The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has welcomed new NICE guidelines designed to improve antenatal care for women pregnant with twins and triplets.

Recommendations included in the guidelines include ensuring mothers-to-be are referred to specialist teams and receive a minimum of six scans during the pregnancy. Currently there are no clear and consistent guidelines on dealing with multiple births, meaning care standards differ greatly throughout the country.

Jane Munro, the RCM's quality and development advisor, said: "We welcome the publication of this important guideline and are pleased to see the recommendation that clinical care for women with twin and triplet pregnancies should be provided by a specialist multidisciplinary team.

"We know that women will value access to the appropriate information and emotional support unique to multiple pregnancies at their first meeting with a midwife and the maternity services. The guidance's focus on coordinating clinical care will allow the minimum number of hospital visits and care as close to a woman's home, as possible."

The guidance also includes information about the risks associated with aborting one of the unborn twins or triplets, should they be born disabled. The guidelines state that one or two of the foetuses could be dangerous and may lead to emotional problems in both the mother and the remaining sibling.

NICE has also called for more psychological support to be given to women expecting multiple births.

 Posted by Robert Mair
 Twins and triplets