Image by Fallon Michael in Unsplash
The birth of a new baby is often a time of joy and excitement, but for many new parents, it can also be a time of stress and anxiety. This is especially true for parents of multiples, who are often faced with double or even triple the workload and sleep deprivation. It is not surprising, then, that many parents of multiples experience postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression is a common condition that affects up to 15% of new mothers and up to 10% of new fathers. It is characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of energy or interest in life. These symptoms can make it difficult for parents to bond with their new babies and enjoy the experience of parenthood.
Parents of multiples are at a higher risk for postpartum depression due to the increased demands on their time and energy. The care of two or more infants can be overwhelming, and the lack of sleep that often comes with having multiples can leave parents feeling exhausted and depleted. In addition, many parents of multiples experience feelings of isolation, as they are often unable to find support from friends and family members who are not in the same situation.
I remember my time and how overwhelmed I was with my twins for the first three years. I wish there was someone who had told all the below points. I would have reached out to a therapist earlier.
There are several things that parents of multiples can do to reduce their risk of developing postpartum depression:
Reach out for support. Joining a support group for parents of multiples or seeking counseling from a mental health professional can help parents feel less alone and provide them with the tools they need to manage their symptoms. Haplocare has a support group for twin mothers and fathers. I hope we can de-stigmatize asking for help through this support group.
Practice self-care. It is important for parents of multiples to make time for themselves, even if it is just a few minutes a day. This could be something as simple as taking a walk or reading a book, or as involved as attending a yoga class or getting a massage.
Accept help from others. Parents of multiples often feel like they need to do everything on their own, but it is important to accept help from friends and family members when it is offered. This could mean having someone else take care of the babies for a few hours or having someone bring over a meal.
Set realistic expectations. Parents of multiples often feel like they need to do everything perfectly, but this is an unrealistic expectation. It is important to be gentle with oneself and set realistic goals for what can be accomplished each day.
In conclusion, postpartum depression is a common and serious condition that can affect parents of multiples. However, with the right support and self-care, it is possible to manage the symptoms and enjoy the experience of parenthood. If you or a loved one is experiencing postpartum depression, it is important to reach out for help and seek support from a mental health professional.