Mothers of IVF twins: The mediating role of employment and social coping resources in maternal stress

Liora Baor, Varda Soskolne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Twin pregnancies and births resulting from assisted reproductive technologies have been associated with adverse perinatal outcomes and maternal health complications leading to psychologically complex parenting. In the current study the authors assess the prevalence of clinical levels of maternal stress among mothers of twins resulting from in vitro fertilization and examine the association of social coping resources with three maternal stress sub-scales. During the years 2003-2005, 88 primiparous Israeli mothers of in vitro fertilization-conceived twins provided socio-demographic data during their third trimester of pregnancy, and at 6 months after birth provided data on delivery and medical condition of infants, coping resources (social support and marital quality), and a maternal stress scale. Forty-one percent of the mothers reached a clinically significant level of maternal stress. Social support and maternal employment were the most significant variables associated with experience of the stress in the early stages of adaptation to mothering in vitro fertilization twins. Primiparous mothers of in vitro fertilization twins are vulnerable to maternal stress in early stages of adaptation to the maternal role, some of whom reach clinical levels that may require professional interventions. Unemployed mothers with low social support were the most susceptible to the deleterious effects of in vitro fertilization treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-264
Number of pages13
JournalWomen and Health
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • employment
  • in vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • marital quality
  • maternal stress
  • social support
  • twins

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