25 January 2024

In Spring 2022, volunteer dads Rob Hallott and Paul Pether joined Twins Trust to open a new peer support service for dads of multiples. Here’s an update to see how the project has progressed.

After emerging from the first couple of years of twin parenthood, Rob and I (Paul) approached Twins Trust in early 2022 to see if we could offer some support to other dads of multiples – recognising that there must be plenty of other fathers out there who were feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and in need of a listening ear. 

In summer 2022, triplet dad Chris became the third member of our volunteer crew. Between us we have a range of experiences of life with multiples, which we’re glad to share with the dads who get in touch.

Triplets on a large swing at the park

Our peer support service was born and over the last year we’ve had dozens of interactions with dads. It’s a simple process: any dad looking for help can fill out a brief request form on the Twins Trust website and we’ll reach out to them over the phone or video call for a supportive chat at a time that suits them. We’ve also created a dedicated online community, hosted on Facebook, for dads of multiples to share their questions and tips.

We’ve heard from dads-to-be who are coming to terms with the news of their partner’s multiple pregnancy and all the emotional and practical implications of this. Others are wondering what to expect in the first few weeks with their babies, looking to prepare themselves and their homes. 

We’ve regularly heard from dads who are facing the prospect of returning to work and may be feeling guilty or worried about leaving their families at home. We do our best to give dads space to express their worries, concerns and questions – and often they seem reassured to hear that other dads have experienced – and survived – similar challenges.

Dad Paul with his two children

Understandably, dads often feel preoccupied with the best ways to support their partners during pregnancy and
early parenthood. Worrying about a partner’s wellbeing as well as the children’s health and happiness can be a lot to cope with; we offer our experiences and ideas for how best to communicate with partners about sharing the mental load and finding moments of respite when they’re most needed.

Dads have shared a lot of practical questions too: what are the best car seats to buy? How to manage a long-haul flight with the kids? Our Facebook community has been a great place for sharing practical tips and advice. When it’s appropriate, we signpost dads to more sources of information and support – including the great range of resources which Twins Trust provides.

It’s a real privilege to talk with dads who are willing to be vulnerable, share their challenges and find comfort and support from other men. Traditionally this hasn’t been as acceptable for men in our culture, but we regularly support dads who are open about how they are feeling and incredibly committed to supporting their partners and children.