The Maternity Unit in Mayo University Hospital (MUH) has developed a special antenatal programme for expectant parents of twins to help prepare them for the unique journey ahead.
There are currently 12 families expecting twins using the maternity service in MUH. The antenatal education team are keen to inform and empower these parents by providing both practical support and clinical advice.
A twins class was recently held in the hospital which proved a huge success; participants met with MUH Midwives, a Neonatologist and Consultant Obstetrician. They also heard from Westport mum Stephanie Horan with her two-year-old toddlers Caolan and Rían, who gave an invaluable insight into life with twins.
Jennifer Moynihan, Clinical Midwife Manager in the Antenatal Education Department said; “There are a few different strands to this programme; during the twins class we focus on preparing for birth and birth planning but as a Midwife a big part of my role is to help women stay healthy and well during pregnancy. In MUH we have a range services and supports available including perinatal mental health services, counselling, women’s health physiotherapy and information on social protection entitlements and it is important that parents know where to go for support should they need it.”
Early delivery of twins is quite common and the twins antenatal class included a session with Dr David Staunton, Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist in MUH who discussed the reasons why twins may be delivered before their due date. Sometimes newborn twins may need admission to the neonatal unit and Dr Staunton discussed the reasons for this, he reassured parents that mother and her babies will be kept together where possible. He also offered advice on infant feeding methods and how to support breastfeeding mothers of twins.
The class was joined Dr Anca Trulea, Consultant Obstetrician in MUH who spoke to parents about the different birth experiences that may occur with a twin delivery and how parents can prepare for the birth of the their special arrivals.
Stephanie Horan shared her first-hand knowledge as a mother of twins. The Mayo woman has created a “survival guide” for the class participants which featured practical tips and tricks on caring for newborn twins and beyond.
The next twins class in MUH will take place over the coming months and any expectant parents of twins are encouraged to contact the Maternity Department with any questions or to register for the next class.