The numbers twins born in Irish maternity units varied from 13 sets in one unit to 356 in another. Triplets born varied from one set in one unit to three sets in another. There were no larger multiple births reported in 2009
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Only half of the units answered this question. Four of those units have a specialised clinic or a team of medical professionals to care for women having twins or other multiples.
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Five maternity units have antenatal courses specifically designed for parents expecting twins or more. Partners are welcome in all of these courses. The number of parents varies from 5 to 20. The courses vary in length from one class per course to 3 classes per course. The classes are on average 2 hours long. None of the units charge for these courses.
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100% of units stated they provide extra support for parents of twins or more.
This form of support seems to vary from the provision of leaflets to contact with the relevant associations, to extra support with feeding to total holistic care given to all parents by a multidisciplinary team.
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The lowest rate of vaginal births for twins that we were given was 23.9% and the highest rate was 80.6% so there’s quite a difference! The table below gives the figures and where possible the breakdown for those mothers giving birth for the first time and those who have given birth before.