By Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association
MULTIPLE birth is no walk in the park.
But for Tranmere resident Katie White this process was made much easier with the support of the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association (TasMBA)
For Mrs White, the experience of giving birth to two-year-old twins Lewis and Elliot was completely different to that of giving birth to her four-year-old daughter Sienna.
During her pregnancy, Mrs White showed increasing anxiety and worry for the health and wellbeing of her babies.
The boys were born prematurely and were required to stay in the hospital for weeks before they could go home.
Mrs White found this overwhelming and difficult, as she had to care for the babies in the hospital and Sienna at home.
“In the early stages, I did not go out like I would have previously and at times felt quite isolated and disconnected from friends,” she said.
“The worry about what would happen if the boys were unsettled at once or needing feeding at the same time, or the worry about fitting the twin pram in places, prevented me from going to things I normally would have.”
Mrs White said she found meeting mums who faced similar struggles through TasMBA helped build her confidence.
“Everyone understood the worry and anxiety,” she said.
“We always carefully chose the places to go to ensure they had twin pram access and feeding facilities – these were all things that never entered my mind with my daughter.”
TasMBA is a not-for profit organisation providing support, resources and education to multiple birth families around the state.
It is run by volunteer multiple birth families who can help guide people through the process.
“Connecting with other families, both in person and online, allows multiple birth families to meet others experiencing a similar journey,” TasMBA president Allison Young said.
“Leaving the house in those early days can be a daunting task and staying home alone can seem like the easiest option, but already knowing people to meet and chat to minimises feelings of isolation and has positive mental health benefits.”
As part of Multiple Birth Awareness Week, multiple birth associations around Australia came together from 24 February to 3 March to acknowledge what families with twins, triplets or more go through.
The task of carrying, delivering and raising two or more children at once is demanding and has many associated risks and difficulties.
Some of the dangers of multiple birth include:
Up to 65 per cent of all multiples are born preterm (80 per cent of triplets or more).
Low birth weight occurs in 50 per cent of all twin births, and 95 per cent of triplet and higher order multiple births.
15 per cent of identical twins are affected by Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.
Approximately 17 per cent of twin mothers and 27 per cent of triplet mothers experience postnatal depression (compared to 10 per cent of all mothers).
Mrs Young said all multiple birth families were encouraged to connect with the Tasmanian multiples community at any of the regular events held by TasMBA.
This includes playgroup, quiz nights, school holiday catch-ups, barbecues or information sessions.
For more information, visit the TasMBA Facebook page.
Caption: Katie White said connecting with the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association helped her through the process of multiple birth.