The communities we support are at the heart of what we do at Twins Trust.
We aim to be a source of support and mutual understanding for our multiples community and are dedicated to ensuring that the support we offer is demonstrably meeting our community’s diverse needs.
We’re passionate about our community, actively welcoming people wherever they are and whatever they bring. We strive to support and welcome twins, triplets and more, their families and the communities that support them, regardless of race, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, social class, religion and belief. We support families across the UK and around the world.
The following communities are some of the key constituents who we support:
Caring for a child with additional support needs can be challenging particularly if they are one of multiples.
Helping the children to understand their differences can be beneficial. The child with additional support needs probably needs to understand why he or she has different abilities and different expectations of behaviour; however, they may find having a more able sibling stimulating and a source of motivation. Explain to the child without additional support needs why his or her sibling is treated differently and behaves differently; there may be mixed feelings towards the child with additional support needs and jealousy over the extra attention.
We have a support group on Facebook for parents and carers of twins, triplets or more who have a child or children with additional support needs. The group provides somewhere safe and secure for these parents to share experiences and chat with others who better understand their circumstances and helps by providing peer to peer support.
Emma's storyEmma has three children and one of her twins has additional support needs.
Charlie's storyCharlie Beswick's twin son was born with one eye. Sharing her story enables Charlie to help herself and others.
Sonya's StoryTwins’ closeness can sometimes mask autism in one child, but both are better off when their needs are recognised.
Amber and meMoving, warm and often funny, Ian Davies’ film ‘Amber and Me’ charts his twins’ journey into primary school. Amber has Down’s Syndrome and the family were naturally anxious about her starting school.
Our experience: twins with additional support needsToo peas in a podcast . The podcasting pair, both parents of twins with additional support needs, talk to Twins Trust.
Hearing you are going to become a grandparent to twins or more can be a bit of a surprise.
Hopefully our Factsheet for Grandparents will help. It has been put together using top tips from those who know – grandparents of twins, triplets or more!
Becoming grandparents to two (or even three or four) grandchildren at the same time can lead to significant lifestyle adjustments for you as well as the parents. It’s common to have dozens of questions flying around in your head.
If you are a grandparent of twins, triplets or more we have an online community group you can join to chat with other grandparents of similar aged multiples.
It’s so important to embrace and enjoy being a grandparent of multiples. It’s a wonderful, life-affirming experience. However, of course, your children (and grandchildren) will need as much support as possible.
Help comes in many forms and is often welcomed when offered, both during the pregnancy and once the babies arrive. The type of help offered can come in lots of different forms including helping care for older grandchildren, assistance with housework, shopping, cooking meals etc.
It can be extremely hard work and tiring. You may feel you want to help your son or daughter by babysitting their multiples, but at the same time be worried about how you will cope with the work, and maybe how you will cope physically with the demands. Be kind to yourself and just do what you’re able to. Stay calm and try your best to just be in the moment – that’s the best way to be there for your children and grandchildren.
One of the things that we’re often told is that conflicts can arise between parents and grandparents. This is common amongst both multiples and singletons! Sometimes the parents might have to make choices which aren’t the path you would have personally chosen. Attempts at providing support can become emotionally charged, especially when opinions differ significantly. The advice from our grandparent community is that it’s vital to focus on the needs of all the children first and to provide support to the parents by following their lead on the way they want to parent their children. This might mean that you need to learn new ways of doing things – it will hopefully be positive in the long run.
Arguably one of the most important roles a grandparent can have is simply to spend time with your grandchildren. This is especially true as they grow older and begin to display their own individual personalities, strengths, likes and dislikes.
It pays to be organised. Try to create a sort of home from home environment at your home, so that when your grandchildren visit, you don't have to worry about things getting broken, or them getting hurt. Plan ahead and prepare for any possibilities that could cause a stressful situation. For example, keep a few spare nappies or a change of clothes for the babies that you can whip out in an emergency. The same tip is useful if you are visiting them or going to stay.
Our Supporting new parents course will help you to understand the particular challenges of parenting more than one baby at a time and how you can be supportive in this special experience.
Becoming a parent is a time of excitement and joy, often accompanied by feelings of worry and uncertainty. Discovering that you are to be a parent to twins, triplets or more may magnify these feelings. It is also possible that being a parent in a LGBTQ+ relationship may make the challenge seem isolating and overwhelming.
Hopefully our Factsheet for Same-Sex Parents will help.
If you are a LGBTQ+ family of twins, triplets or more we have an online community group you can join to chat with others with similar aged multiples.
Whether you’re the birth parent, second parent, adoptive parent or step parent, Twins Trust is here to help you and your partner raise your twins, triplets and more. A parent of multiples is a parent of multiples, regardless of identities and variations in family dynamic.
