UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Maternal Mental Health Differently Depending on Pregnancy Status and Trimester of Gestation Bérard, Anick; Gorgui, Jessica; Tchuente, Vanina; Lacasse, Anaïs; Gomez, Yessica-Haydee; Côté, Sylvana; King, Suzanne; Muanda, Flory; Mufike, Yves; Boucoiran, Isabelle; et al.


Introduction: We aimed to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternal mental health, stratifying on pregnancy status, trimester of gestation, and pandemic period/wave. Methods: Pregnant persons and persons who delivered in Canada during the pandemic, >18 years, were recruited, and data were collected using a web-based strategy. The current analysis includes data on persons enrolled between 06/2020–08/2021. Maternal sociodemographic indicators, mental health measures (Edinburgh Perinatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Generalized Anxiety Disorders (GAD-7), stress) were self-reported. Maternal mental health in pregnant women (stratified by trimester, and pandemic period/wave at recruitment) was compared with the mental health of women who had delivered; determinants of severe depression were identified with multivariate logistic regression models. Results: 2574 persons were pregnant and 626 had already delivered at recruitment. Participants who had delivered had significantly higher mean depressive symptom scores compared to those pregnant at recruitment (9.1 (SD, 5.7) vs. 8.4 (SD, 5.3), p = 0.009). Maternal anxiety (aOR 1.51; 95%CI 1.44–1.59) and stress (aOR 1.35; 95%CI 1.24–1.48) were the most significant predictors of severe maternal depression (EDPS ˃ 13) in pregnancy. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on maternal depression during pregnancy and in the post-partum period. Given that gestational depression/anxiety/stress has been associated with preterm birth and childhood cognitive problems, it is essential to continue following women/children, and develop strategies to reduce COVID-19′s longer-term impact.

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