Pregnant women in Ireland experiencing increased levels of anxiety due to #Covid-19, says study 5 months ago

Pregnant women in Ireland experiencing increased levels of anxiety due to #Covid-19, says study

“Being under additional pressure may have indirect adverse effects on their physical and mental health."

Pregnant women in Ireland are experiencing increased levels of anxiety due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a new study has shown.

Data collected from the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital showed that the majority of pregnant women are experiencing more anxiety during the pandemic.

83 percent of 71 women surveyed at the beginning of the pandemic said that they were worried about their older relatives, with 67 percent saying that they were concerned about their children.

Six of out 10 women reported being concerned about their unborn child, while half of those surveyed said that they were anxious about their own health. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, just 17 percent of pregnant women reported being concerned about their health.

“In a fast-moving global health crisis such as Covid-19, accurate information from reliable sources is essential, with misinformation adding to fear and anxiety," said Prof Michael O’Connell, Master of the Coombe.

"Health anxiety is also an influential factor in the success of public health strategies to manage pandemics.

"The research presented today will inform how maternity patients are treated at the Coombe and beyond, and we will continue to use the most up-to-date information to help us care for our patients’ physical and mental health.”

The majority of pregnant women in Ireland also reported making significant behavioural changes during the pandemic, with over 70 percent avoiding any socialising.

35 percent reported that they had opted to self isolate, while six out of 10 stocked up on food when the first restrictions were announced.

As well as this, 38 percent of pregnant women reported needing additional childcare support once facilities and schools closed.

“Pregnant women being under additional pressure may have indirect adverse effects on their physical and mental health," said Gillian Corbett, Junior Registrar at the Coombe.

"It is critical to recognise this and support patients through the provision of accurate and up-to-date information, with simple strategies such as in this study leading to improved patient satisfaction and empowerment.”