This week marks one of the most significant dates on the multiple birth community calendar – Multiple Birth Awareness Week!
This year, like every year, BMBAN celebrates the special moments unique to multiple birth families, and acknowledges the challenges faced by our members in navigating their unique family situations. BMBAN is incredibly proud of its history supporting multiple birth families in our community and helping multiple generations of multiples!
Life’s a little more fun with multiples
We asked our members to share some of the happiest moments they have of life with multiples, here’s some of their answers!
Watching them all play together and share cuddles!BMBAN member
Watching how much their big brother loves them, and how much they love their big brother!BMBAN member
Watching their big brother give them kisses and hugs, and helping to give their bottles when they were babies!BMBAN member
Holding them in my arms together for the first time, which was many days after they were born.BMBAN member
For many of our members, finding out they are expecting multiples is a daunting time in their lives, but filled with many of these special moments.
Life’s a little crazy with multiples
Look, there’s no denying life is a little crazier with multiples. Logistically, we’ve learned to negotiate many an ordinary task with some extraordinary measures!
Here’s our members comments on the craziest moments of multiples life:
The first time I took twin babies and a toddler to the playground by myself. Absolutely nuts!BMBAN member
Flying to the UK with 3 kids under 2.5 years!BMBAN member
The utter chaos of entertaining a toddler, feeding a newborn twin, and bouncing the other newborn twin!BMBAN member
Trying to figure out how to fold the double pram with screaming babies in the back of the car.BMBAN member
Chaotic, yes indeed!
Life is a little (or a lot) challenging with multiples
Ask any parent of multiples what the most common comment they get is, and we can almost guarantee it’s “I don’t know how you do it!”. Or, in some cases, if you’re a bit unlucky, we do get the odd “I’m glad it’s you, not me!”. Eek (not a great one FYI).
Here’s what our members had to say about the hardest moments of multiple birth life:
Parenting 3 kids under 2 during a global pandemic.BMBAN member
Not meeting twin A for a number of days after her birth.BMBAN member
A house of gastro whilst still breastfeeding twins.BMBAN member
Trying to explain to my friends why my life was different and accepting that some of my friends would not be my friends anymore.BMBAN member
These are few snapshots into the challenging moments our members face. But the multiple birth community now has some excellent data on the other strains placed on multiple birth families.
Do multiple birth families need more support?
We are indebted to the Australian Multiple Birth Association Inc. (AMBA) who this week released their publication “Multiples Matter: Investigating the support needs of multiple birth families“. Commissioned to objectively analyse the impact of multiple births on families, it’s noted from their media release that:
- the costs of twins and higher order multiples were almost 5 times and 13 times respectively, higher than those of a singleton up to the age of 1
- pregnant women with multiples are more prone to virtually every pregnancy complication
- 68% of multiples are born premature and admitted to SCN or NICU, and 50% have hospital stays of 6 days or more;
- mothers of multiples have a lower breastfeeding rate, and are more likely to discontinue breastfeeding earlier than mothers of singletons;
- 61% of parents of multiples experience mental health challenges in their first year;
- parents of multiples are 9 times more likely to experience disabling exhaustion; and
- 67% of parents of multiples said childcare in Australia was not affordable for their family.
It is amazing to have such up-to-date statistics on the key factors impacting upon our members, supporting what our members intrinsically knew about their own day-to-day experiences.
AMBA has released a petition to help achieve greater support for multiple birth families including increased financial support. If you’d like to support the work AMBA is doing in this space, you can find further details of the petition here.
A final word of celebration
BMBAN wishes all of our members, and everyone within the multiple birth community, a very happy Multiple Birth Awareness Week 2023!
Multiples families are mighty!
You must be logged in to post a comment.