Anxiety due to Coronavirus

COVID-19 and anxiety

Author: Amanda Curran, Registered Psychologist

Dealing with the anxiety around COVID-19

Information is coming from every angle, and it’s confusing.

Things are changing by the day, and even by the hour.

anxiety from coronavirus

It would be easy to panic, feel your heart race when someone sneezes or coughs around you, but is this helpful?

For the majority of people COVOD-19 will not enter your home. And if it does you will feel unwell for a week or so (or may not even know you have it) and then recover fully, able to re-enter your life fully after all symptoms have subsided. Some however will get very ill, very quickly and will need medical attention.

Continue Reading →

Fingerprints in identical twins

Do identical twins have the same fingerprints

Author: Anke

Fingerprints have been used as a means of identification for over 100 years as they are permanent and unique structures.

When are fingerprints formed?

Between the 10th and 24th week of gestation in the womb, the skin on the underside of the foetus’ hands, fingers, feet and toes develops and goes through rapid growth. The growth causes a huge amount of pressure and strains on the skin, causing it to buckle into folds. These folds reach all the way to the inner layer of the skin, i.e. the dermis, where it becomes anchored in place. The skin forms a complex friction ridge pattern and is the foundation of our permanent fingerprint.

What role does genetics play in determining fingerprints in identical twins and more?

The friction ridge pattern is determined by both genetic and unique physical conditions.

Genetics generally decide the timing and the position of the skin as it grows and buckles, which is why you end up with potentially similar looking fingerprints to your siblings and your parents. The similarities primarily occur on what they call 1st level friction ridge detail; the overall flow of the ridges.

You can have loops, arches and whorls as overall ridge flow. A loop shows the ridges entering on one side of the finger, looping around and then exiting on the same side of the finger. An arch has a ridge flow that enters on one side of the finger, goes up, and then down as it exits the other side of the finger, like a wave. A whorl formation looks like a circle or sometimes an ‘S’ shape.

What role do environmental factors play in determining fingerprints in identical twins and more?

When you start looking a lot closer at the fingerprint, you start noticing 2nd level detail such as a ridge ending or a bifurcation (where the ridge splits). These little details are called minutiae and when you compare your fingers to someone else’s, you will find that the patterns formed by these minutiae are different, no matter how similar the 1st level detail looks. 

This is because innumerable environmental factors are thought to influence the formation of fingerprints, such as blood pressure, hormone levels, the exact position of the foetus in the womb and the complexity and density of amniotic fluid. A huge number of variables decide how each ridge is formed. The complexity of the conditions within the womb prevents fingerprints from developing exactly the same way in any two foetuses.

are the fingerprints of identical twins the same

Study:  A Computational Discriminability Analysis on Twin Fingerprints

Sharing similar genetic traits makes the investigation of twins an important study in forensics and biometrics.

In 2009, a study was done where fingerprints from both fraternal and identical twins were compared to test whether fingerprints from twins were more similar to each other than to those of the public.

298 pairs of twins were studied, and the results showed that 1st level detail between twins were highly correlated in ridge flow and pattern (62.78% for both fraternal and identical) compared to the public (32%).

Minutiae characteristics (2nd level detail) were similar between twins, however there was still a significant discriminable difference between twins and non-related persons despite having similar pattern types and ridge flow.

(Liu, Y. & Srihari, S.N. (2009) A Computational Discriminability Analysis on Twin Fingerprints. IWCF 2009 pp. 43-54)

Images of fingerprints in identical twins and more

The images of (a) and (b) are the index fingers of identical twins, while image (c) is the index finger of an unrelated person. You can see that the twins have very similar looking fingerprints and have more points of similarity between each other than compared to that of an unrelated person with similar fingerprints.

twins fingerprints


Twinfo provides a connection to resources, information, products and service providers who specialise in supporting multiple births at every stage of their life.

Connect with the Twinfo community via the Twinfo WebsiteFaceBook Page,  Facebook Group, Pinterest or via the Twinfo Instagram page.

Cars for twins, the other kids AND all the extra stuff you need

choosing a car for twins

Author: Jodi Collins

My two, his two, our two.  Between us, my husband and I have six kids.  Thank God, only the twins are in car seats.  But still…  that’s A LOT of bums on seats!   

So, shopping for our plus-size family car was a sobering exercise in ‘if you find a shoe (or in my case, a car) that actually fits, just bloody take it!’

What I wanted was…  a car with enough room for the eight of us, four school bags, a double pram and a shopping bag or two.  USB ports and lots of cup holders. Oh, and, anything BUT a Kia Carnival. 

Continue Reading →

Coles Stikeez


Note from Twinfo: This post has not been sponsored or endorsed by Coles and Twinfo is not affiliated in any way, I’m just sharing the news! Images courtesy of Coles.

