THEY have been literally seeing double for a week at a Hamsphire maternity unit.

Five sets of twins have been born there in the space of just seven days.

The baby bonanza has surprised staff as much as parents at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester.

Sister Judy Simpson said: “It’s very unusual to see five twins so close together. On average I would say we get maybe one per month.

“There’s no medical reason for there being more twins though, it’s just pure chance.

“It’s been a very happy time for everyone though and it’s been lovely to see all the parents talking and giving each other advice.”

Sophia and Phillip Cheshire started the boom off when daughters Nina and Tess were born six weeks early.

Nina, older by two minutes, weighed 4lb 10oz and Tess weighed just 2lbs 14oz.

Sophia, 31, of Grange Close, St Cross, said: “This was a lovely present but not quite the Christmas we had planned as they were six weeks early.”

They were followed by two sets of twins from families who live in the same street in Eastleigh but had never met before.

Emily Anthony, 22, and Stephen Webb, 28, of Twyford Road, Eastleigh, had Harvey and Lili-Mae, with the babies weighing 4lb 8oz and 5lbs 8oz respectively.

Then Binu and Reena Varghese arrived and had twin boys Nathan and Nishon, 2lbs 4oz and 2lbs 6oz respectively.

Reena, 38, a nurse, said: “We had never met each other before but now we are sharing a room. Our street is going to get a lot busier now!”

Emily, a chef, added: “There are twins on my dad’s side of the family and in Stephen’s family too so I think this has all been fate.”

Karen and Rob Convery face the longest wait to bring home their sons Charlie and George, 2lbs 9oz and 2lbs 3oz respectively, after they came 11 weeks early.

Karen, 40, an office administrator of Westmorland Way, Chandler’s Ford, said: “They clearly didn’t want to miss Christmas and wanted to meet Santa.”

Both boys are healthy and are expected to leave hospital in February.

The last set of new parents was unavailable for comment.