Multiple Birth Awareness Week (MBAW) is a national Australian campaign to raise awareness around and draw attention to the unique realities for multiple birth families and how active advocacy, positive education and engaged communities can contribute to enabling positive health outcomes for our families.

15th to 22nd March 2020

Better Together

MBAW 2020 is "better together". In drawing attention to the unique realities for multiple birth families, it’s important that we consider the holistic community in which we live. While there is plenty of joy in raising twins, triplets or more and observing the special bonds and fun times, multiple birth families can face particular challenges that require unique solutions and varying interventions. 

For a family with multiples, managing these tougher times means arming yourself with resources and knowledge, enabling you to not only cope better as the family unit, but to engage in the best way possible with those around you who share your journey in various ways; e.g. health professionals, education providers, family members.

Being better together is about the strength of connection, both for families and for the Australian Multiple Birth Association in how it engages the community to serve families. While AMBA is the only national charity in Australia focused on improving the lives of twins, triplets or more and their families, with a mission to enable positive health outcomes, awareness and equality for multiple birth families through advocacy, education and community, this can only be achieved by developing strong relationships with trusted partners. 

Our goal for MBAW 2020 is to drive connection between multiple birth families and within our community, while fostering a stronger collaborative multidisciplinary approach with our allied organisations.

Our Chairperson's personal and professional journey to becoming the leader of our organisation.

It's not often that you get to go 'behind the scenes' with the leader of an organisation and understand more about them on a personal level or what drives them. However, our Chairperson did just that.

Ashlee Tenberge joined Nix and Naomi from Talking twins and more, a multiple birth podcast and chatted about her 8 year journey in the Australian Multiple Birth Association (AMBA).

In parts 1 and 2 over a 2-week series, they talk through AMBA's history over 4 decades supporting parents with multiples (twins, triplets and more), as well as discussing Ash's multiples story, how she got involved in AMBA and her progression from local club committee to state roles to now being the 'face of AMBA'.

Listen to podcast part 1 [30 mins] Listen to podcast part 2 [30 mins]

National agenda-setting workshop: Driving better health outcomes for multiple-birth families

Following on from the release of a world-first, international discussion paper earlier in 2019 in which the AMBA Chairperson, Ashlee Tenberge, was an author, the Australian Multiple Birth Association (AMBA) is excited to again be partnering with Twins Research Australia (TRA) and the International Council of Multiple Birth Organisations (ICOMBO) to move forward with the outcomes from an inaugural agenda-setting workshop.

Hosted by TRA on Thursday 5th December in Melbourne, we focused on developing national priorities and next steps to improve health outcomes for multiple-birth babies and their families. Over 30 participants attended and affirmed their commitment to working together to elevate awareness and action in four high-priority areas. 

Open to people and organisations involved in the lives of multiple-birth families, its aim was to brainstorm next steps and to create a network of passionate people to drive this agenda forward.The workshop follows the release of the paper, Multiple Perspectives: What support do multiple-birth families need to live happy and healthy lives

Workshop participants included health professionals, researchers, educators, government agencies, not-for-profit and community organisations, parents of twins and adult twins. 

Four high-priority areas

The main focus was a round-table discussion looking at recommendations for action in four high-priority areas as identified by the paper:

  • Create and implement improved multiple-birth-specific educational resources for health professionals
  • Support the development of evidence-based research on the financial disadvantage experienced by multiple-birth families to lobby government for funding support
  • Advocate for further research to better understand the unique mental health concerns of multiple-birth families
  • Advocate for further research to reduce pregnancy and birth complications

Program details

The workshop included:

  • Background on how and why the paper was developed
  • Presentation on each of the four priority themes
  • Discussion around what are the challenges and potential solutions
  • Presentations from topic experts in their field
  • Break-out into four working groups to develop an action list of next steps and how to take these forward
  • Potential funding opportunities to implement the next stages of work

Next steps 

Recommendations, actions and next steps from the workshop are being collated into a report due for release in early 2020. Please join TRA's Facebook (general), Facebook (researcher)Twitter or LinkedIn to be alerted to the report's release. 

 

Image: (left to right)

TRA Deputy Director, Kate Murphy; AMBA Chair, Ashlee Tenberge; ICOMBO Chair, Monica Rankin; TRA Deputy Director (Research), Jeff Craig.   

 

Reference documents

Download the discussion paper: Multiple Perspectives Discussion Paper 2019.05

 

This first-ever international discussion paper is a collaboration of multiple-birth agencies.

AMBA is honoured to be a contributor to a world-first, international discussion paper, focusing on a wide-ranging overview of issues and challenges for families and health professionals during pregnancy, birth and the early life of twins and higher order multiples. Our Chairperson, Ashlee Tenbergeis a contributor to this exciting Australian publication.

This first-ever international discussion paper is a collaboration of multiple-birth agencies: Twins Research Australia (TRA), Twins and Multiple Births Association UK (TAMBA), Australian Multiple Birth Association (AMBA), and the International Council of Multiple Birth Organisations (ICOMBO). This collaboration has brought together the experience and expertise of the many stakeholders in multiple-birth healthcare including parents, community organisations, health professionals, researchers and educators.

This discussion paper is a compilation of case studies and opinions collected from these key stakeholders. It aims to identify the difficulties facing multiple-birth babies and their families, the gaps in our current knowledge, and the way forward to address these gaps.

Download the discussion paper:  pdf Multiple Perspectives Discussion Paper 2019.05 (980 KB)

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