Hold on to your hats, grab the tissues and weep fellow multi parents.  The Coles Stikeez are back.  And you know what that means…………….you need to get TWO or even THREE full collections.   Triplet parents, this is one time I am glad I don’t have triplets (the other time is at fingernail cutting time!). 

Yes, you read that correctly parents, as of TODAY the “delightful” Coles Stikeez are back.   And you have until 11.59pm AEDT 24 March 2020 to collect not one, but TWO (or even three) sets.  And that’s not taking into consideration any other beautiful singleton children that you may have. 

Coles Stikeez terms and conditions

Let’s get the boring things out of the way first.

As per usual, you will be “blessed” with one Stikeez with every $30 you spend in one transaction.  I will leave you to check out the Coles full terms and conditions and cut to the chase.   

Note though, a maximum limit of twenty Coles Stikeez per qualifying transaction applies for Coles Online.  Also the Collectables are for those aged 5 years and older. Adult supervision is advised for those aged younger than 5 years of age due to the risk of choking.

Continue Reading →

Treetop Twins Adventures series at McDonald’s

Treetop Twins Adventures

Note from Twinfo: This post has not been sponsored or endorsed by McDonalds and Twinfo is not affiliated in any way, I’m just sharing the news! Images courtesy of McDonald’s.

Would you like a book with that?  Yes, you read that correctly.  Not fries, or even a toy, but a book! McDonald’s will now give you a choice when you order a Happy Meal – a toy or a book.  And not just any book, but a book where the main characters are TWO sets of TWINS!!!!

Introducing the Treetop Twins Adventures series!  An exclusive 12-book series written by Cressida Cowell, and only available at McDonald’s.  This novel idea (see what I did there???) has been designed to promote literacy in children, something that, naturally, appeals to any parent.

Cressida Cowell is a mother of two children, and the author and illustrator of the “How to Train your Dragon” series.   She is also the wife of Simon Cowell, the reality judge on shows like American Idol etc. 

Cressida Cowell has written a series of 12 hardback books called the Treetop Twins Adventures, with two new titles available every eight weeks.  The books are about two sets of twins, Asha and Alfie and Tulip and Ted, and their parents Professors Pablo and Penelope.   In this series they travel in a time machine that can also travel under water, across snow and ice, through jungles and plains to study amazing animals, past and present.  They will run with dodo birds, save pink dolphins and more!

Continue Reading →

Our twins have Cerebral Palsy and both twins came home on oxygen.

twins who have cerebral palsy

Author:  Emilie Upson

Twins born at 28 weeks

Our journey with health issues for the twins started straight away. They were born at 28 weeks and weren’t breathing so were resuscitated, I didn’t get to see either twin until hours later.

NICU journey for twins born at 28 weeks

During their 12.5 week NICU stay we dealt with quite a number of things, blood transfusions, jaundice, feed intolerance, infections, CMV diagnosis for both twins, sepsis, a surgery for torsion of testes on twin 1 and laser eye surgery on both eyes to repair twin 2’s ROP.

However, the most prominent was the frequent, and never ending, apnoeas and bradycardic episodes which meant they stayed on oxygen.  They started with the ventilator, then CPAP for quite some time, then onto high-flo and finally we were onto lo-flo and I thought we were fine. But at 36 weeks they were both diagnosed as having Chronic Lung Disease and I was told they would probably come home on oxygen. 

Note from Twinfo: Please see HERE for a list of common NICU terms.

Continue Reading →

Congenital heart defect in one twin. Our story.

open heart surgery in twins

Author:  Shannon Foster

My twin pregnancy and journey has been a Rollercoaster from the start. From the shock of finding out it was 2 babies instead of 1, to going to my 18 week ultrasound and finding out that Twin A had some sort of congenital heart defect (CHD).

32 weeks pregnant with twins

At the 32 week scan it was confirmed that she had a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) and pulmonary atresia which would require open heart surgery. We were informed that she would be staying in NICU on medication to keep her valve open long enough for her to grow big enough to have surgery.  

Note: For a full guide to NICU terms please see our guide HERE.

congenital heart defect twins

My twin birth story

So fast forward to the girls birth.  I went into labor 3 days before my elective c section was booked. So it became an emergency c section. 

Tatum Leora was born at 8.38am weighing 2.55kg and Arabella Eva was born at 8.39am weighing 2.21kg. I got a glimpse of both of them, before they were whisked away.

Arabella went straight to NICU and I didn’t get to see her again till the next day. Tatum was on oxygen for a few minutes then came through to me in recovery. 

congenital heart defect in twins
Continue Reading →

7 Tips For Reducing Anxiety

anxiety mum of twins

Author: Pam Hird Naturopath

Pam Hird is a qualified and accredited Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist and Personal Trainer. Pam shares with us 7 tips for reducing anxiety.

We live in a fast-paced 24/7 world. You are trying to juggle many areas in your life and you never seem to stop until you finally collapse into bed at night. Even then you aren’t guaranteed a solid sleep because the kids might wake up! It’s normal to feel stressed and anxious from time to time.

