Pregnant women's psychological health during the COVID-19 outbreak
A recent study that examined the psychological health of pregnant women during the COVID-19 outbreak uncovered fear and depression in many participants. The findings are published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
In an online questionnaire completed in February 2020 by 331 pregnant women in China without COVID-19, participants were mostly worried about the following: "potential infected people were unprotected and non-isolated," "self-infection could affect the health of their baby," and "they themselves becoming infected and being isolated" (83.1%, 78.6% and 56.2%, respectively).
Women's psychological responses to the COVID-19 outbreak increased pregnancy stress, whereas their sense of security decreased pregnancy stress.
The authors urged clinicians to promptly evaluate pregnant women's psychological responses and provide them with guidance to enhance their sense of security and alleviate their fears related to COVID-19.
"If a pregnant woman is diagnosed or suspected of COVID-19 infection, it may induce different degrees of psychological stress such as fear and anxiety, which would not be conducive to the mother's or child's health," said co-author Xiu-Min Jiang, RN, of Fujian Maternity and Child Health Hospital, in China. "It is essential for the health staff to build trust with pregnant women and their families, and to communicate accurate information to them during COVID-19 outbreak."