoms are normal and what ones might be signs of a problem, like needing medical attention. And it's also important to try to stay as healthy as possible while pregnant and while breastfeeding so that you can get back up on your feet faster after the baby arrives.

Also, it's really important to stay in touch with those who matter most in your life—your partner and family members—throughout this time so you don't feel isolated or alone during your recovery. The physical exhaustion that comes with having a baby, from birth to care such as feeding, carrying and diapering is unavoidable. Having Irish twins means even more fatigue as these activities must be done with two babies.

Physically, the mother's body is undergoing wear and tear. However, it should be noted that emotional exhaustion can also be a complication if not properly treated.

Postpartum depression is a condition that requires professional help. One really important recommendation is for the mother of Irish twins to see a mental health professional to help her through the process of caring for one baby while she is expecting the next. Or, once she has had both children.

what is irish twins

Creating Routines

In order for a mother to have a proper recovery after giving birth twice in a short period of time, she needs to get a good night's sleep. Although it sounds a bit complicated with two babies in your care, it can help if you create strict routines for performing day-to-day activities. Having children so close together requires a military-style schedule. The parents' activities should have scheduling rules that will benefit the babies' development.

Parents who want to do more than just survive their children's infancy and toddlerhood can make their lives easier by establishing a schedule for sleep. By keeping it consistent, parents can get both children to sleep at the same time and use that time for other household activities—whether it's doing housework, going out with friends or even starting a new hobby.

A healthy amount of sleep is important for everyone in the house, but as parents know, getting a young child to sleep is not always easy. They're easily distracted by noises in the house—a ticking clock, a refrigerator running, even a conversation between adults or siblings. But if parents establish a set time and place for sleep, they can help their children be less distracted and get the rest they need.

It might seem counterintuitive to have all the children in the house sleeping at the same time, but actually having everyone in bed at 8 p.m. will give your family its own time away from everyday activities. This is an opportunity to relax on the couch, get some chores done or have an adult conversation with your spouse or family members.

Children who have a greater age difference between them, have different schedules and habits. In theory it is more complicated to align the schedules of both children. On the other hand, having Irish twins can be easier when it comes to instilling schedules in them. With this, the mother will be able to have time to rest and dedicate it to her personal care.

mother of irish twins workout

Exercise Tips for Irish Twin Mothers

Having two births within such a short time of each other is comparable to a multiple birth whether it is vaginal or cesarean. It will take much longer for a mother's body to return to its original size and shape. We are talking about your body not having recovered from one pregnancy when you have already entered another.

You must be patient with yourself and your body and follow all medical indications. You have probably gained more weight after going through two continuous pregnancies. Your back, knees and hips are not in the best condition so you must take it one step at a time. When the doctor says so, you may be able to start some exercises in order to gradually regain your body's mobility. Walking is a good physical activity to start with. The advantage of this exercise is that you can do it with your family and your beautiful Irish twins.

@carakuulei Baby 3 due Nov 2022! 3 babies under 2, all 11 months apart…LET’S FREAKING GOOOOOOO!!! 👶🏽👶🏼👶🏻#babiesoftiktok #christiantiktok #irishtwins #irishtriplets #irishtwinmama #irishtripletmom #foryou #foryoupage #fyp ♬ original sound - Cara

Postpartum Products for Irish Twin Mothers

It is very likely that the belly and breasts of a woman who has gone through two pregnancies and two continuous breast feedings are sagging. This can affect the mother's self-esteem and she may become unmotivated or depressed. Initially, you may not be able to do an exercise routine that will allow you to tone your body. However, we can recommend that you look for recommended postpartum garments.

Some people might be surprised to learn that what they're wearing on their body could have an effect on their mental state. A postpartum girdle is a type of undergarment made with medical-grade materials to help the wearer recover from pregnancy and the effects of childbirth.

A postpartum girdle is a tool used to help your body return to its original shape after pregnancy. It helps you get back in shape by providing compression, helping your postpartum body return to its original size as it recovers from childbirth. Postpartum girdles are available in many different styles, from undergarments that flatten the stomach and provide back support to full-body garments that look like tights.

In addition to getting the body back into its original pre-pregnancy form (or getting close), girdles can also help with other postpartum concerns. Some are breathable, which is helpful for women who experience swelling in their legs and feet from retaining fluid. Since they fit like a second skin, many women report feeling less soreness in their abdominal muscles thanks to the support they provide.

The corset-like garment also helps with postpartum recovery by providing abdominal support during activities such as breast feeding and walking. If you decide to purchase one, it is important to select one that will fit your body type and be comfortable enough for everyday wear.

Most importantly, when purchasing one of these postpartum girdles, it is important to read reviews from others who have already used these garments to ensure that you purchase the best option for your needs. Be sure to purchase one that will provide you with ample support, as well as comfort.

There are also bras that are designed for new moms so they can regain their firmness. On the other hand, the use of firming creams is also a good option to help your skin recover from having Irish twins.


Irish twins refer to siblings who are under 12 months apart in age. The phrase is an outdated slang term that can be offensive to some people, so it is best to refer to them as something else.

If you've given birth to two children close in age, chances are you've got a few physical challenges to overcome. Between the demands of caring for a newborn and your already-tired body, it can be tough to get back into shape after childbirth—but that doesn't mean it's impossible! By investing in a good postpartum girdle (and other postpartum shapewear) you can feel better equipped to make it through your second pregnancy and come out the other side in good health.

A postpartum girdle is worn under clothes and applies gentle pressure around the waist, abdomen, hips and buttocks in order to provide support and help to realign the body after pregnancy. Most are made of firm fabric with fastening mechanisms on the sides or at the back (or even both).

These medical garments provide you some much-needed relief from pain by compressing the abdomen. Make parenting your two bundles of joy much easier by investing in a Bellefit postpartum girdle today.

A postpartum girdle is much more comfortable than it looks—it is made out of soft material that works with your body to give it support. It's important that you use one that is adjustable, so that you can adjust it as your body changes. A lot of women don't know what size they should buy, but check out our sizing guides and instructions on how to measure yourself.


This entry was posted in Child Safety, Natural Birth Recovery, Postpartum Recovery, Pregnancy . Bookmark the permalink.
Cynthia Suarez

  • Sep 20, 2021
  • Category: News
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