Finding out you are having twins or more can come as a shock but there are resources available that can offer support, advice and information.

In Dorset, each maternity service has midwives and doctors who will be able to answer all your questions about having a multiple pregnancy and birth, and you will be under consultant-led care during your pregnancy. You will have more scans to check that your babies are developing normally, and care will be planned with your local consultant and midwifery team according to your individual needs.

The number of scans you have will depend on how many babies you are having, whether they share a placenta, whether they are growing normally and other factors. You will be carefully monitored for conditions that are more likely in a multiple pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia.

Some hormone levels are much higher during multiple pregnancies, which can mean that you experience some symptoms earlier or more strongly. Speak to your midwife or general practitioner (GP) if you are struggling.

If you are having more than one baby, your consultant will recommend options for your birth which may involve an earlier induction, an epidural during delivery and other factors. You will be advised to have your twins in a consultant-led unit (i.e. Poole or Dorchester). It is usually possible to have a vaginal birth with twins, but this depends on various factors, especially how your babies are lying inside the womb. This will be discussed with you as your pregnancy progresses.

The Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) provides a huge amount of information and support to parents of multiples, from pregnancy onwards. They run courses on various subjects relating to multiples, in person and online, and they have support phone lines if you’re struggling.

Getting support from other parents or twins or multiples is invaluable, as they really understand what you are going through. There is an active multiples club in the Bournemouth and Poole area who run groups, special antenatal events, equipment hire via the Bournemouth and District Twin Club Facebook group.