Maternal Reaction to the Loss of Multiple Births

  • George M. Burnell
Part of the Current Topics in Mental Health book series (CTMH)


Throughout history the experience of multiple births has been associated with emotional and social stress for most mothers.1 This is particularly true because of the element of surprise, the concern over prematurity, and the anxiety over the potential loss of babies shortly after delivery.2 In this communication I report the emotional adjustment by parents who experienced a rare event: the birth and loss of a set of septuplets.


Premature Birth Multiple Birth Emotional Adjustment Human Menopausal Gonadotropin Birth Control Pill 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Mayer, C. F. Sextuplets and higher multiparous births: A critical review of history and legend from Aristoteles to the 20th century. Acta Genetica Medicae et Gemellologiae (Roma) 1:242–276, 1952.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kaplan, D. M., & Mason, E. A. Maternal reactions to premature birth viewed as an acute emotional disorder. In H. J. Parad (Ed.), Crisis intervention. New York: Family Service Association of America, 1965. Pp. 118–128.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Caplan, G. Concepts of mental health and consultation. Washington, D.C.: Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Children’s Bureau, 1959.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gemzell, G., & Roos, P. Pregnancies following treatment with human gonadotropins, with special reference to multiple births. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 94:490–496 1966.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Turksoy, N. R. et al. Birth of sextuplets following human gonadotropin administration in Chiari-Frommel syndrome. Obstetrics and Gynecology 30:692–698, 1967.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Thompson, C., & Hansen, L. Pergonal (menotropins): A summary of clinical experience in the induction of ovulation and pregnancy. Fertility and Sterility 21:844–853, 1970.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • George M. Burnell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryKaiser Permanente Medical CenterSanta ClaraUSA

Personalised recommendations