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Multiple birth risk "unexplained"

A fertility expert has called for a change to NHS guidelines to ensure parents expecting twins or multiple births are given appropriate guidance on the risks posed to their own and their babies' health.

The Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) is urging the NHS to update its current education policy as the number of multiple pregnancies continue to rise with the success of IVF treatment and the increasing number of older mothers.

Studies show that babies born of multiple pregnancy are more likely to be born prematurely, to suffer from low birth weight and conditions such as cerebral palsy.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has called for an overhaul of IVF treatment, proposing a shift from the current method of implanting multiple embryos per cycle to just one, effectively eliminating the chance of multiple pregnancies.

Keith Reed, chief executive of TAMBA said: "Without access to multiple-specific parent education and tailored treatment, mothers and babies are more likely to suffer complications, and the risk of infant morbidity increases too."

NHS trusts are not required to hold multiple pregnancy education leaving mothers and children at risk, the association said.

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