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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med ; : 1-7, 2021 Dec 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561950


BACKGROUND: While research has examined the mental health of general population samples of postpartum women during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pandemic's impact on women seeking treatment for postpartum depression (PPD) is not well known. This study compared levels of depression and anxiety, the quality of social relationships, and the temperament of infants of treatment-seeking mothers in Ontario, Canada prior to and during the pandemic. METHODS: Mothers with Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale scores ≥10 and seeking treatment for PPD prior to COVID-19 (n = 100) were compared to those who sought treatment during the pandemic (n = 120). Mothers self-reported symptoms of depression, worry/anxiety, partner relationship quality, social support, as well as aspects of the mother-infant relationship and infant temperament. RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences in symptoms of depression, anxiety, or the quality of social relationships between women seeking treatment for PPD before or during the pandemic. However, mothers reported poorer relationships with their infants, and there was evidence of more negative emotionality in their infants during COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic may not have worsened depression, anxiety, relationships with partners, or social support in mothers seeking treatment for PPD, but appears to have contributed to poorer mother-infant interactions and maternal reports of more negative emotionality in their infants. These findings highlight the importance of identifying women with possible PPD, supporting mother-infant interactions, and monitoring their infants during COVID-19 and beyond.

J Clin Psychiatry ; 82(4)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518675


Objective: The conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic could negatively affect maternal mental health and the mother-infant relationship. The aim of this study is to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on depression, anxiety, and mother-infant bonding among women seeking treatment for postpartum depression (PPD).Methods: Baseline data collected in two separate randomized controlled trials of a psychoeducational intervention for PPD in the same geographic region, one prior to COVID-19 (March 2019-March 2020) and one during the COVID-19 pandemic (April-October 2020), were compared. Eligible participants had an Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) score of ≥ 10, were ≥ 18 years of age, had an infant < 12 months old, and were fluent in English. Outcomes included PPD (EPDS), anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 [GAD-7]), and mother-infant relationship (Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire [PBQ]). All were measured continuously and dichotomized at accepted clinical cutoffs.Results: Of the 603 participants (305 pre-COVID-19; 298 during COVID-19), mothers enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic reported higher levels of symptoms of PPD (B = 1.35; 95% CI, 0.64 to 2.06; Cohen d = 0.31) and anxiety (B = 1.52; 95% CI, 0.72 to 2.32; Cohen d = 0.30). During COVID-19, women had 65% higher odds of clinically significant levels of depression symptoms (OR = 1.65; 95% CI, 1.13 to 2.31) and 46% higher odds of clinically relevant anxiety symptoms (OR = 1.46; 95% CI, 1.05 to 2.05). However, there were no statistically significant differences in mother-infant bonding.Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that rates and severity of PPD and anxiety symptoms among women seeking treatment for PPD have worsened in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, treatment-seeking mothers have consistently maintained good relationships with their infants. Considering the difficulties women with PPD face when accessing treatment, it is important that strategies are developed and disseminated to safely identify and manage PPD to mitigate potential long-term adverse consequences for mothers and their families.Trial Registration: identifiers: NCT03654261 and NCT04485000.

Anxiety/etiology , COVID-19/psychology , Depression, Postpartum/etiology , Mother-Child Relations/psychology , Mothers/psychology , Object Attachment , Pandemics , Adolescent , Adult , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression, Postpartum/epidemiology , Depression, Postpartum/psychology , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Ontario/epidemiology , Risk Factors , Self Report , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult