Pregnant Women Suffered More From Depression And Anxiety During Covid-19 Pandemic
As we all know we are living through a world crisis for a long time now. The Covid-19 pandemic entered our lives as an annoying guest who was supposed to last only 2-3 days but now is literally a part of our lives with his small family of variants. But jokes apart, the global pandemic has impacted us negatively causing a lot of fear, uncertainty and anxiety. After being socially isolated, our work and personal life are completely disrupted and our mental health is also deteriorating. But the study has some not-so-good news for all the pregnant couples because it is saying that pregnant women faced more depression and anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We witnessed a bunch of pregnancy announcements during the lockdown and as the mothers were constantly being locked in their house, not being able to meet their close ones, and the constant fear of contracting the virus has impacted the mental health of expectant mothers. The new study by the University of Essex published in the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth is stating that the global pandemic caused a spike in depression and anxiety in pregnant women. According to the reports, there was a 30 per cent in depression rates from pre-pandemic levels, from 17 per cent to 47 per cent and the anxiety rates have also gone up 37 per cent in expecting mothers to 60 per cent. The numbers are actually quite concerning!
The study was conducted on 150 women and took place between April 2020 and January 2021 before the vaccination programme started for pregnant women. The study was led by Dr Maria Laura Filippetti and Dr Rigato at the Essex Babylab in the University of Essex. The research showed that pregnant women with higher depressive symptoms feel less attached to their unborn babies. The research highlighted the changes in maternity services during the lockdown and several restrictions were one of the main reasons for the mental health problems.
According to Dr Filippetti, we should take more steps in order to help women during difficult times in their lives. She added that the high rates of depression and anxiety during the pandemic highlighted by their research suggest that expectant women are facing a mental health crisis and it may interfere and impair mother-infant bonding during pregnancy. It can also impact childbirth outcomes, as well as infant and child development.
The researchers hoped that the study will be further used to help understand how the pandemic affected children’s development, mothers’ mental health post-partum and how fathers coped through pregnancy. Most importantly, the study found that with the help from partners, family and friends, and the NHS, the mothers reported fewer negative symptoms.