Support group help in multiple ways

GIVING birth to quads, triplets or even twins is a foreign concept for most parents.

But for those who do get to experience the trials and tribulations involved with multiple births, help is on the way in the form of a new support group to be launched this week.

Local mums Leanne Coleman and Corinne Toovey have started the "Murwillumbah Multiples" group to provide support and guidance for parents of multiples who live in the Tweed region.

Murwillumbah resident Ms Coleman said there were a number of support groups for families of multiples on the Gold Coast, but it was difficult for people in the southern part of the Tweed shire to travel that far.

"We are a little group from around the Tweed Valley and we just found it was really hard to get up to Nerang, where they have coffee meetings for parents of multiples," Ms Coleman said.

"Corinne is from Crabbes Creek and we've got other parents from around the Brunswick area, where they've got nothing (in the way of support)."

The first monthly meeting of the support group will take place this Friday from 9.30am to 11.30am at Tumbletown at Eveleigh Street in Murwillumbah.

"We are going to have monthly coffee meetings and playgroups that are open to parents with multiples of any age, expectant parents, friends, family members and carers of multiples -- anyone who is interested in learning from each other," Ms Coleman said.

"People can come with their singletons or they can come child-free. We've even got one dad coming along so we wamt people to know it is not just a mother's club." The support group will also cater for those who have lost children of multiple births, something Ms Coleman has experienced first-hand. Her daughter Nara, aged 23 months, is a surviving twin.

"We would also like to invite people that have had bereavement in a multiple birth and invite them to be part of the multiple experience as well," she said.

Ms Coleman said the group would have resources available for expectant parents, in the form of books and DVDs.

"When you do give birth to multiple children, you don't really know what to expect," Ms Coleman said.

"This really couldn't have happened without the support of Murwillumbah Communities for Children, they have provided us with so much support so we can't thank them enough.

"I know mums with quads and how they manage, I just don't know," she laughed.



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