Led by Dr Bryan, the MBF became renowned as an international authority on multiple births through lectures, conferences, courses, study days and a range of publications for parents and professionals. Jane Denton CBE worked with Dr Bryan at the MBF as Nursing Director from 1993 and became Director in 1998. Among its many achievements during the 35 years since its inception, the charity has run specialist clinics, contributed to the publication of national guidance for multiple pregnancies, played a key role in developing and implementing the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority policy to reduce the numbers of multiple births resulting from treatment for infertility in order to minimise the high risks of mortality and disability, and given individual advice to thousands of families and those who care for them professionally.
The MBF’s ambition has always been to embed its direct support for families into all UK maternity and community health services and extend its education programme with accredited modules for professional development. To achieve this goal, the MBF has since 2017 collaborated with Birmingham City University (BCU) to establish the Elizabeth Bryan Multiple Births Centre (EBMBC). This exciting development allows us to share our own expertise and experience whilst capitalising on the university’s teaching and research programmes. In order for the Centre to become an internationally renowned centre of excellence, the MBF is working with the EBMBC to build an expert team and develop the three work streams: education, research and practice. To this end we are delighted that a jointly funded Bryan Associate Professor of Multiple Births has been appointed by BCU: Elizabeth Bailey, who is responsible for leading the organisation into an exciting future.
Zygosity determination means finding out whether twins, triplets or more are genetically identical (monozygotic - arising from one egg and one sperm) or non-identical (dizygotic/fraternal - from two separate fertilised eggs). This process is known as zygosity determination.
The MBF works with NorthGene, a company offering DNA services with accredited UK based laboratories that offers a zygosity testing service to find out whether multiples are identical. For further details of this service please contact the MBF at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no free state help routinely available for twin families. Families who are expecting a higher order multiple birth should contact their health visitor in the antenatal period, for information about local social services provision and voluntary bodies.
The Twins Trust - twinstrust.org provide a range of resources and your local twins club may also be a source of advice, support and second hand items. Visit twinsonline.org.uk or twinsclub.co.uk to find the nearest twins club to you.
You may also want to speak to the charities Homestart, Turn2us or your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Homestart have volunteers who can provide practical support and Turn2us are able to advise on financial support.
For families expecting a multiple birth outside the UK you may be able to find a multiple births charity in your country through the International Council of Multiple Births (ICOMBO).