Local Mum's tough task raising triplets
HAVING triplets is a tough task in this day and age, but Gympie local Violet Brown faced a different ordeal altogether when she gave birth to three of her five children over 40 years ago.
As the Australian Multiple Birth Association announced 'Strength in Numbers' as the theme of this year's Multiple Birth Awareness Week, Ms Brown recalled feeling overwhelmed when she was told she'd be welcoming three new babies alongside two elder siblings.
"It was a very difficult time," she said.
"There were no scans back then, I had to wait until eight months into the pregnancy before I knew I'd be having triplets.
"I didn't know how I was going to deal with having five children under the age of three.
"When the doctor told me, I just sat on the floor and cried."
AMBA chairperson Ashlee Ternberge said in a media release that the 2018 theme "represents what the group is all about."
"It's about giving families with twins, triplets or more, strength by providing information and support," the statement said.
"It's about connecting these families with a community of over 5000 other families of multiples so that they know they are not alone."
For Ms Brown, adding to her first two kids with daughter Debra and identical twin sons Bryan and Graham was a daily struggle.
"I was from Melbourne, so I didn't have any family where we were living and they couldn't help me get through it," she said.
"Our neighbour came around to help me take care of the kids and do the housework for two hours every weekday.
"I wouldn't have slept if she didn't."
Statistics found by the AMBA in 2015 outlined the physical health concerns related to multiple births in addition to the psychological strain they place on expecting families.
According to the statistics, 80 per cent of triplets are born prematurely, while 95 per cent have a low birth weight.
Ms Brown said her advice for multiple birth parents revolved around "taking every day as it comes" to avoid feeling overwhelmed before and after the pregnancy.
"Every day is a brand new day," she said.
"There are so many more support networks and communities out there these days, and they do a marvellous job of helping people through."
For more on the Australian Multiple Birth Association, visit www.amba.org.au