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PE01683: Support for families with multiple births


Petitioner: Jennifer Edmonstone


Date Lodged: 01 March 2018

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to provide better support for multiple birth families, including both financial and non-financial support.

Petition History:


15 March 2018: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, UK Government, TAMBA in Scotland, Home-start in Scotland, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of Midwives, Multiple Births Foundation, Child Poverty Action Group, COSLA, Bliss and the Donor Milk Bank service. Link to Official Report 15 March 2018

28 June 2018: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for Childcare and Early Years and the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security. It also agreed to seek the views of the Scottish Government on social security and funding aspects of submissions. Link to Official Report 28 June 2018

6 December 2018: The Committee agreed to write to the UK Government and the Scottish Government, to seek further information around better support and changes in benefits and implications for HMRC in relation to families with multiple births. Link to Official Report 6 December 2018

Written Submissions:

Do you agree with the proposal in the petition?

What are your thoughts on how child benefit is calculated in relation to multiple birth children?

Are there any particular aspects of support that you would like to see improved?

My twin grandsons were both 8 weeks early. My daughters and her partners maternity leave started on the day they were born.By the time the boys came out of special care there was hardly anytime left. They were left with a huge financial burden ..Even the cost of baby items was expensive. ie Their twin buggy was £1400 alone.

Audrey McLay

16:51 on 28 Feb 2018

Being a mother of twins I strongly feel double statutory maternity leave should be offered in comparison to a single birth in terms of time and money.


22:02 on 27 Feb 2018

As a Mum of twins born at 29 weeks, I understand all two well the struggles, emotionally and financially of having twins. My company maternity pay had ended whilst my children were still in hospital and lost out on 2 months of maternity leave whilst they were cared for in neonatal.


21:48 on 27 Feb 2018

Whilst I was fortunate enough that my twins were born at 37 weeks and therefore did not require additional medical assistance there are a high number of multiple births where the babies are born prematurely and long hospital stays are needed. As a result a great deal of maternity leave can be spent in hospital. In addition, paternity leave often needs to be taken from the date the babies are born therefore partners are back at work before the babies are home. Personally, I had to start my maternity leave earlier than I did with my first singleton baby, as I was physically exhausted and uncomfortable. This meant that my maternity pay started earlier than I had initially thought. I think its also important to address the financial implications of having multiple births. The maternity pay, benefits on offer are no different to those having single births and whilst I intend to return to work there is no discounts or additional support on offer in regards to childcare and nursery placements.


21:27 on 27 Feb 2018

Agree totally woth everything said. I was on basic maternity afyer having my twins and it wad terrible

Lisa Mcshane

12:00 on 27 Feb 2018

Mothers of twins, triplets or more are at a higher risk of suffering from post natal mental health issues and depression. The pressure and struggle of day to day life with multiples is hard and more support with free childcare hours would be a massive help. At the moment nursery for twins is in excess of £75 per day and that is with a discount. Longer maternity leave and greater financial support needs to be addressed.


11:40 on 27 Feb 2018

My twins were born almost ten weeks early and my Maternity leave started on the day they were born. We spent 2 months in hospital. I should have been on anual leave before maternity started. I had planned to finish work earlier than most with single pregnancies due to the strain on my body. I think slightly longer Maternity leave for multiple pregnancies would be a great benefit.

Debbie Staniforth

11:11 on 27 Feb 2018

The physical, emotional & financial burden on families is significant. It cannot be compared to the a person having a second or third child. This needs to be recognised.


10:39 on 27 Feb 2018

I had to stop work earlier than I wanted due to getting so big and uncomfortable I was unable to work. So I have already started my statutory maternity pay and had my first six weeks at 90% before I have even had my twins. And I can only afford to take 5 months off work which is already worrying me. Some extra financial benefits should be put in place to help multiple mums and release some pressure.

Sam Seddon

9:55 on 27 Feb 2018

I was fortunate enough that my twins were born just over 3 weeks early however there are a high number of multiple births where the babies are born very prematurely. The time spent in hospital takes up most of your maternity leave which is quite sad. I had to start my maternity leave a lot earlier than I would have if i was having just the one baby. I was absolutely exhausted and could not make the daily commute to and from work. I would like to see more financial support given to families of multiple births. For example, we were not entitled to the health in pregnancy grant as we were not claiming any sort of benefit. Just because we are not entitled to any other benefits does not mean we have an abundance of money! I am not expecting the government to pay for me to look after my babies but I just feel that all the guidance, rules and criteria are all based on one baby being born at the one time.

Kelly Young

13:27 on 25 Feb 2018

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