FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Depression and another mental health problems have become much more frequent between pregnant women and new mothers during COVID-19 pandemic, finds an international study.
The researchers noted that mental health problems can not only harm a woman’s own health, but can also affect the relationship between mother and baby. children’s health with the pass of time.
“We expected to see an increase in the proportion of pregnant and postpartum women who present with mental health problems, as they are likely to be concerned or have doubts about the health and development of their babies, in addition to their own or family health.” he said. main author Karestan Koenen. She is a professor of psychiatric epidemiology at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
“However, the number of women who had significantly elevated symptoms was much higher than previously reported during the pandemic,” Koenen said in a Harvard press release.
Her team conducted an anonymous online survey of nearly 6,900 women in 64 countries from May 26 to June 13, 2020.
Large percentages of women scored higher or higher on psychological screening tools widely used for high levels of anxiety/ depression (31%); loneliness (53%) and posttraumatic Stress in relation to COVID-19 (43%). Only 2% had been diagnosed with COVID and 7% had contact with someone with the virus.
Koenen and colleagues said these levels of mental health problems were much higher than those previously found in the general population during the pandemic or among pregnant women and new mothers before the pandemic.
Some factors seemed to make things worse, the researchers reported.
Finding information about the pandemic five or more times a day from any source (social media, news, or word of mouth) doubled the risk of elevating post-traumatic stress related to COVID, as well as anxiety and depression.
Concerns about boys and girls child care, as well as economic concerns were also significant, according to the study.
The findings show the need for ways to reduce the impact of pandemic-related stress on pregnant women and new mothers, according to first author Archana Basu, a Chan School researcher.
“In addition to screening and monitoring mental health symptoms, potentially modifiable factors such as excessive information seeking and women’s concerns about access to health care and the well-being of their children should be addressed. children, and the development of strategies to guide loneliness, such as online support groups as part of intervention efforts for perinatal women, ”Basu said in the statement.
The findings were published online April 21 in the journal PLOS ONE.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have more to consider pregnancy and COVID-19.
SOURCE: Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, press release, April 21, 2021