More advice needed for women pregnant with twins or triplets

The NHS has been told to improve its care of women having multiple births

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The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellance (NICE) has told the NHS that improvements are needed in order to reduce the significant risk involved for women pregnant with twins or triplets.

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NICE recently issued its first guidelines on how health professionals should be caring for women having multiple births after it found wide variations in the quality of care provided by the NHS, reports The Guardian.

“We know there is a real clinical need for this guideline because NHS antenatal care for women expecting twins or triplets appears to vary considerably across England and Wales,” said Dr Fergus Macbeth, director of the centre for clinical practice at NICE.

“For example, not all women with multiple pregnancies are cared for in dedicated settings such as ‘twin clinics’ or by multidisiplinary teams of healthcare professionals. This can lead to higher than necessary rates of assisted birth and caesarean sections and also means that women are not appropriately assessed for possible risks during pregnancy,” added Dr Fergus, reports the BBC.

The new guidance says that mums-to-be expecting twins or triplets should be scanned at least six, if not 11, times throughout their pregnancy.

“Although much of the care at present is very good, there are many inconsistences and often poor co-ordination between healthcare professionals if mothers are referred to other hospitals,” explained Jane Denton, director of the Multiple Births Foundation.

“These recommendations address all of these concerns and will give mothers confidence that they are receiving the highest standard of care, appropriate to their individual needs,” added Jane.

Around 11,000 women give birth to twins, triplets or more every year in England and Wales.

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