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Prenatal and Postnatal Anxiety and Depression in Mothers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Published: 20 July 2021
 by  MDPI
Journal of Clinical Medicine , Volume 10; doi:10.3390/jcm10143193

Abstract: The aim of this study was to assess the changes in the occurrence of prenatal and postnatal anxiety and depression symptoms, and to assess what factors significantly affect the appearance of symptoms of depression and anxiety in young mothers. The study group consisted of 130 women after childbirth. Due to the ongoing restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey was prepared online. The questionnaire was fully anonymous, and it contained the authors’ own questions and two standardized questionnaires: the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and Generalized Anxiety Disorders GAD-7. The conducted analysis clearly indicated that the level of postpartum depression, in as many as 52 of the mothers, had increased significantly compared to the time before delivery, when symptoms of depression were shown by 22 women (p = 0.009). However, there was no statistically significant change between prenatal and postnatal anxiety. There are many factors associated with postnatal depression. The strongest predictors turned out to be average socioeconomic status, history of anxiety disorders, past neurosis or depression, lack of or inadequate level of assistance from healthcare professionals, as well as lactation problems and postpartum pain.
Keywords: anxiety / COVID-19 / loneliness / postpartum depression

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