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Saving lives, supporting families

Jemma's Health Visitor Story 

3rd July 2018

Since 2014 Tamba has been running its unique Helping Hands crisis service for families of multiples who are facing incredibly tough times.

During Twins’ Triplets and More Week, we chat with Tamba advocate Jemma who is a health visitor that has referred families to our service.

How did you hear about Tamba’s helping hands service?

I discovered Tamba’s Helping Hands service via a twin Mum.

Why did you refer to Helping Hands?

I have referred a couple of families to the Helping Hands service, who were experiencing mental health issues. We had already provided significant support to the families but we felt that they needed specialist support and we had exhausted all other avenues of support.

What difference did Helping Hands make to the families?

It made a huge difference to the families. As I’ve mentioned, we had exhausted all other avenues of support for these families so being able to offer some further help to these parents via Tamba was amazing. The Helping Hands support practitioner left the families feeling confident and empowered. It’s fantastic that there’s a service that is specifically tailored to the needs of these unique families.

Would you recommend the service to other families?

Absolutely! I tell all of my families with twins, triplets or more about Tamba and in particular the telephone helpline Twinline. I also let my colleagues know about the Helping Hands service too for any multiple birth families that find themselves in a crisis.

What additional challenges do you think parents of multiples face?

Generally, I tend to find that first time parents need the most support - after all having a baby for the first time is full of lots of unknowns and can sometimes be quite daunting. Parents of multiples particularly can find it a little bit trickier to find a routine that works for them as they have more than one baby to consider. They may also find that they only get a small amount of respite from caring for the children especially if they don’t have a local support network – night times can be a particularly difficult time when you are feeding two or more babies.

Families with twins, triplets or more that have mental health considerations quite often find that their mental health issues are exacerbated when there is more than one baby and will require additional support.

In today’s world, social media also plays a big part in how parents cope with family life. Parents see photos online of their friend’s families and set themselves unrealistic expectations of how family life should be.

What support can health visitors offer our families?

In the very early days of parenthood, the health visitors will carry out an emotional and environmental assessment on how the family are coping.

We can then put in place different support initiatives that are tailored to the needs of the family. For families with twins, triplets or more it tends to be helping with stripping back routines, providing additional weight reviews as sometimes parents may struggle to get out of the house to weigh in clinics and providing additional visits to the family. In some circumstances, we may source a nursery nurse to help the family on a short-term basis. In addition, we are also able to provide counselling in the home.

The support families receive depends on the funding available for your local health visiting team. Check with your local team to see what support that they can provide. If they aren’t able to provide some of the support I have mentioned, they will be able to signpost families to other sources of support (Charities etc)

If you think you, or someone you know, may benefit from our Helping Hands service you can find out more about the support available here.

Related blogs

Helping Hands wins Nursery World Award

Tamba celebrates Twins, Triplets and More Week

Health Visitor Week 2016




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