Multiple births hit the headlines!

Tales of twins are on the increase, prompting suggested changes in IVF guidelines

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Baby love is booming on the maternity wards, as news of multiple births are seemingly on the increase. 

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New mother, Sarah Chiad, has created her very own hefty-sized baby boom, by giving birth to what is said to be one of Britain’s heaviest ever set of twins. 

The five-week-old pair, Hannah and Thomas, weighed in at a thumping combined weight of 18lbs at birth. Mother Sarah, whose bump expanded to 57 inches, told The Times: “I knew they were going to be big but I didn’t expect this.”

The UK’s heaviest mixed-sex twins on record, were born in 2007, weighing in at 18lbs 12oz – so not too far off Hannah and Thomas!

In other double joy news, mum-of-one, Natalie Foxcroft, has discovered she is still pregnant with a rare form of twins, soon after she was told she had lost her baby.

Natalie had already suffered four miscarriages and two ectopic pregnancies. After medical staff could not find her baby on a scan, she had feared the worst. happily, a scan a week later has revealed that she is not only still pregnant, but that she is carrying two babies! 

“We were over the moon,” Natalie told The Mirror, “It was like getting two for the price of one.”

The rare condition is that the twins are sharing a placenta, but have two umbilical cords. 

In stark contrast to these heart-warming tales of twin joy, treatments watchdog, The National Institue for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), have advised that no more than one embryo should be implanted during IVF in order to reduce the amount of potential multiple births. 

The reasoning is to avoid the risks that come with multiple pregnancies. Tim Child, consultant gynaecologist and director of the Oxford Fertility Unit, wants the number reduced and told The Times: “Most (twins) are delivered earlier and smaller, and these are the two main risks to children.” 

On the other side of the argument, Keith Reed of the Twins and Multiple Births Association also spoke to The Times: “This is a sad day for patient choice. Previously a desperate family may have made an informed decision to have twins rather than go through lots of rounds of fertility treatment but these guidelines remove this option.” 

This is not the first time the issue has been raised, with fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, proposing similar guidelines in 2007.

What do you think? Let us know your opinions about multiple births below. Having twins? Why not join in our forum conversation with other expectant mums!

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