Why pregnant women and new mums are among the hardest hit by mental health issues during lockdown

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  • At a time that’s meant to be one of the happiest yet most challenging of their lives, pregnant women and new mums are also facing the added task of coping with conditions imposed during lockdown.

    According to a survey aimed at pregnant women and mothers of 0-4 month old babies, more than 50% are struggling with anxiety, fear and loneliness as a result of the coronavirus quarantine.

    The research, which was conducted by Aptaclub, found that four in ten women surveyed felt isolated as a direct result of the ‘new normal’.

    Anxiety ranked highly, with 54% saying they felt anxious at some point, while 50% said they were lonely and 36% were scared about being alone during crucial moments such as pregnancy scans and the birth.

    pregnant women mental health issues lockdown

    A study has found that pregnant women have been more likely to suffer from mental health issues during lockdown (Credit: Getty)

    A particular concern that the survey raised is that 46% of women admitted they would miss or postpone medical appointments in case they caught the virus.

    Of the pregnant women surveyed, 57% expressed disappointment that they’re missing out on the joy that comes with sharing their pregnancy, while 78% were apprehensive about going into labour during the current climate, with 62% fearing they’ll catch the virus and 64% worrying that their newborn will.

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    GP and TV doctor, Dawn Harper, who’s been working with Aptaclub on a comprehensive list of FAQs to provide answers for concerned mums and mums-to-be, told the Metro, “Most of us haven’t seen anything like this in our lifetime so it’s a learning curve.

    “Although it’s frightening, we have all had to become more resilient and adaptable to change and get through this, supporting each other. It’s really important to reach out to loved ones, even if it’s virtually, as well as professionals if you have any major concerns.”

    Top 10 concerns for the women surveyed:

    1. Not seeing loved ones for support (56%)
    2. The health of their baby (48%)
    3. Being unable to socialise with other mums (45%)
    4. Not having their partner with them at medical appointments (43%)
    5. Feelings of isolation (42%)
    6. Not getting out as much as they’d like (41%)
    7. Their own physical health (35%)
    8. Only having telephone or virtual support from their midwife (34%)
    9. Their own mental health (33%)
    10. A lack of freedom (33%)