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Mary Ashton has been working as a maternity nurse for over 10 years with a background in childcare before that. While working as a nanny Mary had an interest in helping families with multiples and looked after 5 sets of twins and a set of triplets while supporting her local twins & multiples club. Mary, to date, has cared for over 30 sets of multiple birth children in a professional capacity and many more through volunteering. She is the resident Maternity Nurse for online blog, My Baba.

We are delighted to welcome Mary  as a Guest Speaker on our OCN Care of Multiples and Premature Babies course. Mary will join paediatric osteopath Zoe Mundell to lead the course, which is ideal for Maternity Nurses, Nannies and Professionals who work with preterm and multiple babies. Mary will be providing practical guidance on how to move preterm babies forward and how to care for multiples.

00:00 How did you get into working with multiple babies?

I was working as a nanny and my local agency rang me and asked if I thought I could help a new first time mother with her twins, two weeks old, who was struggling with the babies. 

00:10 What do you believe is the most challenging part of working with multiple or premature babies?

The most challenging part of working with multiples and premature babies depends on the individual family but I believe these are some of the most common challenges. 

Often with multiple births the babies can have additional needs and need medications, these can be different for each baby.  Also multiple birth babies can often have vastly different temperaments and finding a routine that fits both can be a struggle.  Finally, helping the parents to adjust not only to what has happened to their babies in hospital but learning to cope with them when they are at home.

00:25 What is something you wish you knew before starting your career as a maternity nurse working primarily with multiple babies?

Every family is different and even if you have looked after babies with the same condition before e.g. reflux it will be a completely different experience in another family.

00:35 What is the best piece of advice you can give to someone who is going to be working with multiple or premature babies?

Don’t be afraid to say if you don’t know the answer to a questions, and you need to research the answer nobody knows everything.  The parents will appreciate your honesty and that you are doing your best for them.

00:45 What would you say to an expecting mum of multiple babies?

Don’t panic! It will be hard and there will be tears but there will also be lots of laughter, you are incredibly lucky – try and enjoy as much of the journey as possible!

01:00 What do you hope candidates will take away from this course?

  • Practical knowledge about how to safely handle more than one baby. 
  • Know how to help when babies have difficulty feeding
  • how to co-bed more than one baby and deal with additional needs they may have.