3 Reasons Why Moms of Multiples Have an Increased Risk of Postpartum Depression (PPD)
Updated: Oct 26, 2019
Postpartum depression (PPD) impacts about 1 in 7 new mothers. The symptoms and severity can differ, but PPD can make a new mother feel anger, guilt, anxiety, fatigue, and so much more.
Unfortunately, for moms of multiples, the risk of developing PPD is even greater.
It’s fairly obvious that with more children there will be more stress. All of the planning in the world can’t prepare new parents for every little thing that will happen when it comes to having more than one child at a time.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of those reasons. If you’re pregnant with twins, triplets, or more, it’s important to understand these risks so you can prepare yourself. Also, if you already have newborn multiples, recognizing some of these signs can make it easier to reach out and get the help you deserve.
1. More Medical Risks Exist
The birth of a child is miraculous. There are so many things that could potentially go wrong but rarely do. Thanks to advancements in medicine and technology, it’s safer to have a baby today than ever before.
Of course, risks still exist. Most mothers understand that, accept it, and do whatever they can throughout their pregnancy to lower those risks.
For each additional baby, however, those health risks become greater—not only for mom but for the babies as well.
Risk-related stress throughout the pregnancy can add up quickly. By the time the babies are born, feelings of stress, anxiety, and worry can trigger symptoms of PPD.
2. Doing Everything in Doubles, Triples, Etc.
As stated above, everything becomes more difficult when you have more than one child. It’s not just added stress. It’s less time for self-care, less time for sleep, and less time for relationships, etc.
Mothers of multiples who have PPD are not bad mothers if they can’t get out of bed some days. Postpartum depression can hit some women hard, and sometimes the symptoms are a sign that your mind and body need a break to carry on.
That’s why having a support system in place is crucial when you’re having a baby, and especially so when you’re having more than one.
3. Additional Postnatal Health Concerns
Multiples are usually at a greater risk of having some type of health issue after they’re born. They typically have a lower birth weight and oftentimes end up in the NICU immediately after birth. Unsurprisingly, NICU can be a harrowing and scary experience for a new mother.
Many times, it’s nothing more than a precautionary procedure by hospitals to make sure the babies reach a certain weight before going home. But, seeing tiny newborns hooked up to tubes and machines can lead to a lot of stress, fear, and anxiety.
Those thoughts can carry over even after you take the children home. You might be so worried about them that it spirals you into a depression.
The common misconception about PPD is that it means a mother doesn’t want to care for her children. Or, even that she doesn’t love them. Nothing could be further from the truth.
For some women, the symptoms of PPD are so severe that it becomes nearly impossible to do anything but focus on getting through each day. It has nothing to do with love.
If you’re a mom of multiples and currently struggling with PPD, or if you’re pregnant and you’re worried about some of the risks and symptoms, please feel free to contact me. I offer a complimentary phone consultation to all potential clients. To schedule yours in a matter of seconds, please check here.
PPD doesn’t last forever, but it can seem overwhelming when you’re going through it. You’re not alone. With help, you can learn to manage your symptoms effectively so you can focus your attention and time on your new bundles of joy. To read more about how counseling can help you feel more like yourself again, please click here.
COMING SOON! A workshop for couples who are thinking about or planning to have a baby, who are expecting a baby or who have children already. Based on years of research and experience and developed by the Gottman Institute, this 12 hour workshop is designed to repair communication skills and jump start your relationship with your partner. For more information, please click here.
Jennifer Perera is a mom, spouse and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has over a decade’s worth of experience in mental health. She has a private practice in New Jersey, with locations in Cranford and Princeton. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual, group and couples counseling. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with a pregnancy loss or infertility. Her other passion is travelling to different parts of the world and her goal is to vacation in a different locale every time. She also has a great fondness for cats!