Multiple Birth Awareness Week (MBAW) is a national event held annually to celebrate the joy of parenting multiples and also to educate communities and professionals about the unique challenges of parenting twins, triplets and more. In 2014 it took place from Sunday 9th March to Sunday 16th March. Multiple Birth Clubs and individuals around Australia celebrated MBAW with gusto!
The week was a great success and it’s a credit to everyone from the individuals who raised awareness on their Facebook profile through to the incredible club volunteers who organised and put on 70 events around Australia over the week. The theme “you’re not alone” resonated with so many people which was great. I’d like to share some great words from Ballarat and District Multiple Birth Association to sum up the week.
Multiple Birth Awareness Week 2014 draws to a close today. This year's theme was 'You are not alone'. This week I hope you not only felt that you were not alone, but also acted in the spirit of the theme. Perhaps you shared the joy that having multiples can bring, met a family with multiples in your local area or called a friend with multiples. Let's keep acting in the spirit of 'You are not alone' and share the journey.
Photo credit: Helga Dalla, Twins of Australia
The latest edition of the AMBA Magazine is a bumper issue full of great stories, covering the amazing achievements of AMBA volunteers being acknowledged in the AMBA Appreciation Awards, AMBA members meeting HRH Princess Mary, delayed interval delivery in multiple birth pregnancy, Kate Ledger (Heath's sister)’s article “double trouble... double delight”, twins in school, your chances of conceiving another set of multiples and much, much more.
If you are interested in advertising in the next edition and supporting AMBA you can check ou the AMBA Magazine Rate Card.
The Australian Multiple Birth Association (AMBA) was thrilled that two member-families met with Their Royal Highnesses Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark in October.
President of Lower North Shore Multiple Birth Association and mum of four-year-old identical twins Kerry-Anne Baxter said, “ I was very happy to be part of this event at the Sydney Children’s Hospital as we will always be grateful for the lifesaving support received from the hospital for one of our twins after she contracted H1N1 Type 9 (swine flu) in July this year.”
Ms Baxter also said, “The friends I made through the club and the wider multiple birth community were the ones who were knocking at the ICU door to support us, supporting the whole family including taking our other twin to play dates, providing food and also craft for the girls to do at home during recovery time, so I am thrilled to be able to represent AMBA at this event. We were delighted to be offered the opportunity to meet with Princess Mary to explain the valuable support services local multiple birth associations provide to members. I am sure Princess Mary will understand first-hand that having multiples requires supreme organisation and logistic skills.”
Former AMBA Board Director and a member of Southern Sydney MBA Cath Harding (pictured) said, “We met with Prince Frederik and Princess Mary and it was great to highlight the work that AMBA does for families with multiples in the community. Our girls were beside themselves with excitement that they got to meet a real princess! “
AMBA and affiliated clubs are successful due to the dedication of many fantastic volunteers who contribute their time and skills to assist multiple birth families at local, state and national levels. AMBA celebrates the contribution our volunteers make and we recognise their ongoing volunteer efforts and commitment to their communities via the AMBA Appreciation Awards.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics notes that the number of confinements resulting in a multiple birth had been increasing consistently since the 1970s. In 2012, there were 4,480 confinements resulting in a multiple birth; of these, 59 were triplets or higher order. This number of confinements was 34% higher than the number recorded in 1991 (3,355 confinements), and 1.8% lower than the number recorded in 2011 (4,560 confinements).
AMBA’s Patron, Associate Professor Mark Umstad, spoke at the AMBA Convention, held in October, and said that the drop in multiple birth rates was directly linked to revised Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) guidelines and policies of self-regulation regarding the number of embryos transferred.
In an article that Prof Umstad wrote with Lyndon Hale, Yueping A. Wang and Elizabeth A. Sullivan: “Multiple deliveries: The reduced impact of in vitro fertilisation in Australia”, it was noted that the number of twins born in Australia steadily increased from 2,420 sets in 1983 to 4,458 sets in 2010. At one stage, almost 25% of all twin deliveries in Australia were a consequence of assisted reproductive technologies, but that proportion had dropped to just 16%, which is directly related to a significant increase in single rather than multiple embryo transfers.
Prof Umstad said, "Multiple pregnancies and births are associated with significantly higher risks of maternal, neonatal and childhood complications than those seen in singleton pregnancies and births. Multiple births as a result of assisted fertility peaked in 2002 and have been dropping since then. It is very pleasing to see that self-regulation by our infertility specialists has produced a continuing decline in the number of multiple births related to infertility treatments.”
For more information see AMBA's Press Release.
AMBA has compiled a list of AMBA club members who blog about life with multiples and more. You might like to read these blogs to find out about life with twins and triplets. You can read amazing stories from a Dad’s perspective on mental health, family budgets, organisation techniques all the way through to some great craft activities to do with your children.