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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Minerva Ginecologica 2007 December;59(6):571-8
Twin pregnancy: not only a medical event
Beretta E. 1, Boghi I. 1, Fichera A. 2, Mor E. 2, Gregorini S. 2, Frusca T. 2
1 Unit of Clinical Psychology, Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy
2 Materno Fetal Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Brescia, Italy
Aim. Twin pregnancies are at greater risk of obstetrical and perinatal adverse outcome compared to singletons. In addition, expecting twins can have particular psychological consequences on both parents. The aim of our study was to interview women with a twin pregnancy and their partners in order to assess their feelings and emotions related to the twins and to evaluate the opportunity to activate an information group about the theme of twin pregnancy, and a development of twins and family management.
Methods. Twenty patients with an uncomplicated twin pregnancy and their partners answered 9 questions in a semistructured interview, set on the basis of the psychological and social issues reported in the literature on couples expecting twins. Emerging themes and key words were extracted from the interviews and analysed.
Results. Quantitative analysis showed that women were, in most cases, shocked at the time of the diagnosis of twinning, while men tried to minimize the worries of their partners. Women reported some fears related to the practical management of the future life, but they declared to feel not different from women expecting singleton, confirming the data reported in the literature. Seventy percent of the women were interested in meeting other parents with twins. Qualitative analysis frequently indicated the defence mechanism of rationalisation and negation of the worries concerning the pregnancy risks and the future care of their babies. Their answers seem to hide fears and doubts that are confessed with difficulty.
Conclusion. Our study suggests that the importance for hospital staff to create an atmosphere of calm and to demonstrate empathy and understanding, with the aim to help and allow the mothers to express their fears.