What is the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association?

The Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association is a not-for-profit group, run by volunteer families with multiple birth children, for example twins, triplets and other higher-order multiples. 

The Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association helps multiple birth families by providing education, support, resources, practical assistance, friendship and strategies. 

The Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association is affiliated with the Australian Multiple Birth Association.

How do I join the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association?

Go to our membership page and download the membership form or contact us via phone, email or facebook  and we will send you a membership form to complete – it’s that simple!

I am currently pregnant with multiples. Can I join before they are born?

Absolutely!  The earlier you can meet and talk with others who have experienced multiple births the better.  We can also put you in touch with various antenatal services. Contact Us

How do I contact the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association?

For general enquiries or assistance please email enquiries@tasmba.org.au. See our Contacts page  for further details.

How common are multiple births in Tasmania?

In 2009, latest available data, there were 59 sets of twins and 3 sets of Higher Order Multiples (triplets or more born) in Tasmania.

I am having triplets (or more), who can I talk to?

Our Higher Order Multiples (HOM) Officer,  has firsthand experience of raising triplets.  Please email or phone we will put you in touch with our HOM contact.

Do twins run in my family?

There are many myths surrounding twins. The science is pretty strong around twinning, but the anecdotal evidence suggests there are still aspects of the hereditary nature of multiple birthing that science cannot easily explain and that there may still be more for scientists to learn.

Only non-identical twins (on the mother’s side) are hereditary.  Non-identical (fraternal) or dizygotic twins occur when the woman releases two eggs in the one menstrual cycle and both are fertilised by two separate sperm.  Non-identical twins are essentially siblings born at the same time. 

It is the tendency of the mother to release two eggs that can be passed from mother to daughter, which is what makes non-identical twins run in families.  Twins do not come from the father, regardless of whether he has a history of twins in his family.  (There is no way a man can have any influence over how many eggs his partner releases in a month!  Sorry guys!)

Identical (monozygotic) multiples are not hereditary and have nothing to with any family history of twins. Identical multiples occur when one egg is fertilized by one sperm which subsequently splits into two (or sometimes more) foetuses, each with identical DNA.

HOMs may all be fraternal, all identical or a mixture of both.

For more information about the conception of twins, triplets and Higher Order Multiples (HOMs)  please visit our links page

What does HOMs stand for?

Higher Order Multiples (HOM’s) refers to three, four or more children of the same age. For more information please contact our HOMs Officer or visit our links page

Is my pregnancy high risk?

A multiple pregnancy can be subject to more medical complications than a single pregnancy.

Your medical practitioner is the best person to provide you with information specific to your pregnancy.

Preterm labour is common with multiples, and extended hospitalisation of your babies in a Special Care Nursery or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit should be prepared for, be reassured that many mothers deliver healthy, full-term babies without any problems at all.  Of course, every pregnancy is unique so the experiences of others should be used only as a guide to what could happen in your situation.

The majority of multiple pregnancies do have a happy ending; even worst case scenarios can be remedied by the miracles of modern medicine.

We recommend you make contact with fellow parents of multiples through the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association Branch Meetings or through the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association Facebook Page.  Our members are very happy to share their experiences.

Will my babies arrive early?

There is a higher risk of premature birth with multiples. 

The average length of a twin pregnancy is 35 to 36 weeks. 

We recommend you discuss with your medical practitioner the specifics of your pregnancy, and together you can develop a birth plan.  While your Doctor cannot always tell you exactly when you will deliver your babies he/she can at least discuss with you when you may deliver that is best for both you and your babies. Your health and the health of your babies are paramount and your medical practitioner will have that foremost in mind when suggesting options for your care and delivery.

The aim of the game is to keep your babies in your uterus for as long as you can.  Listening to your body is great. Just remember that you may not be able to interpret what it is telling you unless you have been pregnant with twins before. Even then, it may be confusing.  Listen to your doctor. Every case is individual and there are no steadfast guidelines. It depends on your risk factors. 28 weeks is most common, however, there are no absolutes.

