IJBPE - Vol 7 Issue 3


Parenting education is an opportunity for providing long-term support
Mary Nolan, Editor, discusses the importance of peer group support for all parents of new babies.

Small charities can achieve major improvements in care for families
Keith Reed, CEO, Twins Trust


The importance of zygosity knowledge for twins, parents and professionals
Zygosity refers to the degree of genetic similarity within each pair of twins. Monozygotic (identical) twins have the same genetic sequence, whereas dizygotic twins differ genetically as much as any pair of siblings. Accurate knowledge of zygosity is important for a range of reasons; yet incorrect information on whether twins are monozygotic or dizygotic is still given to twins and their parents.  This article focuses on why zygosity testing is so important medically, socially, financially and ethically.

The BeCOME Survey:
Examining the state of antenatal and neonatal care for twins, triplets and more across the UK

The BeCOME survey (Twins Trust, 2020) was conducted by Twins Trust to provide a picture of care across the UK for twin and triplet pregnancies. Previous studies and engagement with maternity units have indicated that care for multiple pregnancies is inconsistent. In 2016, the Twins Trust Maternity Engagement quality improvement programme was set up to support hospitals to increase their adherence to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, 2019a) quality standard for twin and triplet pregnancies. Initial findings from this programme have been promising, linking increased NICE adherence to improved pregnancy outcomes. By assessing the level of NICE adherence at a national and local maternity system level, the charity is able to identify where changes may need to be made, in line with the Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle Version Two (NHS England, 2019). The BeCOME survey has also identified other areas of need in relation to transition to neonatal care, postnatal care and feeding support.

Improving health outcomes for twins, multiples and their families: The growth in scientific research and community-based initiatives
Twin research has contributed to many breakthroughs in critical scientific knowledge across a range of major health issues impacting society as a whole. The substantial research contribution from twins and their families has recently been met with increasing awareness of the unique health and wellbeing challenges they may face. This awareness has led to growing momentum in research and community-based initiatives to find ways to address these challenges.  In this article, we briefly summarise existing research and literature gaps, and present Australian and global initiatives to improve the quality of evidence and identify future research areas that should be prioritised.

Helping parents understand and navigate the twin bond
All too often, children of multiple births are thought of as a singular unit.  They’re known as ‘the twins’ rather than two separate people.  Encouraging individuality when raising twins requires a discriminating appreciation for each twin’s emotional needs.  This article outlines the essential principles that help cultivate a heathy twinship and a harmonious parent-child relationship while still nurturing the unique sibling bond.

Bedsharing and Breastfeeding: The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol #6, Revision 2019
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine is a worldwide organisation of medical doctors dedicated to the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding. It has recently published a revision of its Protocol #6: ‘Bedsharing and Breastfeeding’ (Blair et al., 2019), which contains important information for all health professionals and voluntary and community sector workers with responsibility for families during the critical 1000 days.

Breastfeeding twins
When a parent finds out they are expecting a multiple birth, this can cause a wide variety of emotions - shock, love, excitement, worry, and even panic. One of the biggest concerns for many parents is whether they will be able to breastfeed their babies. The good news is that it is very possible to breastfeed twins or even triplets. There are some difficulties to negotiate, but with expert breastfeeding support these can be overcome.

Sleep patterns of twins
This article is based on material to be found on the Basis Sleep Info Source ( and is reprinted courtesy of Professor Helen Ball, Director of Durham University Parent-Infant Sleep Lab, UK.

Focus on Voluntary and Community Sector

Sally's Column
The question we are disappointed to ask
Sally Hogg, Head of Policy and Campaigning at the Parent-Infant Foundation

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