How to deal with depression and anxiety as a parent of twins





Becoming a parent is perhaps the most beautiful thing that could happen to someone. However, though someone who doesn’t have a child thinks it’s all sunshine and rainbows, the truth is that it comes with its fair share of troubles. Just ask the parents who have bought their bundle of joy home and are sleep deprived, hungry, and lethargic by how it feels, and they will recant their experience. However, the dilemmas of parents that have singleton kids don’t even come close to the anxiety and depression that’s felt by those that have twins.
Since the 1980s, the rate of twin births has increased by approximately 76% and 700% for triplet births. One of the main reasons why multiple births are happening more often is because of the use of fertility treatments. Unfortunately, though both physicians and doctors try and do a lot for the physical health of the mother and children, almost no support is provided for their mental health.
As per research published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice, parents of multiples (twins and triplets), reported higher levels of depression and anxiety. Another study conducted a systematic review of English language which assessed mental health outcomes for parents of multiples and found that the 27 studies published between 1989 to 2014 showed parents of multiples do face adverse psychological health conditions.
Even though a lot more research is needed to remedy the situation, it is imperative that as a caretaker of twins, you learn to deal with the depression and anxiety you might face. Remember that though PPD (post-partum depression) is a stage you’ll need to overcome, there are a couple of steps you can follow to ensure you enjoy your twins and aren’t stressed out by the workload and sleepless nights.

It takes a village
One of the primary things you’ll need to do is to realize that it really does require a community to raise a child, let alone two children! So, instead of thinking that you alone can take care of the infants all on your own, don’t be ashamed to ask for help.
If both you and your partner are too tired and exhausted to look after the babies, call in favor with family or friends. If you haven’t got enough sleep and think that you won’t be able to function correctly, ask someone to come over so you can take a nap while you rest. Also, it is crucial to note that you need to stay alert while taking care of an infant because they are very sensitive during that time and need all your attention.
Join group therapy
Another wise step you can take for both your and your babies’ sake is to get as much information about raising twins as you can. Become aware of some of the common predicaments faced by parents of multiples and learn from their experiences, both good and bad. Join group therapy preferably with your babies by your side so you can get the chance to share your own feelings and situations.
Bear in mind that even though each parent and twins will be unique, you will be able to find common ground and strive towards improving your mental health so you can care for your children better. If you think you’re facing some memory loss issues then discuss them with the group and take a dementia test online to rule out anything serious.
Take time off
The first 100 days of childbirth are the hardest both on the parent as well as the children. You have to understand that after living in a closed off, comfortable, and warm environment of the womb, coming out into the world has a profound effect on infants. They don’t yet know or understand how they’re supposed to feed when they’re hungry and sleep in this new setting. This is why newborns are generally a lot crankier than those who are 5-6 months of age.
Other than the babies, it is a unique experience for you too because you’ve to deal with two new human beings, their needs, and comprehend what they require. This is why mental health experts suggest that you take some time off for yourself and go on a short break. It can be a brief 2-hour pause from all the responsibilities, so you can enjoy a relaxing pedicure at a spa or just sit and talk with your friends.
During this time, try to appoint someone you really trust with the babies, so you aren’t checking back after every 10 minutes. You will realize that just this short time will make you appreciate your twins and yourself so much more.
Try not to get anxious
When it comes to newborns, we all get a little bit too sensitive and touchy. Remember that though it is vital that you provide a safe and secure environment for the babies where they can grow and thrive, you shouldn’t get too anxious.
Don’t worry if the baby feels troubled by gas or not drinking enough milk because sometimes, these things are just a part of them growing up. While you should consult a pediatrician if one of the babies is slightly feverish, don’t worry if they don’t poop twice or thrice a day like they always do.
Equip yourself with the basics and know when to call the doctor and when to relax and try your own remedies. Even though babies to get cranky at the slightest discomfort, do yourself a favor and avoid adding to the stress by getting anxious yourself.
It’s okay not to be perfect
Finally, it doesn’t matter if you’re the parent of a singleton, twins or triplets because its alright if you’re not perfect in everything you do. There are numerous reasons why caring for twins is hard, and this is why you shouldn’t add to the pressure by trying to do everything all at once.
Don’t try to make the house spotlessly clean while you’re taking care of the twins because you can only do so much. Stop worrying about the food that your toddler spit on the carpet because there’s no way you can control that.
Remember that parenthood is difficult and challenging as it is and you shouldn’t make it even more demanding by comparing yourself or your babies to someone else. Try to find joy and happiness in whatever you do and give as much love and affection your little ones as you can because that’s what really matters.
Dealing with depression and anxiety can be demanding and strict especially if you haven’t had any prior experience. However, with the tips we’ve talked about above, you’ll be able to fall out of the pattern and focus on the strengthening the bond and relationship between yourself and the twins.