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Monochorionic twins and the early mother-infant relationship: an exploratory observational study of mother-infant interaction in the post-partum period

Ionio, Chiara, Mascheroni, Eleonora, Lista, Gianluca, Colombo, Caterina, Ciuffo, Giulia, Landoni, Marta, Daniele, Irene and Gattis, Merideth ORCID: 2022. Monochorionic twins and the early mother-infant relationship: an exploratory observational study of mother-infant interaction in the post-partum period. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19 (5) , 2821. 10.3390/ijerph19052821

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The extraordinary increase in twin rates and specifically monochorionic twin pregnancies represents a major public health issue due to the associated increased risks for the mother, the child and their relationship. The aim of the present study was to examine the quality of mothers’ behaviour during mother–infant interaction in the early postpartum period by comparing mothers of twins and mothers of singletons during face-to-face interaction with their infants. Demographic and clinical information was collected by trained research psychologists from the mothers’ and the childrens’ clinical records and from interviews with the mothers. At three months (corrected for prematurity), the interactions of the dyads (11 mother-twin infant dyads and 11 mother-singleton dyads) were filmed at participants’ homes in accordance with the procedure of the Global Rating Scales. Maternal behaviour during interactions was assessed and rated by two trained research psychologists. With regard to the mothers’ interaction with each twin, no differences were found between mothers’ scores in every GRS subscale, indicating that mothers did not interact differently with their twins. Comparisons between mothers of MC twins and mothers of singletons showed that the quality of maternal sensitive behaviour during the interactions were lower in mothers of twins (0.35) Mothers of twins were also more distant during interactions with their babies and more likely to experience depression symptoms than mothers of singletons (0.05). Future research should examine mother-infant relationships following twin birth with larger samples. Such research will be especially useful in evaluating the potential benefits of interventions to promote positive mother-infant interactions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/)
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 1660-4601
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 26 February 2022
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 18:42

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