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Covid-19: Pregnant women are more depressed with the crisis, study finds

In this very anxiety-provoking current period, pregnant women are not spared. According to a study by Nicolas Berthelot, professor in the Department of Nursing Sciences at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR), and his colleague Roxanne Lemieux, among 1,754 Quebec women, it seems that anxiety or depressive symptoms have been observed in pregnant women during the pandemic. “I think that a silent public health problem is being prepared with future mothers”, says Nicolas Berthelot. He adds that “Twice as many women would show symptoms severe enough to match a diagnosis of major depression or anxiety disorders”.

Several risk factors

The study finds that women who have previously suffered from a mental health disorder are more likely to develop such symptoms during their current pregnancy. Those with low income are also affected. The consequences of the pandemic on the mental health of pregnant women are sometimes indirect. “For example, at the start of confinement, information circulated that the father could not attend the delivery, explains Nicolas Berthelot. It was very worrying for expectant mothers. We understand the need for social distancing measures, but this can increase their stress. “

The researcher even regrets the lack of official recommendations intended for pregnant women in order to protect their mental health during their pregnancy. The effects could indeed be dramatic. “According to some studies, pregnant women who experience significant anxiety or depression are more likely to experience postpartum depression afterward, he adds. It thus affects their well-being. In addition, it is also a risk factor for the development of the fetus, and possibly of children. “

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