Monday, 28 June 2010

Twins, Triplets and More Week 2010

This week is Twins, Triplets and More Week.  I know that some of you are probably thinking "Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's always something week these days, probably next week it's going to be Bad Hair Week, or Ingrowing Toenail Week or something"  but this really does matter.

Did you know that nearly twice as many mothers of multiples suffer from Post Natal Depression?  That there is no extra funding, maternity leave or government funded support for parents of multiples? That there are still areas of the country where education authorities don't consider multiples to be siblings when it comes to school allocation, so parents are left trying to take two (or three, or more) children to two (or three, or more) schools, all at the same time?  That midwives and post-natal nurses regularly tell mothers of multiples they can't breastfeed, and refuse to give support to those who want to do so?

And those are just the ones who ask for help....  I didn't have PND.  I tried very hard not to have PND.  I refused to have PND.  But there was still a period of about three weeks when I cried, every day.  When the health visitors were visiting me twice a week. When B came home one afternoon to find me in one room and the babies in another.  All screaming.

And later, much later, because they were fully weaned, a day when I sat at the kitchen table, all three girls eating their supper and screamed at him "I just don't want to do this any more"

I thought I was prepared. I have family and friends with twins.  I have love and support wherever I look, but I learned, very quickly, that nothing, however hard you try, prepares you for how hard, and how wonderful having multiples is.

Well, I say nothing, but TAMBA (the Twins and Multiple Births Association) are trying very hard indeed.  Indeed, they are using this week to launch their new initiative, Get Ready for Multiples.

"for expectant and new parents of multiple births at The initiative includes FREE and subsidised pre- and ante-natal courses for families and health professionals throughout the UK; a FREE practical guide for mothers who may have PND; support from local Twins Clubs; and the FREE Twinline (0800 138 0509) which offers information and emotional support for parents and professionals"
Here in the bloggy world we're doing our bit too.  Linda, at You've got your hands full, is hosting guest posters all week on the theme of multiples (today, starring... you guessed it.... ME!) as well as a carnival on Friday and a week of blog touring (there's no escape from Linda this week, she's going to be everywhere!).

So please, read the posts, and pass the word on to anyone you know who's ever met anyone with multiples...

Many thanks.

Oh, and just in case it wasn't clear, this is in no way sponsored... didn't I say there wasn't any money?!


  1. Great post. I once wrote a piece about different awareness weeks for a journalists' magazine, I think my favourite was Cow Appreciation Day.

    By the way, thanks ever so much for doing this, I hope that our posts will continue to pop up in Google when the people who need them are looking for them. I can't believe the comments I still get from mums who have found one or other of my posts.

  2. Another mum of multiples who had PND, too. And you feel so ashamed about it, as though you need to explain to people that you're not the "going off the deep end" kind of ill, you just need some help.


  3. If I remember how bad it can get with one baby, having multiples must be the hardest thing in the world.

  4. Linda - you forgot Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th) Arrrr!

    But yes, I hope it helps. Thank you so much for everything you've done.

    Shannon - thank you. I wasn't ever actually formally diagnosed, and I'm hesitant to put that label on it, not just because of pride but also because I know that some people really suffer, not just for a week or two. But you're right about the being ashamed. And i can't tell you how much it helped just being able to talk to the health visitors. I definitely think that being open with "I'm having a tough time" always pays off, for you, and others who might be going through the same thing.

    Mwa - it is hard, but then so's having two small children and another one on the way. It's not so much that it's hard as it's relentless. You really don't get any time to yourself. I think it's interesting though that so many mothers of multiples struggle with depression, to whatever extent. If depression's a chemical thing, you wonder what's happening on a physiological level...


I know. I'm sorry. I hate these word recognition, are you a robot, guff things too, but having just got rid of a large number of ungrammatical and poorly spelt adverts for all sorts of things I don't want, and especially don't want on my blog, I'm hoping that this will mean that only lovely people, of the actually a person variety, will comment.

So please do. Comments are great...