Canberra and Region Multiple Birth Association (CARMBA)
Multiple Birth Awareness Week (MBAW) – 11-18 March 2012
In Australia, multiple births (twins, triplets or more) currently account for approximately 1 in every 80 pregnancies.
The number of multiple births has been increasing consistently since the 1970s. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 4,500 multiple births Australia-wide in 2010. Of these, 65 were triplets and 4 were quads or higher order. This was 2% higher than the number recorded in 2009 (4,400) and a whopping 43% higher than the number recorded in 1990 (3,200).
Multiple Birth Awareness Week raises awareness of the important work done by support groups such as CARMBA, which offers services to new and expectant parents such as a New and Expectant Parents Information Session to regular morning teas. CARMBA also runs a Family Support Program with volunteers from the Canberra and Region community helping parents with multiples and various social events all aimed at bringing together parents who might be feeling isolated.
President of CARMBA and mother of two year old twins, Amelia Haddock, says that finding out that you are pregnant with twins (or more) can be very daunting. “As well as the obvious practical challenges involved in managing two or more babies, multiple birth families are at higher risk of serious medical issues such as pregnancy complications, premature delivery, children with special needs and post-natal depression. These issues can have significant and long-lasting effects on the entire family. But the hard work of raising multiple birth children is easily outweighed by the joy they bring to their families- just ask any parent of multiples!”
There is growing evidence that getting involved in a support group such CARMBA can have real benefits to the mental health and coping skills of parents.
Canberra’s region encompasses the Sapphire and Eurobodalla coasts, the Snowy Mountains, Yass, Goulburn, Harden, Boorowa and Young.
CARMBA is celebrating MBAW in style with a large number of events. For event details see http://www.carmba.org.au/multiple-birth-awareness-week.html The MBAW celebrations culminate with the biggest event, The Fun Day. It is a members-only event which caters for multiples and their families of all ages. Families with twins, triplets or more are welcome to become members on the day.
Along with all of the excellent kid-friendly things, like an interactive reptile display, balloon sculpture, coffee van, a jumping castle, pony rides, petting paddock, face painting and Kenny Koala, we are also introducing some new elements. There will be a drop-off point for people interested in taking part in CARMBA’s second Clothing Swap, to be held on 31 March. We are also going to host a range of market stalls in the community hall.
CARMBA welcomes all and any media coverage of the above events.
We invite you to come to an event to meet some parents of multiples or contact us to connect you with a family in your local area to find out what they are doing to celebrate.