Pregnancy, childbirth and life with a baby can be a huge life adjustment. When you are expecting multiples everything is — you guessed it — multiplied! This week we would like to shed light on many resources available right here in the city of Toronto, as well as some essential items and tips for managing life with multiples!
One of the best resources parents expecting multiples can harness is the Toronto Parents of Multiple Births Association (or TPOMBA for short.) TPOMBA is a volunteer organization that offers membership to parents of multiples and services that help connect families with multiples together. Monthly POM (parents of multiples) meetings are held in various neighbourhoods around the city, with groups consisting of one or more volunteer group leaders that are experienced parents of multiples. These meetings allow parents to socialize and exchange ideas and information, while providing a supportive environment. Non-members can also attend the POM meetings as guests.
There are also support lines through phone and e-mail that offer information and advice on everything from breastfeeding multiples to single parenting to prematurity. TPOMBA also has a list of local businesses that offer exclusive discounts to members. Members will also receive the “Bulletwin” magazine for free, 6 times annually. The Bulletwin includes stories, articles, tips, and information on events, and also accepts contributions — keeping families of multiples connected to one another.
A one year membership to TPOMBA costs $42.00 and can be bundled with up to 2 members total. A two-year membership is $72.00 and also includes up to 2 members. Visit the TPOMBA registration page to fill out the registration form online and become a member, or print this form, complete it and mail it with your payment. TPOMBA is located at 1920 Ellesmere Road (at Ellesmere Rd & Bellamy Rd North) in Suite #356. You can reach them through phone at 416-760-3944, which is their automated voicemail service, or e-mail them at email@example.com for all general inquiries. For any other information visit their website here.
Another valuable resource is the Multiple Pregnancy Care centre at Sunnybrook Hospital. They are Canada’s first specialized multiples clinic and offer frequent, intensive and specialized care to women who are expecting more than one child. The more babies one is expecting, the more risks, so quality healthcare is imperative in parents expecting multiples. The Multiple Pregnancy Care centre is located in the M-Wing, on the 5th floor of the 2075 Bayview Avenue Sunnybrook campus. For more info call the Multiple Pregnancy Care centre at 416-480-5100 or check out their website here.
If you do not live in the Greater Toronto Area, there are still resources available for you. Multiple Births Canada is a great organization, similar to TPOMBA but on a national level. They have several local chapters throughout the country. To see if there is a local chapter near you, check out their chapters page or join MBC directly and receive online support and information if there is not a chapter in your area. Their website offers many resources from information on different events happening in different neighbourhoods, to helpful articles. For more information on the services available through Multiple Births Canada, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-866-228-8824 toll-free from anywhere in Canada.
Tips, Tricks & Essentials
In addition to all these amazing resources, we would like to offer some tips and essentials for life with multiples! More babies come with more stuff, and if you are in a small space, it can be imperative to make sure that none of it is wasted.
“Collapsible” is a magic word when preparing for multiple babies moving into a small space. Collapsible storage units, collapsible rockers & swings, and even collapsible high chairs are available to make the most of small spaces.
It’s great to have play gyms and rockers in your house to entertain the little ones. You only have one pair of hands, and sometimes being able to put one content child in a bouncy chair to soothe and occupy themselves while you tend to another fussing child can be a lifesaver. Check out the Kaloo zen playmat, which includes soft materials and colours with many stimulating features for your little one to entertain themselves with.
However, keep in mind that you don’t need as many products as you have babies. For bigger items like play gyms and rockers, rotate the children around these items as needed — they can switch off and this is a great opportunity to expose them to the idea of sharing very early. This will save money and space, which are both precious commodities in multiples homes.
Other things that we think are great essentials for multiples include:
Wee Urban Owl Bibsie (onesie + reversible bib)
OMBaby One Piece Pajama (with interchangeable footed option)
Boon Lawn drying rack (save space in the kitchen and get bottles dried quickly)
aden + anais “slumber” sleep-sack (great summer weight fabric)
perlimpinpin cotton sleep-sack (another summer weight option)
WeeUrban Wee Dreams Sleep-Sack (3 snap open & close system for quick diaper changes)
aden + anais “dribble” burpy bib (functions as a bib and a burp cloth)
OxoTot Roll-Up Bib (great for feeding on-the-go)
Although having multiples comes with double the challenges, it also comes with double the excitement! We hope that we have been able to lend a helping hand in this hectic and exciting time as you prepare to bring your bundles of joy into the world.