The chances of maternal anxiety and depression have increased considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic, as per a new study.
Co-author of the study, Dr Margie Davenport from Canada’s University of Alberta, said that the social and physical isolation parameters that are needed critically to lower the spread of coronavirus are affecting the mental and physical health of several of us.
Experiencing anxiety and depression during pregnancy as well as the postpartum time frame can pose a detrimental effect on the physical and mental health of the mother as well as the baby and can go on for years, continued Davenport.
The effects could include premature birth of the baby, reduced mother-baby bonding as well as development issues in the infants.
For the study, the researchers analyzed 900 women of which 520 women were pregnant while 380 had delivered babies last year. They questioned about their anxiety and depression symptoms before as well as during the coronavirus pandemic.
Prior to the coronavirus crisis, 29% of these women witnessed average to high symptoms of anxiety while 15% witnessed depressive symptoms. However, during the coronavirus pandemic, these figures increased- 72% witnessed anxiety while 41% witnessed depression.
Though the study was majorly focused on the impact coronavirus has on new mothers, Davenport says that maternal physical and mental health is a crucial problem no matter what the time is.
The study appears in the journal Frontiers in Global Women’s Health.