Articles about Multiples

Outdoor Activities with Twins

The December/January 2014 issue of the Club's newsletter had an excellent article on outdoor activities in the Wellington region suitable for families. Download and print our 2 page Outdoor Activities Summary (2 page pdf).

Christmas with Twins

Christmas is a busy time of year, and with twins, it's extra busy. Parents of multiples must decide on a myriad of things such as - do you get one present or two, do you get the same colour or different, do you get a shared present or individual gifts. This article from our December/January 2014 newsletter gives some handy hints on Christmas with Twins (1 page pdf).

On being a father of twins

This is a cut down version of a feature article in the February-March 2012 edition of the Club's newsletter, compiled by Dale Hartle.

The scan is the life-changing moment for all new dads. One pregnancy, two babies! It's not bad news, its big news.

For fathers adjusting to the news, there is the initial shock, excitement, wonder, then reality checks in. It's initially hard to get your head around having two babies arrive, especially if they arrive early. An instant family, whether you wanted it or not!

"Double trouble" or "double blessing"

Fathers of twins don't struggle with the feeling of being redundant - there is always something to do. Changing nappies, dressing, feeding, doing washing, preparing bottles, tidying up the toys, nursing and cuddling, taking them for a walk, bathtime, bedtime.

Watching your twins grow up and develop their own individual personalities is a fascinating experience for fathers. Twins sometimes go from sharing friends to having their own as time goes by, often retaining common friends as well.

Dressing your twins the same or differently is always a contentious issue in families. They will have their own likes and dislikes and as they grow up they may want to dress the same, or they may want to dress differently.

Taking time out to be with each twin individually is rewarding and valuable. Fathers are able to bond with their children if they have some quiet time with each of them separately.

One father says his arms get a good workout carrying both his twins around at the same time, and there is always someone to play with, despite the obvious bumps and scapes of childhood activity.

Despite the hard work, all our twin fathers agree that they thoroughly enjoy having their twins around, nurturing their individuality and getting "double the cuddles".

Double Trouble

A new book entitled "Kiwi Twins: Surviving the first 6 months" has been published by Angela Robinson, an Auckland mother of three year old twin girls. Angela's book focuses on the first six months of her twins' lives covering subjects such as preparing for twins, common complications, Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), feeding and sleeping. This book is specially targeted for Kiwi mums with multiple births, which also covers various New Zealand issues such as Plunket, midwives, our hospital system, and terminology.

Angela calls on Kiwi parents to share their stories about dealing with twins in the early months. You can email Angela for a copy of the book ($20 plus $3 post and packaging), or email your story to .

Fertility Treatment and Multiple Pregnancy

At a Multiple Pregnancy Seminar held in Auckland in May 2006, tertility treatment and multiple pregnancy were discussed. Sarah Baylis from the Wellington Multiple Birth Club reported in their June 2006 newsletter a summary of the paper presented by Dr Simon Kelly, and excerpts are reproduced here with permission.

Occurrence of multiple pregnancies has increased over the last two decades. There are two reasons for this: (1) late childbearing, and (2) use of assisted reproduction.

The first successful IVF pregnancy was 28 years ago.It is now estimated that there are more than 1.5 million offspring that have resulted from IVF treatment over the past two decades.

In 2004 a SET (Syngle Embryo Transfer) policy was introduced as a matter of course for New Zealand patients undergoing government funded IVF for those who qualify. For women under the age of 35 undergoing IVF who have 2 or more good quality embryos, only 1 embryo can be replaced. Of interest in this group the multiple pregnancy rate is around 40% if 2 embryos are replaced. Since the policy was introduced the multiple pregnancy rate following IVF has dropped to less than 15%. It is likely that as pregnancy rates improve the SET policy may be extended to include women over 35 with good quality embryos.

This will mean there will be fewer twins born as a result of IVF, but there are still other fertility drugs that can result in twins or more.

Multiple pregnancies do entail a number of risks to the mother and babies, as well as increasing health costs significantly. Nearly all the major complications of pregnancy are more common with increasing numbers of foetuses. The perinatal mortality rate is around 6 fold higher for twin pregnancies compared to singletons (perinatal refers to the time immediately before and after childbirth). There is also evidence to suggest these risks may also be higher for multiple pregnancies conceived via assisted reproduction compared to natural multiple pregnancies.


Breastfeeding twins or triplets is one of the most popular questions asked by prospective and new mothers. The benefits of breastfeeding are discussed in our Breastfeeding article (pdf file). There are also many books and other resources available on the subject, and occasional articles in our club newsletters. Have a look at the Ask Dr Sears website for Breastfeeding Twins, and also use Search on a topic of interest.

La Leche League holds regular morning tea meetings to discuss various aspects of breastfeeding and meet with other mothers who are breastfeeding their babies. Leaders are educated to be inclusive of all opinions and approaches and to promote an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding - while giving relevant information about breastfeeding. Many women find great information, encouragement and support from these meetings and the shared experiences of the mothers there. For all your breastfeeding questions and concerns, call La Leche League: Janet (04) 233 1815, Mandy (04) 239 8499, or Lorraine (04) 233 6513.


Nutrition for expecting mothers of multiples is very important. The old saying of "Eating for Two" now becomes "Eating for Three or More", and you will probably find you need to eat more, and change some of the foods you do eat. Healthy eating tips are outlined in our article on Nutrition (pdf file). You may also need to consult your doctor, midwife or nutritionist for more help.