Parenting stress in first-time mothers of twins and triplets conceived after in vitro fertilization

Cris Glazebrook (Corresponding Author), Charlotte Sheard, Sara Jane MacLennan, Margaret Oates, George Ndukwe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To examine psychosocial and obstetric outcomes at 1 year postpartum in first-time mothers who conceived after IVF. Design Prospective cohort study. Setting University medical center in the United Kingdom. Patient(s) One hundred twenty-nine mothers with a single naturally conceived birth, 95 mothers with a single IVF birth, and 36 mothers with a twin or triplet IVF birth. Main outcome measure(s) General Health Questionnaire and Parenting Stress Index. Result(s) Twenty-two percent of mothers of multiples had Parenting Stress Index scores indicating severe parenting stress, compared with 5% of mothers of IVF singletons (odds ratio, 5.14 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.55-16.99]) and 9% of mothers of naturally conceived singletons (odds ratio, 2.76 [95% CI, 1.03-7.4]). Mothers of multiple children conceived by IVF did not have poorer mental health but were less likely to be in paid employment at follow-up than were mothers of singletons conceived by IVF (odds ratio, 0.3 [95% CI, 0.13-0.67]) or naturally (odds ratio, 0.27 [95% CI, 0.12-0.59]). Multiple births were more premature, had lower birth weights, and had more medical complications. They were more likely to have been admitted to special care than were singletons conceived by IVF (odds ratio, 14.6 [95% CI, 5.1-42.0)] or those conceived naturally (odds ratio, 10.59 [95% CI, 3.67-30.57]) Conclusion(s) Clinicians should ensure that couples making decisions about embryo transfer have considered the potential psychosocial burden of a multiple birth. © 2004 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-511
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004

Bibliographical note

cited By 103


  • adult
  • article
  • child parent relation
  • cohort analysis
  • confidence interval
  • controlled study
  • employment
  • female
  • fertilization in vitro
  • hospital admission
  • human
  • infant
  • infertility
  • low birth weight
  • major clinical study
  • mental health
  • multiple pregnancy
  • obstetrics
  • outcomes research
  • parental behavior
  • pregnancy complication
  • prematurity
  • priority journal
  • prospective study
  • puerperium
  • questionnaire
  • social psychology
  • statistical significance
  • stress
  • twin pregnancy
  • United Kingdom
  • university hospital, Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases
  • Infant, Premature
  • Odds Ratio
  • Parenting
  • Parity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Triplets
  • Twins


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