This chapter has been compiled from information gleaned from a PTSD sufferer who has had three multiple pregnancies and one singleton pregnancy.

Multiple pregnancies are considered "high risk" and are therefore monitored more closely. The usual pregnancy complaints, eg. pre-eclampsia, morning sickness, are more likely and often more extreme. The likelihood of premature labour also increases. In order to reduce the risk of PTSD and to lower the risk of premature birth, stress needs to be kept to a manageable level as far as is possible.

Here are examples of some of the more common risk factors that are present during multiple pregnancies and births (in addition to those mentioned on the "Risk Factors" page).






Mothers of multiples also have an increased chance of PND (some say 30%) due to birth separation, intervention, and a host of other things. (How much of the diagnosed PND is actually PTSD?) Isolation and the lack of help available can only compound these factors.

Multiple Birth Clubs

Multiple Birth Clubs exist countrywide. They are listed under "Multiple Births" in the White Pages along with the N.Z.M.B.A. contact address.

Along with hire equipment, books, videos, newsletters, playgroups, etc, most clubs also have a New Mother contact and someone with knowledge of at least PND.

It is helpful for all expectant mothers of multiples to meet up with others in the same situation. It provides the opportunity to compare notes, share experiences and have contact with others whose babies are of a similar age and development. This contact may also be helpful in reducing the chances of PND as you are more likely to pick up the phone and discuss whatever it is that is bothering you. This is also helpful for those wishing to breastfeed their babies, again because of the mutual support.

TABS is aware that there are now antenatal classes for multiples being held in Auckland. For further information they can be contacted on (09) 828 7538 or E-mail:

TABS hopes that the need for antenatal classes for multiples will be recognised as essential and begin to be met alongside the regular antenatal classes nationwide.


Labour and birth where multiples are concerned can be both overwhelming and daunting. Higher numbers of staff present and less say in what goes on, all risk previously traumatised women being re-triggered.

The birth plan therefore needs careful consideration. However, it must also be recognised, that on the day, due to the situation, it may mean that everything planned or hoped for may go "out the window."

The hope is that with realistic expectations of the birth, good communication and informed consent throughout, your labour and birth will be the happy occasion it should be.

A personal account:

I can't believe you are still conscious: A mother tells of her experience with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.