Declaration of Rights and Statement of Needs of Twins and Higher Order Multiples

 

The mission of the International Council of Multiple Birth Organizations (ICOMBO) of the International Society for Twin Studies is to promote awareness of the unique needs of multiple-birth infants, children, and adults. The ICOMBO has developed the Declaration of Rights and Statement of Needs of Twins and Higher Order Multiples as benchmarks by which to evaluate and stimulate the development of resources to meet their unique needs:

http://www.multiplebirthscanada.org/english/declarerightsmb.php

Lois and Lora

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Quadruplets! Getting 2 sets of Identical Twins during one Pregnancy

Parents choosing for fertility treatment such as IVF do not *ask* for multiples. There is an increased chance of getting twins or higher multiples after fertility treatment, but the main concern of the parents usually is to get one healthy baby.

When using IVF-treatment, putting back two fertilized eggs instead of one, increases the chance of getting pregnant at all, commonly resulting in one healthy baby. But sometimes one of the fertilized egg splits during the first week, resulting in identical twins. In very rare occasions both fertilized eggs split, resulting in 2 identical twins during one pregnancy!

Watch this video: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/mother-pregnant-sets-identical-twins-in-vitro-fertilization-birth-13352313

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Lucky or not? Giving birth to Sextuplets!

OMG! Will this mother still have time to worry about the weight gain during her pregnancy? I don’t think she will have much time to worry about anything for the next decade… Taking care of six babies, that’s like having 3 pairs of twins!!!

Look at those pictures! How tiny is that?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2006570/Mother-sextuplets-Heather-Carroll-reveals-ate-6-000-calories-day-alive.html

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The Joys of being Two of a kind!

More attention for Twins worldwide!

Two hundred pairs of twins, many dressed identically, gathered in London yesterday to mark the first World Twins Day

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-57854/Seeing-double-twins-gathering.html#ixzz1R1vWsvYD

This Special Day might be the result of the increased number of multiple births these days, but still great news that there is special attention for the joys of being twins!

Lily and Jessie

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How to Survive the First Year with your Twins

 

The first year after having twins is very hectic. Of course it’s also a very special year, full of precious memories, but for most twin parents it is also a stressfull and exhausting period.During your pregnancy you have no idea what is coming. Many questions will be on your mind, like: What if the babies are premature? What will giving birth to twins be like? How long will my babies have to stay in the hospital? How can I succesfully breastfeed two babies? Or should I start giving formula from the start? And the most important question: How do I survive that first year?

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me suzanne@twinsvideoblog.com

 

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IVF multiple births ‘coming down’

They call it ‘good news’, but I am not so sure. How about the chances of all those women trying hard to get pregnant by IVF-treatment? I have heard many twin parents say: we hoped for one healthy baby and now we got two!

See this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13372921

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Breastfeeding Twins: How to get Started

Breastmilk is best for babies. Breastfeeding provides all the nutrients your baby needs and it also contains antibodies from you which help them fight infections. Especially for premature babies this can be a great help to survive the first weeks.

Breastfeeding twins can be a real challenge. Although we parents know the benefits of breastfeeding our babies, it is not a natural choice for all parents. Especially when having more than one baby to take care of. Many twins are born premature. Sometimes the babies (or one of them) needs te stay in the hospital for a couple of days or weeks. So it can be much harder to make a good start.

Amber (2425g) and Jasmijn (2225g) (at this picture 5 weeks old) were born on June 28, 2010 after 37.3 weeks pregnancy

Breastfeeding your babies is recommended for at least six months, but in the twin situation this is rare: about 60% of all twin mothers start breastfeeding their babies after birth, but only 10% of them continues breestfeeding up to six months, some even longer. However there is no need to feel guilty or inadequate if you can’t or don’t want to do it. For a variety of personal, phisical or medical reasons, some parents of twins opt for formula milk of mixed feeding and that is OK!

If you are convinced to give it a try, you need to make sure you know all the ins and outs before your babies are born.

Get started

Succesfully breastfeeding twins usually takes some time, because breastfeeding is a skill that needs to be learnt. Most mothers need support and advice from professionals to help them get going. It usually takes about four to six weeks to get breastfeeding fully established. During the first weeks it is best to feed newborn babies ‘on demand’. But with more than one baby it is wise to adapt you approach, so you don’t spend the whole day feeding your babies.

Mothers of twins can breastfeed their babies simultanously, with a baby attached to each breast at the same time, or separately. In the beginning it is recommended to feed one baby at a time, until the babies are less vulnerable and you feel more confident about your feeding skills.

