16. Do new mothers of higher-order multiples experience post-partum depression (PPD) more often than new mothers of singletons or twins?

Current research shows that PPD affects 10-20% of all new mothers and generally occurs within the first year following delivery peaking between 10-14 weeks. According to a 2003 MOST survey on PPD, PPD appears not only to affect a higher percentage of higher-order multiple birth mothers, 29%, but may occur at a later time, as late as 18 months to 3 years post-delivery, and go undiagnosed and untreated in a significant percentage of new mothers of multiples. The following factors correlated with a higher-incidence of diagnosed PPD in the survey as well as a higher number of PPD symptoms experienced regardless of diagnosis:

  • Young maternal age
  • Lower level of education
  • Lower socioeconomic status
  • Dysfunctional interpersonal relationships
  • Personal or family history of mood disorder (anxiety or depression)
  • Depression during pregnancy
  • Psychosocial stress
  • Lack of social support
  • Marital discord

MOST believes that providing mothers who may be at risk for PPD with a wealth of information and support services is essential. MOST offers our Family Support Forums, individual articles and booklets to help with parenting issues, a quarterly magazine, local volunteers and telephone support to mothers both prior to delivery and after giving birth. MOST also believes that increased ancillary support and referral services at the pediatric and family health care provider level could also benefit mothers of multiples as they typically visit those doctors’ offices more frequently than their OB-GYNs during the first few years after birth.



For more post-partum depression resources, see MOST's PPD Resource Listing.

For more information from the 2003 MOST study on post-partum depression, visit the PPD Research Results page.

MOST also offers articles on PPD in the online store.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (If you need help, please dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will be routed to the closest possible crisis center in your area. Para obtener asistencia en español durante las 24 horas, llame al 1-888-628-9454)

About.Com's Postpartum Depression Screening Quiz

Mayo Clinic's Depression Screening Quiz

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MOST provides these FAQs for informational purposes and cautions visitors not to use the content below to make treatment decisions without personally consulting a qualified health care provider. Reuse of this content without proper citation is a violation of copyright. To obtain permission to use Supertwins 101 content contact MOST.


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Copyright MOST 2005      Updated 7/23/10