Covid-19 and maternal mental health
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a direct impact on maternal perinatal mental health and an indirect one via changes in health care, social policy, and families’ social and economic circumstances.
This study offers an overview of how Covid-19 has affected the health and wellbeing of birthing women. Findings included that pregnant women who have symptomatic COVID-19 may experience more severe outcomes than those who are not pregnant. It seems unlikely that the virus can be passed to the baby while in utero, during delivery or via breastmilk. However, guidelines for labour, delivery, and breastfeeding are inconsistent which creates uncertainty for staff and women. Increased rates of maternal mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, and of domestic violence during the pandemic have been reported in many countries. Women have been more likely to lose their income due to the pandemic than men, and working mothers have struggled with increased childcare demands. The study concludes that there is a need for greater focus on maternal mental health during the pandemic.
Read more: Kotlar et al. (2021) The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal and perinatal health: a scoping review. BMC Reproductive Health. doi.org/10.1186/s12978-021-01070-6