Does a Twin Pregnancy Have a Greater Impact on Physical and Emotional Well-Being than a Singleton Pregnancy?

Authors

  • Karen Thorpe PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Karen Thorpe is a research fellow in Psychology, Institute of Child Health, the University of Bristol and MRC Child Psychiatry Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, London; Rosemary Greenwood is a research associate in Statistics, Institute of Child Health of the University of Bristol; and Trudy Goodenough is a research associate in Psychology, Institute of Child Health of the University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom. All authors are members of the study team from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC).
      Address correspondence to Karen Thorpe, PhD, Institute of Child Health, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, St Michael's Hill, Bristol BS2 8BJ, United Kingdom.
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  • Rosemary Greenwood MSc,

    1. Karen Thorpe is a research fellow in Psychology, Institute of Child Health, the University of Bristol and MRC Child Psychiatry Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, London; Rosemary Greenwood is a research associate in Statistics, Institute of Child Health of the University of Bristol; and Trudy Goodenough is a research associate in Psychology, Institute of Child Health of the University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom. All authors are members of the study team from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC).
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  • Trudy Goodenough PhD

    1. Karen Thorpe is a research fellow in Psychology, Institute of Child Health, the University of Bristol and MRC Child Psychiatry Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, London; Rosemary Greenwood is a research associate in Statistics, Institute of Child Health of the University of Bristol; and Trudy Goodenough is a research associate in Psychology, Institute of Child Health of the University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom. All authors are members of the study team from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood (ALSPAC).
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Address correspondence to Karen Thorpe, PhD, Institute of Child Health, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, St Michael's Hill, Bristol BS2 8BJ, United Kingdom.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: A prospective, population-based study was conducted to assess the impact of twin pregnancy on a woman's physical and emotional well-being. It compared women's reports of their general health, experience of a range of specific symptoms, and emotional well-being during pregnancy using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. The subjects were 147 women expecting twins and 11,061 women expecting a single child who completed questionnaires at both 20 and 32 weeks’gestation as part of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood. Results suggested that women expecting twins experienced poorer physical well-being but not poorer emotional well-being than those expecting a single child, even though a significant association between poor health and emotional well-being was found for the population as a whole. It was suggested that the transitory nature of a twin pregnancy, the “special’ status of a twin pregnancy, greater social support, and modified expectations about health may buffer the effects of poor physical health on emotional well-being in a twin pregnancy. The findings should alert those who care for women expecting twins to the greater physical stress these women may feel.

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