It was multiples-madness at the Smyles Play Centre recently as the Cayman Multiples Support Group hosted its second meeting for parents of multiples and their children.
Attendance at the meeting grew dramatically with the addition of several new families of all ages, including another expectant mother.
While the children played, the parents swapped stories, tips and general advice about life with multiples and coping with the added strains of managing more than one child at a time.
‘It is so great to see so many parents getting together and sharing what works for them,’ group organizer Shelley Do Vale said in a press release.
Referring to the two mothers-to-be, she added, ‘It is particularly helpful for new mothers, as the prospect of raising twins can be quite daunting and it really helps to talk with others who have raised, or are raising multiples.’
Both expectant mothers have due dates within days of each other at the end of April, however, frequently twins, triplets or other multiple pregnancies result in earlier births.
‘Multiple pregnancies put a lot more strain on the mother’s bodies,’ noted Mrs. Do Vale. ‘Not only are there two or more babies in the same space normally accommodating one, but the added effects of the babies themselves often lead to complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
‘Multiple pregnancies are characterized as high risk from the start,’ said Mrs. Do Vale, ‘and as such, can be fairly scary for parents to handle. Talking with other parents has been very helpful for all members.’
Complications and risks aside, members of the Cayman Multiples Group unanimously agree that the joys of raising multiples is a rewarding experience.
‘It may be more work, but it is also double, triple or more smiles, hugs and laughter,’ said Mrs. Do Vale.
Currently, all twins in the group are fraternal, meaning two separate eggs were fertilized. Identical twins result from a single egg splitting in two. Identical twins are almost always the same sex, and share more similarities than fraternal twins who can look and act very differently.
Local businesses have begun supporting the Cayman Multiples Group through offering discounts to parents of twins. Smyles now offers parents discounted multiple birthday parties.
Popular toy store Noah’s Ark, located in Pasadora Place, offers parents 10 per cent off any twin or multiples purchase.
‘We are delighted to support the Cayman Multiples group’s membership,’ said store owner Paul Blount, adding, ‘The original Ark was full of twins!’
The group will be holding its next meeting at Smyles on Sunday, 4 March at 3.30pm. For more information on membership, contact Shelly at 916-4281, or by e-mail at [email protected].