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Twins and triplets multiply the fun

PHOTOS: Multiple Births Awareness Week

FAMILIES were seeing double and in some cases triple at Rose’s Vineyard on Sundayto kick off Multiple Birth Awareness Week.

Midcoast Multiples is only in its third year, but it’s already attracted more than 70 families from the Hastings and Macleay valleys.

The junior members range in age from just a few weeks of age to 16 years, while one member has two sets of twins under 10.

The animal enclosures were the places to be yesterday as twins and triplets of different species rubbed hands and hooves.

Organiser Madeline Rex said amid the hubbub that such social occasions were just one aspect of what the young group does.

“Understanding is the unique thing [here],” she said.

“It’s such an overwhelming experience to have multiple newborns at home.

“And just to have someone who has been there before, who gets it, who can be a shoulder to cry on is great.”

Organiser Grace Walker said the growing community looks after one another, especially during tough times.

“We’re the kind of people who turn up at each other’s houses with food, with nappies, we’re always sharing,” she said.

The Australian Multiple Birth Association wants mental health and parents’ coping skills to be leading conversations this week.

Spokeswoman Ali Mountifield pointed to research showing mothers of multiples’ risk of developing depression is nearly double that of other mums.

“Many people don’t know about the mental health benefits of joining a support group – it can be a great place to access your community, find services and practical tips or resources and social events.”

Midcoast Multiples fulfilled all these roles and more yesterday, with organiser Justine Trembath extolling the virtues of mentors in the group.

“It’s good to have older twins around because they’ve been through it, and it’s always good to get advice,” Mrs Trembath said.

Despite the bar being raised yesterday – it’s difficult to conceive anything cuter than triplet toddlers offering handfuls of feed to hungry twin lambs – the group will continue to attract big numbers into the future.

And that’s because they are supportive and keep it simple.

“We can meet anywhere with wine and coffee,” Ms Walker laughed as her twin daughters hurried past twin calves.

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