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Psychological consequences of multiple births



Psychological consequences of multiple births



Gynecologie, Obstetrique and Fertilite 34(11): 1058-1063



Since the mid 1970s, the number of multiple births has dramatically increased in our country and most European countries. This paper summarizes the psychological consequences of multiple births based on a review of the literature and on our clinical experience. During pregnancy mothers experience great physical problems linked with increased medical risks for themselves and for the children. These risks cause psychological difficulties: hospitalisation and separation from the family, fear of a premature delivery and anxiety for the children. After delivery the children are often hospitalized, which makes the attachment process difficult. The mortality of multiple children is high and mourning for one child creates particular problems for parents who simultaneously face grieving and attachment processes. After hospital discharge, the overload of work mothers experience leads to physical and nervous fatigue, which does not make easier individual relationship with the children. Mothers have a high level of psychological vulnerability and an increased risk of depression. The satisfactory development of each twin or triplet child requires individualized relationship with his/her mother and his/her father. That is how he/she will be able to build his/her identity and future autonomy. It is important to be aware of the problems experienced by the families and to improve the way material help and psychological support are provided to them.

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Accession: 050065576

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PMID: 17055318

DOI: 10.1016/j.gyobfe.2006.09.013


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