For even the most prepared of mums, being pregnant with and delivering multiples can sometimes be a stressful or at times traumatic experience and the fun only continues when you get them all home! Be kind to yourself. Ask for help when you need it, and reach out whenever and wherever you can. You’re likely to find the early days a blur of feeding, changing, soothing which coulpled with a lack of sleep can lead to one tired, stressed or overwhelmed mummy. Add prematurity or illness to the mix, and it’ll be no surprise if you don’t feel like yourself for quite some time after your babies arrive.
Founded in Dubai by Joanne Hanson-Halliwell following the premature birth of her son, Small and Mighty Babies (smallandmightybabies.com) supports parents with babies born prematurely throughout the UAE and beyond. Run together with twin mummy, Lala Langtry White, the group provides an invaluable platform of mum to mum support for those anticipating premature delivery, with babies in NICU and for as long as they need or want it thereafter as well as excellent relationships with the NICUS of the region. Lala is also a birth preparation teacher with specific classes for expectant multiple mummies, a trained and experienced birth and postnatal doula and lactation peer counsellor. Small and Mighty hold regular meet-ups and have an active private Facebook group where you can get in touch with other parents in similar situations for advice, support and even just a sympathetic ear. They represent every outcome of prematurity including those with babies born too sick or too soon to come home and provide memory boxes in which to capture precious memories to cherish always.
The UK also has Tommy’s and BLISS, the premature baby charities, where you can find a wealth of information and advice on all topics relating to prematurity, as well as a thriving message board where parents who are walking in similar shoes give each other support.
If you’re finding things emotionally overwhleming and are concerned you might have post-natal depression, the Dubai-based peer support group Out Of The Blues offers non-medical support including meet-ups, an active but completely private Facebook group and stacks of info on treatment options, including counselling and talking therapy.