Mothers of multiple births have a 43 percent increased odds of having moderate to severe postnatal depression symptoms nine months after giving birth compared to mothers of single-born children, according to new research. 19 percent of mothers of multiple births had moderate to severe depressive symptoms nine months after delivery, compared to 16 percent among mothers of singleton pregnancies. Women who had a history of hospitalisation due to mental health problems or a history of alcohol or drug abuse also had significantly increased odds.
The question needs to be asked - does a multiple birth cause PND, is it about the social support offered to women who are at home with twins or triplets, or is it about the way the birth is managed?
It is well-known that a lot of PND is mis-diagnosed, and that these women are really experiencing birth trauma - a normal reaction to abnormal events and situations that have been beyong the woman's control. Perhaps it is a combination of factors. Either way, the study does lead to the notion that women who are having multiple births need more support before, during and after birth. I would be interested to know if the woman in the study received continuity of midwifery care, which is known to positively impact a woman's experience of birth and new motherhood.