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.