Tips:

  • Be well prepared. Try and find information about breast feeding twins at an early stage, preferably during your pregnancy. You can also contact a breastfeeding support group like La Leche League http://www.llli.org/ for advice.
  • Inform the medical staff about your desire to breastfeed your babies before delivery. Make sure that the medical staff won’t bottle feed you babies, but have them use cup feeding instead if necessary. You don’t want your babies to develop a preference for bottle feeding.
  • Ask for support when starting breast feeding. The medical staff can help you to hold your babies in the right position. Especially after a c-section it can be very difficult to find the right position with your tiny twins.
  • Purchase scales so you can measure the amount of milk. By measering the weight of your babies right before and right after feeding them, you can find out if they have had enough milk. Especially during the first weeks it is important to closely follow the growth of your babies.
  • Create a quiet environment to feed your babies. Especially when your babies grow older they can easily get distracted in a noisy environment. If the babies get distracted by each other it can be a good idea to start breastfeeding them turn by turn.
  • Be well organised when feeding your babies. Before you start feeding your babies you need te make sure that you are well prepared. So put your burp cloths, pillows, a drink for yourself, your phone, the remote control etc. within reach.
  • Mind your own nutrition. Drink lots of water and eat healthy. Make sure you take enough time for a healthy nutrition. Don’t drink any alcohol at all. Always contact your doctor before taking medication.
  • Take enough time. Feeding both babies simultanously really is ‘teamwork’. It usually takes some time before the mother and babies can manage this together.
  • Don’t give up! Even the most natural way of feeding your babies doesn’t always go naturally. Succesfully breastfeeding twins simply takes more time, because you need to find the right schedule and the right position for both babies.

If you have any questions about breastfeeding your babies, please feel free to contact me for personal advice suzanne@twinsvideoblog.com

 

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Twins and Competition: How Twins can Stimulate each other during Potty Training

One of the great benefits of being twins, is the fact that twin children stimulate each other. And that can be very usefull for us twin parents. In this video I talk about competition between twins and how this can effect the development of the children. For example when it’s time for potty training.

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Twins and school: information for teachers and parents

David hay, Pat PreedyJohn Mascazine, Neilson Martin and Nancy Segal have done a lot of Twin Research for the last decade. They wrote many articles about Twins and School for parents and teachers. At their website Twins and Multiples you can find information about how being twins can effect school achievement.

Especially the downloads ‘Checklist for parent/teacher Discussion of Twin Separation’ and ‘School Policy’ can be very usefull!

Lars and Stan sharing the same classroom in kindergarten. Will their primary school allow them to stay together as well?

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Twin Pregnancy: Gestational age and Birthweight

The mean gestational age for a twin pregnancy is 37 weeks, for triplets 34 weeks and for quadruplets 31 weeks. Compared to singletons the average birth weight for multiples is much lower: at birth the mean weight for twins is 2500 g, for triplets 1800 g and for quadruplets 1400 g. The lower the gestational age, the higher the chance of Neonatal Intensive Care (NIC) due to extreme low birth weight (<1500g). This counts for 8% of all twins, 30% of all triplets and 55% of all quadruplets.

twins triplets quadruplets
mean gestational age 37 weeks 34 weeks 31 weeks
average birth weight 2500 g 1800 g 1400 g
chance of NIC 8% 30% 55%

During the first 28 weeks of the pregnancy twins or multiples grow at the same rate as singletons do. Past 28 weeks de growth of the fetuses usually decreases. This can be caused by less space in the womb or the size of the placentas. So the third trimester of the pregnancy can be a risky period. It is recommended to take enough rest during this period to limit the risk of early birth.

Lars (3000 g) and Stan (3340 g) were born October 6, 2004 after 39.2 weeks of pregnancy. Although they look very much alike, Lars and Stan are fraternal twins for 95% accurate

As a matter of fact there is also a maximum gestation for twin or multiple pregnancies. Because at the end of the pregnancy the chance of complications increases. For a twin pregnancy this is after 38 weeks and for triplets after 37 weeks. For the health and wellbeing of the mother it usually is undesirable if the pregnancy lasts any longer. Therefor you should consider inducing delivery at 38 weeks for twins and at 37 weeks for triplets.

More about twin pregnancies in this video: http://www.twinsvideoblog.com/2011/06/07/twin-pregnancy-timeline-what-to-expect/

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