Twins increase risk of postnatal depression

Just read this interesting article in Guardian online about postnatal depression after multiple births ie twins or tripletes etc.

The results are not really that surprising to me having seen my sister in law have two sets of twins. One baby is hard work, imagine having two tiny babies to look after ! My sister in law coped amazingly and did not suffer postnatal depression after either birth. I’m not sure I would have coped as well as she did.

The survey conducted by the Twins and Multiple Births Association showed that mothers of twins or triplets have almost twice the average risk of postnatal depression.

The first enormous stress for my sister in law was that her first set of  twins were born very early-and only weighed about 2lbs each. They were in the special care baby unit for a long time and when they came home they were on oxygen which was quite alarming for them and stressful to deal with. They also had all the worries about whether the twins had been harmed by their prematurity. The good news is that both sets of twins are fine, and now are two healthy 7 year  and 5 year olds with no sequalae from their prematurity. They are all now at full time school, so things are much easier now than in the early years.

With all this stress in the early days & weeks after their birth it is not surprsing that many mums suffer postnatal depression. Many twins are also born by caesarian (both my sister in laws sets of twins were born by caesarian) which means the mum has this to recover from.

The sleep deprivation with a new baby is always hard, with more than one baby it is multiplied-you just get one to sleep when the other wakes up ! A mum with twins or triplets will need a lot more support and care from family and friends, as well as from healthcare providers.

With the increase in the numbers of people undergoing fertility treatments and many couples leaving it later to start a family, the number of twin pregnancies has increased in recent years.

Click here to read the article at Guardian online

If you think you may be suffering from postnatal depression talk to your GP or health visitor and get help

Click here to visit the TAMBA (twins & multiple births association) website

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