Where can i receive information and support for my babies that were born premature?

Life’s Little Treasures Foundation – Improving the life of premature and sick babies. LLT information packs are available through neonatal wards.

St. Giles – making a positive difference in the lives of Tasmanian with disabilities. St Giles offer a range of services for babies born premature.  One of their most popular services for all babies born prior to 37 weeks is their once a month ‘Prem Play’ group.  A place where parents receive support  from the child health nurse, St Giles coordinator, physiotherapist and occupational therapists that facilitate the group meeting.

Does having twins mean I will need to have a caesarean-section?

Having twins does not automatically mean you will have to have a cesarean section.  However, a c-section will be done if your medical practitioner thinks that there is a possibility of risk to you or your babies during the delivery.

It is best to discuss this in more detail with your medical practitioner.

Do I need multiple equipment for my babies?

You do not need double (or more) of everything. 

You do need multiple car restraints, multiple high chairs, and multiple cots (at least eventually) and more than the ‘normal’ amount of nappies and wipes than you would for a single baby.  You can happily make do with one change mat, one larger activity gym and one set of various toys. About one and a half times as many clothes as a singleton needs will dress a set of twins as they can share.

Given the tendency of multiples to arrive early, you may need 00000 and 0000 clothes.  Jumpsuits and any little suit that is a one-piece with press studs straight down the front and around the crotch are perfect for easy washing and keeping your babies little bodies covered.  Don’t buy lots of clothing before your babies arrive. Even very small babies start growing very quickly so will grow out of the tiny size before you know it – manage on as few as possible of the tiny sizes. You will probably receive lots of clothes as gifts so just supplement what you need once your babies are home.

Before your multiples arrive stock up on nappies and wipes and the like. You will need approximately 8 nappies a day per baby – a box of 108 newborn will last you just under one week.  If using clothes nappies and can wash every day, you will need 3 or 4 dozen nappies.

Cloth nappies are a great investment, whether you intend to use them on your babies’ bottoms or not. They make great burp mats, emergency change mats or floor covers, baby-sized towels or blankets. And when you don’t have baby-related needs for them anymore, they make great window-cleaning cloths.

Should I set up one nursery or more?

This really depends on the composition of your family and the physical space you have available to accommodate your new babies. There are no rules, many multiples share a bedroom for their entire lives at home, others may start off in separate rooms and stay that way until they set out on their own. Others may move back and forth from a shared room to individual rooms, or sharing with other siblings, throughout the course of their childhoods.

You may wish to start with one room, even one little bed.  Or you may wish to have your babies sleep in the same room as you which can make night-time feeding easier.  However don’t be afraid to separate your babies if you feel the need.    This will obviously depend on your individual situation and there is no right or wrong answer.  Do whatever is best for your babies and your family.

I feel like no one understands, do they?

We understand!

The unfortunate reality is that no one will understand how hard and challenging it is to have two babies at once, expect of course those of us who have already been there, done that!

We recommend you join the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association Facebook Page.  You can also make contact with fellow parents of multiples through the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association Branch Meetings  come along to one of our three playgroups to meet other parents of multiples in your area.  We can help with advice from ‘those who know’.   Our members are very happy to share their experiences.

How do I accept offers of help?

Learn to ask for help and learn to accept it when it is offered.  Practice saying ‘yes, thank you’!

It can be helpful to draw up a roster system, or put a list of ‘jobs’ on your fridge that could be done by others -on the off chance a visitor asks is there anything I can do?  You can say “yes thanks as a matter of fact…”

There is no denying that you are going to need as much help as possible.  From your parents, your in-laws, neighbours, friends. Anyone who can drop off some leftovers, hang out some washing or push a pram becomes a potential helper! 

I need sleep! How do I get this?

