Expecting twins? MFM talks to the people behind the charity Tamba, which has been set up for multiple birth parents, with twins, triplets or more
Being pregnant with twins, triplets or more can be a daunting experience. So to help you get prepared and receive lots of help and advice, we spoke to Keith Reed, the Chief Executive of Tamba - which stands for Twins And Multiple Births Association - to find out what support is on offer for parents of multiples, why the association was set up and how Tamba works.
If you're pregnant with twins, find out everything you need to know about the pregnancy tests and scans you'll need, and check out what your pregnancy diet needs to include when you're a multiple mum-to-be.
If you're worried about giving birth to twins, our guide to twin labour and birth can help. And get prepared for your twins' arrival with our shopping checklists for twins and advice of feeding twin babies.
"It was set up by and for parents of twins, triplets and more, over 30 years ago," explains Keith Reed. "Leaders of local twins clubs decided that they needed a national organising body to help them co-ordinate their efforts and give them a much louder voice. They also wanted a one-stop shop where parents and professionals could go for information and support."
"We are a charity run by our members for the benefit of all multiple birth families in the UK. We have an elected board of trustees, mostly comprised of multiple birth families, who take the overall decisions on what we do," says Keith. "So, for example, they have decided in the coming years we will concentrate on campaigning in Parliament to try and improve the financial support available to our members and will raise our profile in the media."
Keith adds, "We are also looking at expanding the number of courses we run for our new and expectant parents."
We asked Keith what Tamba can offer you as a twin mum or dad. He says, "There are a whole range of membership benefits listed on our website but paying as little a £1 month by direct debit would enable a member to access and download over £100 worth of multiple birth specific DVDs and guides, receive quarterly copies of our unique Multiple Matters magazine and use discounts with over 100 companies to save money, plus much more."
So where does that money go? Rest assured, it's to a good cause. "Every penny raised goes towards providing support or carrying out research or campaigning on behalf of our families," explains Keith.
"We offer every expectant parent in the UK a chance to order a hard copy of one of our healthy multiple pregnancy, twin to twin transfusion syndrome or neonatal care guides for free. Or they could book one of our unique antenatal classes or practical preparing for parenthood classes," Keith says.
But there's a lot more that Tamba can offer a twin mum (or dad). "We have a freephone helpline, called Twinline (0800 138 0509), open every day of the year, which can provide information and support on a whole range of subjects for parents with children of all ages," says Keith. "We also help provide them with a network of other mums who share similar experiences either online or via their local group."
One of the burning questions MFM had for Keith was just how many Tamba staff were multiple parents! Keith reveals, "Over three quaters of the staff have twins or triplets.
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