2008-07-09 03:34:39 GMT 2008-07-09 11:34:39 (Beijing Time) Xinhua English
BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhuanet) -- Parents of twins are more likely to have mental health problems than those of single-born babies, researchers said Monday.
In a small study that tracked the parents of about 100 twins and more than 700 single-born babies, Finnish experts found parents of twins had more depression, anxiety and other problems than parents of single-born babies.
The results were announced Monday at a meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Spain.
"It's stressful to have a baby, and even more stressful to have more babies," said Dr. Laurence Shaw, deputy medical director of the London Bridge Fertility, Gynaecology and Genetics Centre.
Shaw, who is unconnected to the Finnish research, said the study's findings were interesting but might be misinterpreted.
"The message is not that parents of twins are nutters," he said.
But he added, with the rise in twin births due to artificial reproduction techniques, doctors and parents needed to be more conscious of the true costs of having twins.
Women pregnant with twins are susceptible to numerous medical complications — including premature birth, diabetes and high blood pressure — but few studies have examined the mental health of parents once the twins are born.