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BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 21(1): 768, 2021 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528682


BACKGROUND: Pregnant and postpartum women face unique challenges and concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus far, no studies have explored the factors associated with increased levels of worry in this population globally. The current study sought to assess the frequency and sources of worry during the COVID-19 pandemic in an international sample of pregnant and postpartum women. METHODS: We conducted an anonymous, online, cross-sectional survey in 64 countries between May and June 2020. The survey was available in 12 languages and hosted on the Pregistry platform for COVID-19 studies. Participants were sought mainly on social media platforms and online parenting forums. The survey included questions related to demographics, level of worry, support, stress, COVID-19 exposure, frequency of media usage, and mental health indicators. RESULTS: The study included 7561 participants. Eighty-three percent of all participants indicated that they were either 'somewhat' or 'very' worried. Women 13-28 weeks pregnant were significantly more likely to indicate that they were 'very worried' compared to those who were postpartum or at other stages of pregnancy. When compared with women living in Europe, those in Africa, Asia and Pacific, North America and South/Latin America were more likely to have increased levels of worry, as were those who more frequently interacted with social media. Different forms of support and stress also had an impact upon level of worry, while indicators of stress and anxiety were positively associated with worry level. CONCLUSION: Pregnant and postpartum women are vulnerable to the changes in societal norms brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding the factors associated with levels of worry within this population will enable society to address potential unmet needs and improve the current and future mental health of parents and children.

Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/psychology , Pregnancy Complications/etiology , Adolescent , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Global Health/statistics & numerical data , Health Surveys , Humans , Logistic Models , Odds Ratio , Postpartum Period/psychology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications/psychology , Risk Factors , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/etiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Young Adult
J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med ; : 1-9, 2021 Jun 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1279993


BACKGROUND: Stress is a complex condition that can have a profound effect on an individual's sense of wellbeing and their ability to live a happy and healthy life. COVID-19 and its associated stressors have the potential to disrupt numerous facets of our everyday lives. Pregnant and postpartum women are especially vulnerable to changes in the availability of routine health and social care services and of their support networks. The current study sought to explore stress levels and their influencers among an international cohort of pregnant and postpartum women during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We conducted an anonymous, online, cross-sectional survey in 64 countries between May and June 2020. The survey was hosted on the Pregistry platform and made available in 12 languages, with respondents sought through a variety of social media platforms and parenting forums. In addition to levels of stress, we collected data related to demographics, COVID-19 exposure and worries, lifestyle changes, traditional and social media use, precautionary measures related to COVID-19, and mental health. RESULTS: In total, 7185 women were included in our sample. We found statistically significant (p-value <0.05) reductions in stress score among older women (≥35 years of age), those either living with a partner or married, those who had graduated from college, and those with medical coverage. Higher stress scores were found among women who resided in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East, and North America compared with those in Europe. When race and ethnicity were included in the model, black women were found to have higher stress compared to white women. Level of family and community support was inversely associated with level of stress. CONCLUSION: Our study is one of the first to explore stress levels among pregnant and postpartum women during the COVID-19 pandemic. We found statistically significant differences in stress levels by age, education, marital status, region of residence, race/ethnicity and level of support. Understanding stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, and exploring ways to address it, will be key to contributing to the mental and physical health of expectant and new mothers, as well as their children, in both the short and long term.