TAMBA Ante Natal classes

By Annie Fitzgerald

Even coming from a family with a large number of twins it’s always a little daunting when you are first told that you are expecting two babies instead of the usual one and life is going to be a little more complicated than you first bargained for.

So rather than booking on the local NCT course which is aimed at singleton pregnancy and birth I decided to opt for the TAMBA ante-natal class in Chiswick.

You are made to feel welcome as soon as you arrive with group sizes kept deliberately small with a maximum number of seven couples so you can get to know each other and this also means there will be plenty of time for your own questions.

There are a number of topics that are covered but the course is very relaxed so the couples set the agenda at the start of the day. Trained midwives or trained ante-natal teachers run the course and it is also nice that they are available by phone or email to help with any questions leading up to the birth and afterwards as well.

The course shows you how different it is to have twins in an environment manly set up for single births. It really prepares you for what could happen covering a wide range of situations you might find yourself in so you will be better equipped to cope with the unexpected if you are faced with it.

You learn about all the different positions twins get themselves into during pregnancy, the options available for the birth and what to expect if the twins do have to go into special care.

One helpful piece of information is that they gave us a hand-out of the NHS guidelines for twin pregnancy and birth. Different hospitals do things differently, but armed with this information you know exactly what the NHS state they should provide for your care.

Some simple things really stood out for me, such as handing out dolls the size of premature twins and putting nappies on them so you are prepared for how tiny they might be.

They also have parents of twins along with their children and a really good idea was the way they split the group up with the ladies going with the mother and the men with the father so you can discuss the emotional as well as the physical impact of having twins. Of course you have a really good chat with the whole group as well, where they share their experiences and you can really pick their brains for those hints and tips that can only really come with experience.

The only negative to the course is that it’s only one day so you don’t really get to know the other couples that well, which has meant I haven’t kept in contact with anyone, but saying that I am sure that my husband and I made the right choice attending an ante-natal class run by a charity who are experts in parenting multiples.