The sleep deprivation experienced by parents of newborn multiples can be challenging.  Try to nap whenever possible and sleep when the babies sleep. 
We understand that at times it is impossible to rest.  One strategy to catch-up on sleep is to arrange a friend or relative to take your babies out of the house in the pram.  Then.... go straight to bed! 
There are many support services available for helping you to teach your babies to sleep for longer periods over night.  Some of those are;
Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association
Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association Branch Meetings 
Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association Facebook Page

Australian Multiple Birth Association
Australian MutlipleMultiple Birth Association Forum

Child Health Nurse [Child Health Centres - Department of Health and Human Services]

Walker House Parenting Service
Walker House Parenting Centre - North

Mother and Baby Unit – St Helen’s Hospital
St Helen's Private Hospital

MOPS -Mothers of Preschoolers

Can multiples be breastfed?

They certainly can!

Contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association for advice, information and support on 1800 686 268 or www.breastfeeding.asn.au A twin breastfeeding pillow is a good investment if you are planning to breastfeed – an expensive purchase upfront however it is well worth the money. Your breastfeeding pillow can be used to help your babies sit unaided. 

Another option is to breastfeed your multiples and then provide formula top ups, or to just feed formula.  Remember: fed is best and the breastfeeding journey is not always smooth, even for parents of singletons.

Should I try to keep my babies on synchronised feeding and sleeping schedules?

As much as possible try to keep your babies on the same schedule during the day.  Otherwise you will have no rest and no break as you will always have one baby awake. 

What about during the night?

Do whatever makes life easier for yourself when it comes to feeding your babies either together or separately overnight.

In the early months it is a good idea to try and feed your babies at the same time overnight, waking the second (or third) baby.  After a couple of months though, especially if you start to notice one baby is always needing to be woken, trial letting this baby sleep and see what happens. 

Buy a night light so that you can feed with minimal light.  Don’t engage with your babies, change their nappies only if needed and put them straight back to bed once they have fed.  The sooner you can teach them that night time is time for sleep the better off the whole house will be!

How do I cope with visitors?

Multiples attract a lot of attention.

Do not feel obligated to have visitors while your multiples are newborn, either in hospital or at home.  This is a very special time for you, your family and your babies. 

Some suggestions:

  • Make a sign for your front door to put up when you are napping during the day – “Thanks for dropping by.  We are resting at the moment.  Please phone later in the day to arrange a suitable time.”;
  •  Encourage visitors to call/text first;
  • Limit visits to one hour;
  • Ask visitors to bring lunch, morning tea, bread, a carton of milk...

How much is a membership?

An annual membership for the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association is $30 per year, or $55 for two years.  You can pay by cash, mail order, cheque or Electronic Funds Transfer.
You can join the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association by signing up to the AMBA Membership Portal.

Can I join at anytime?

Yes.  Members are accepted year-round and your anniversary date will be when your next membership fee is due.

Does membership cover my whole family?

Yes, membership to the Tasmanian Multiple Birth Association is for your entire immediate family, including your partner, children (including siblings of multiples) and yourself.  

What is my members area login?

You will recieve an email with your username and password to log into the members area of our website.  If you haven't received this or would like this to be reset, please contact webmaster@tasmba.org.au.

What does access to the website members area provide me?

Access to past TasMBA Newsletters

What does Membership provide me?

Membership entitles you to:

  • Free attendance to all TasMBA events in the North West, North and South of Tasmania (see the Calendar for full details of events state-wide).  
  • Shopping discounts

 TasMBA is a not-for-profit organisation we operate in a volunteer capacity to:

  • enhance the health and wellbeing of Tasmanian multiple birth children and their families;
  • offer friendship, resources, strategies and support to new and existing members;
  • educate and support families using the first-hand knowledge and experience of other families; and
  • provide positive opportunities for all multiple birth children and their families to come together.

Please feel free to join our Facebook closed group it is a wonderful private community where we have loads of conversations about raising multiples. 

TasMBA is an affiliated association of the Australian Multiple Birth Association (AMBA).  We also recommend the use of the AMBA Forum, see www.amba.org.au/forum for online discussion with ‘those who know’.

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