Asking for help and support is vital. A strong support network within the immediate family, extended family and friends can make a huge difference. It’s hard – but crucial – to ask for help, as well as accepting it when it’s offered.
In addition to the usual challenges facing multiple birth families, same sex parents may have some unique challenges that heterosexual parents do not have to consider. These concerns range from worries over public reactions and prejudice, to whether non-birthing parent(s) will be treated appropriately by healthcare staff. Many parents with our community share the view that the best way is to be proud and open about the family structure and that this is the best way for people to embrace it.
When you’re out and about with twins, triplets and more, it’s common to be asked questions such as whether the babies were conceived naturally, whether you gave birth vaginally or by c-section, and whether your twins are identical or not. There are a variety of unique questions often faced by LGBTQ+ parents specifically, including ‘who is the mother/father’? Be prepared for these questions – they usually come from a place of curiosity. Remember, you don’t have to answer questions if you don’t want to.
Ines and Kate's storyWhen Ines and Kate met, it became clear early on that they both wanted to start a family together.
Estella and Faye's storyEstella and Faye's twins were born on 23 March 2020, the day the UK went into lockdown.
Tarn's storyHarry and Eloise were born at 27 weeks +5 days.
"Pride was always important to us as a couple... but even more so now we have triplets"The journey to parenthood was never easy for Angela McArthur and Siobhan Cullen but after realising they wanted to start a family, they looked at the options available to them as a same-sex couple.
Being a one parent is challenging for many people. Being a single parent to twins, triplets or more can make the challenge seem even harder and lonelier. Whether you’re bringing up children on your own by choice or as the result of a relationship breakdown, we’re here for you.
Our Factsheet for One Parent Families is full of information, frequesntly asked questions and personal experiences.
If you are a one parent of twins, triplets or more we have an online community group you can join to chat with others with multiples.
Asking for help is a sign of strength and your friends and family will feel pleased and even honoured that you have asked. Remember that they may feel nervous about offering to help, but be very keen to do anything they can to lighten your load. Getting good help and support in place is essential, both before the babies arrive and afterwards. Delegate household chores like cooking and cleaning to friends and family.
It’s important to be organised and find a routine that works for you and your babies. For some parents this routine may be established during time in the special care baby unit, as many twins and triplets arrive early. For others it starts once you are home. In the very early days that routine can be as simple as going with the flow of feeding, changing, cuddling, and sleeping.
When you’re a sleep deprived new parent to two or more babies, staying calm and positive can be a real challenge. And yet staying calm can so often be the key. When we’re sleep deprived due to babies feeding every 2-3 hours, our minds find it very hard to focus and concentrate. We become grumpy, clumsy and forgetful. So it’s important to remind yourself that this is just a phase and to celebrate when you get a good three hour block of sleep.
Having a supportive network of multiple parents to go and see or to call and generally be your lifeline is beneficial. Being a parent of multiples is very different from being a mum to one baby at a time. Even parent couples of multiples are under immense pressure and often struggle as both parents can feel extremely overwhelmed.
Be kind to yourself. There are many joys to being a parent of multiples and there are many challenges. How we view ourselves and how we are coping with both the joys and the challenges can have a negative effect on us mentally - if we’re too hard on ourselves. Practicing the art of self-compassion and kindness towards ourselves and what we can and have achieved is something that our one parent families advocate. This is a combination of being kind to yourself mentally by not being too hard on yourself, as well as taking physical time for yourself each week.
Ultimately, you need to find a way that works for you. Get out of the house when you can, sleep when you can, but most importantly, try and enjoy the time with the babies… they grow up so quickly!
We want to say that you are not alone. Twins Trust can help.
Diana's storyTwin mum Diana Daborn called Twinline in despair over sleep and routines issues in 2016 – now she volunteers as a Twinline listener herself.
Success as a single mum"I think I’ve done okay...I do feel incredibly proud of them both!" Claire shares her experience of raising twins as a single mum for other parents of multiples...
Dad of triplets receives supportPaul's wife tragically passed away just a few days after their triplets were born. Our support service helped him at the time he needed it most.
We have dedicated information for families with triplets, quads and more on our website. If you would like an opportunity to meet up with other parents and carers of triplets and quads or you may have recently found out you are expecting triplets and quads we host an online group weekly.
We also have a supportive and welcoming online group hosted on Facebook for parents and carers of triplets, quads and more who are looking to connect with others who have similar experiences, are looking for tips and hints on raising more than two babies or children. The group is also for those with older children who would like to support this special and unique community sharing their own tips gathered from their own experiences.