However, for someone with anxiety, these feelings can be ongoing. It can be a constant and exhausting daily battle that you don’t always feel like you are winning. We can make small changes in our life and day to day routine to help reduce anxiety and overwhelm.

7 Tips For Reducing Anxiety

Take Some Time Out

You have multiple children, I get it, it’s not that easy to always take time out. I’m not talking about luxurious indulgences and spending all day at the spa! Or even the 5 minutes you take to skull your morning coffee in-between multitasking 100 things! I’m talking about the 10 minutes you could take to sit and just stop. Do something calming such as playing music, art therapy, deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and other relaxing activities may be useful to help reduce anxiety.

mum of twins with anxiety

Say No More Often

If you are feeling overwhelmed and wondering how to help stress and anxiety, don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to things that will just add to your stress or create more anxiety for you. Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, you are just simply looking after your health and wellbeing.

Eat well

Eat a fresh whole food diet, which includes plenty of colour and variety.

Ensure you eat adequate protein from a meat or plant-based source as it provides essential amino acids for healthy neurotransmitter production. Try and avoid processed and packaged foods that are high in sugar as fluctuating blood sugars may trigger anxiety.

Include plenty of foods high in magnesium, such as green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate (70% and above). Magnesium is important in helping to regulate the stress response and consume oily fish such as salmon and sardines, 3-4 times per week to boost essential omega 3 fatty acids.

nutrition for a twin mum

Move More

Exercise is the most underrated anti-anxiety tool there is. You don’t need fancy equipment you could simply go for a walk or do a work out from YouTube. Low to moderate impact exercise may help the nervous system overactivity and manage anxiety, stress and improve your mood.

Identify your triggers

Even though becoming a parent is an exciting time it could trigger feelings of stress or anxiety for you. Or there may be certain events, situations, your finances or food such as caffeine or alcohol which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.

It is important to recognise these triggers and get strategies to help you in these situations. If you have a dietary trigger, complete avoidance is recommended.

Focus on the present

Have you ever noticed that when you dwell on the past or worry about the future you start to feel stressed or anxious? This can create a world of overwhelm for you. Simply focus your mind on the present moment and it can help you feel a little more relaxed.

Talk To Someone

Speak to a counsellor or psychologist who can give you some techniques to help manage your anxiety. If going to speak to someone isn’t an option than just speaking to a friend can help lift the weight off your shoulders.

Anxiety can be really isolating for some people and if you feel overwhelmed with trying to change your diet and lifestyle around then just pick one thing to focus on. Once you have mastered that then move onto the next. Don’t expect things to change overnight because they won’t, give yourself time and be kind to yourself. You have got this.

Pam Hird

Pam Hird is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Personal Trainer based in Sandgate, Brisbane. Pam also does Skype and phone consultations. Private health fund rebates available.

Pam offers FREE 15 minute calls where she can explore with you how she can help you.

Contact Pam for appointments or enquiries.

12 ways to protect the Christmas tree from twins or triplets!

Christmas tree and twins

Christmas is a magical time for children of all ages, so naturally they will be drawn to the tree.   This is no doubt causing you some extra stress as you worry how on earth you will keep your multiples from destroying the tree.

Don’t worry, as always, Twinfo has you covered.    Here are our top 12 ways (in no particular order) to protect the Christmas tree from twins or triplets!

1.      Don’t put one up!

 Now before you start calling me the Christmas Grinch, this won’t appeal to everyone.  But for some families it makes perfect sense to not put one up.

We decided not to put one up for our twins first Christmas.  We were going away over Christmas, and we were too sleep deprived to even care about a tree.  Neither of us could summon up the extra energy required to out it up, nor could we fathom the thoughts of having to pack it away!   So, we just didn’t bother.  Our twins were 6mths old.

Alternatively, decorate your living area with lights and ornaments, to give the full festive atmosphere, but just don’t use an actual Christmas Tree.   There are several great alternatives you can use as a tree.

Alternatives to a Christmas tree when you have toddlers
Continue Reading →

Hernias, abdominal separation and abdominoplasty after twins

abdominal separation and abdominoplasty after twins

Author:  Domna Lovatt

When I find out I was having twins I didn’t think much about how my body would cope with the pregnancy or the aftermath of my prebaby 50kg frame carrying 2 nearly 3kg babies to 37w+1. I just assumed that my body would cope and it would go back to the way it was pre-baby, just like after our first baby when fortunately for me everything went back to the way it was before. I certainly didn’t think I would be having abdominoplasty after twins due to hernias and abdominal separation.

abdominal separation after twins

Abdominal separation and hernias after multiples

Abdominal separation and hernias can occur with single pregnancies but the incidence tends to be higher for us mums of multiples. I ended up with 4 hernias and abdominal separation and let’s not forget the loose skin (which had varicose veins in it).

Continue Reading →