Shannon O’Reilly-Fearn is the CEO of Twin Love Concierge, a company that offers pre- & postnatal classes and services worldwide for parents of multiples. Find out what her best advice is for soon-to-be parents of twins.
When and why did you start Twin Love Concierge? What do you offer?
Twin Love Concierge was created over four years ago when I was placed on bed rest with my own identical twins at 25 weeks. I was trying to find antenatal education not only relating to multiples but that was relevant to today’s parents, everything on offer was irrelevant. From that day on, I used any free time to build curriculums, source leading multiples experts and create a business that could provide 100 percent relevant support to make parents expecting twins excited and not overwhelmed. Now, with a team of 14 associates, we proved a vast array of services from ‘Expecting Twins’, Breastfeeding and Newborn Care with Twins’, ‘Sleep 101 and Twins’ through to the “First Year with Twins’ in the form of group and private classes worldwide. Each of the associates are also specialized in a specific parenting sector. Our doula can support twin births, and our International Board Certified Lactation Consultant supports new breastfeeding mummies. Most importantly every single member of the team is a mother to multiples.
Who’s your “typical” customer? How do they benefit from your services?
I wouldn’t say we have a typical customer. We are so lucky to work with a variety of parents. We have first, second and third-time parents. We have surrogate parents, adopted parents, single mums and same-sex parents. All of which have their own special circumstances – we are just honored to be part of everyone’s special journey. So many of our parents join our classes scared – scared they don’t know how they will do it, if having two babies can even be enjoyable, yet they leave our classes with huge smiles armed with the education and techniques necessary for a smooth transition. Nothing can prepare you 100 percent for having two babies at once, but having the right parenting tools can make an enormous difference to your day.
How did your educational background/work experience prepare you for being the CEO of Twin Love Concierge?
I came from a sales and marketing background, a complete 360 from this role. My time in publishing allowed me to work with a variety of inspirational and talented people. They taught me to not stop until you achieve your desired outcome. This has definitely been the driving force behind the business, but nothing can prepare you for the dedication and commitment required to keep a business running successfully. Twin Love Concierge has become my triplet, and I often have to spread the love between my three babies, albeit unequally at times.
What’s your best advice for soon-to-be parents of twins?
Don’t get overwhelmed with everything, focus on key elements that you know you need to be educated on before the babies arrive. It can be baby equipment, sleeping options, feeding methods – whichever you feel is most important to you as parents. Just don’t over research, especially in the medical arena, this only causes more stress than good – let you Midwife/OB-gyn be the expert on that area.
Plan to be prepared by 30 weeks. At this stage your medical appointments can increase, bed rest may be required, or you may just feel to heavy to be excited for the fun stuff. Plan to have the nursery completed, your baby shower done with registry finalized, any maternity pictures taken, hospital bag packed and your car seats set up ready to go.
Join your local multiples groups, and start connecting with other mothers of multiples for support. Take an expecting twins class. Let the experts take the stress out of preparing for the babies, and meet other parents expecting twins local to you. They will become invaluable to you in the next 12 months, as a walk around the park or an in-home coffee date will be much appreciated if not to just laugh about how tired you are.
You have identical twin daughters. What’s the greatest lesson they’ve taught you?
My goodness – PATIENCE. I am an only child, so I never witnessed the need to satisfy two demanding beings at once. My twins make me stop and appreciate the little things that you take for granted – beautiful flowers, street signs with funny symbols, even food holds a fascination (babyccino’s??!!). In a blink of an eyelid, they are nearly 5, so above everything I appreciate every single day that they are still happy walking to school holding mummy’s hand.