Supporting multiple birth parents

Three-year-old twins Kingston and Charlotte. (Damjan Janevski) 323517_01

For most people, the moment they discover they are having a baby is a moment filled with joy and elation.

However, for those who discover they are having multiple babies, the moment can be more daunting, while still exciting

Running from March 19 to March 26, Multiple Birth Awareness Week is a national campaign to raise awareness around, and draw attention to, the unique realities for multiple birth families in Australia – and how advocacy, positive education and engaged communities can contribute to enabling positive health outcomes for families with multiple children.

This year’s theme is ‘Equality for Multiple Birth Families’, with the Australian Multiple Birth Association (AMBA) leveraging to highlight the inequality multiple birth families face and to launch a request to the government for better support for all parents with twins, triplets or more, including requesting for a Multiple Birth Payment.

This work follows on from the AMBA’s release of the Equality of Support for Parents of Multiples report last November, which demonstrates that parents of multiples need more financial and hands-on support.

New and expectant parents of multiples living in Melbourne’s west, including in Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay, can access support from the Westgate Multiple Birth Association (WMBA) from the early stages of pregnancy.

An affiliated member of the AMBA, the WMBA is a volunteer group providing support and practical advice to parents and families with multiple children.

WMBA president Eliza Watters said having multiple births created benefits and challenges for each family.

“Having twins or more is wonderful, but it often entails greater financial burdens and mental health challenges than having your children one at a time,” she said.

“Multiple birth families need more support, so they can not just survive, but thrive.”