Person Centred baby shower

26 February 2015

Person Centred baby shower

This month’s blog has been written by Tara Cantwell.


Not long after I had twins, I started wishing someone close to me would also have twins.  I longingly imagined sharing my perceived groundbreaking experiences, advice they couldn’t live without and my now defunct twin breastfeeding pillow.  When my longest, dearest friend Sarah announced her twin pregnancy, my excitement was hard to contain. Until I realized the only thing I had any right to impart was my feeding pillow.   So instead of burdening her with my expectations and advice I set about finding out exactly what good support looked like for her.

Step one was a few hours working together on a relationship map to identify who Sarah’s main supports were.  This laid out visually a small army of supporters waiting just for her.  We then converted the negative reputation exercise to look at her specific fears around having twins and ultimately, who and how we can support her with that.


The negative and positive reputation of having twins!
Positive reputation

  • Being a part of something special (the mystery twin club)
  • Twins have good self esteem because they can play together and support each other from an early age
  • Twins have increased confidence away from parents because they have each other
  • Our family is complete
Negative reputation

  • Audrey (first child) being really upset / put out
  • The babies may be allergic to diary (family trait)
  • Sleep deprivation is really bad
  • Not being able to breast feed / babies may be allergic to formula
  • Babies not in the same routine, causing chaos
In relation to Sarah’s top 5 fears / what’s important to Sarah?

  • To achieve all personal parenting goals (have really nice, well adjusted, sleeping babies who reach all their milestones)
  • To bond with the twins
  • The twins are healthy
  • Audrey is coping
  • Enjoying a nice cup of tea each day
  • Having the twins in a routine
  • To not be lonely
What others need to know and do to support Sarah

  • Book in times to have a coffee / tea with me so I have something to look forward to
  • Help Audrey feel special – pay attention to her
  • Don’t make any promises you can’t keep
  • Don’t tell me to ‘sleep when they’re sleeping’ its not helpful
  • Look after the twins for 20 mins so I can spend quality time with Audrey
  • Help with any house work you can

Step two was to share some of this newfound knowledge at the beautiful baby shower Sarah’s sisters threw her.  I took the opportunity to tell everyone what good support looked like for Sarah and I think we were all relieved to know we wouldn’t be overstepping (or underperforming) in our support. And then, because not only do twins mean double the love and cuddles, but double the hormones, mothers guilt and self doubt – we all wrote on a poster on the wall, what we like and admire about Sarah.

All these handy tips about supporting Sarah will be reviewed regularly in the next year as her twins take everyone on an exciting new journey.


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