Lockdown has been hard on everyone, but pregnant women and new mums are baring the brunt of the psychological impact, according to a new study.
Over 50% of pregnant women and new mums have admitted feeling anxious or lonely as Covid-19 and lockdown has impacted their daily lives.
The study found that women who are currently pregnant, particularly for the first time, and parents with newborns – have found the current circumstances the most challenging.
New research from Aptaclub, who surveyed pregnant women and women with 0-4 month old babies, has highlighted that the majority have experienced some form of anxiety (54%), loneliness (50%) or felt scared (36%) due to being alone during key pregnancy moments such as scans, appointments, the birth or hospital stays.
Four in ten women admitted to experiencing feelings of isolation due to the ‘new normal’ we find ourselves in.
Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news live
The top ten concerns and worries for these women at the moment are:
The majority felt that lockdown and social distancing is having an impact on themselves or their baby, with only 7% claiming they have not been affected.
57% of pregnant women said they are missing out on the excitement that comes from being able to share their pregnancy with loved ones, while half of new mums believed their baby is missing out on face-to-face bonding time with friends and family.
Nearly half (49%) felt that as mothers, they are missing out on the crucial support of their loved ones.
‘Not being able to let my family see my baby or have face-to-face follow-up midwife appointments have been the hardest things to adapt to,’ says Theresa Raymond who gave birth to a little girl just before lockdown.
‘Especially as a first-time mum, I had this image of how it was meant to be which has been scuppered a little.’
Worryingly, 46% of women stated they would skip or push back a medical appointment for fear of contracting the virus.
And, although many NHS, midwife and healthcare appointments have adapted to offer quality virtual support, eight in ten women feel that care delivered online, by telephone or socially distanced classes in the future would be concerning..
Dr. Dawn Harper, GP and TV medic, has offered advice to women and new parents who are dealing with the changes that Covid-19 may have on their pregnancy or the first months of their baby’s life.
‘Most of us haven’t seen anything like this in our lifetimes so it’s a learning curve for us all,’ says Dr Harper.
‘Although it can be frightening, we have all had to try to become more resilient and adaptable to change and can get through this, supporting each other. It’s really important to reach out to loved ones, even if virtually as well as to professionals if you do have any major concerns.
‘I have been working with Aptaclub and we’ve launched answers to the latest FAQs to help provide guidance on some of the key pregnancy and newborn milestones, from what extras to include in your hospital bag to how to ease the symptoms of a colicky baby.’
For the birth itself, 78% agreed that the prospect of going into labour during the current circumstances makes them feel nervous and anxious due to concerns about themselves (62%) or their newborn (64%) catching Covid-19.
Other worries included not being able to have visitors (54%) or partners not being able to support as much as they would usually would (52%).
However, despite these concerns hospitals (40%), and midwifery or birth centres (38%) are the top places that women would prefer to give birth, with just 12% citing home birth as their preference.
Half of women are confused about the pregnancy lifestyle dos and don’ts, including exercise and nutrition, and over half (56%) feel there is not enough information available on social distancing regulations specifically for pregnant women and new parents.
The pandemic isn’t only causing worry though, there’s also a number of positives to emerge – 47% of the women surveyed reported that they are able to spend more time with their partner and other children, as well as a third saying that they have been able to focus more on their health and wellbeing.
Many have also found the pressures of having to update people on their or their baby’s progress have eased.
Do you have a story to share? We want to hear from you.
Get in touch: [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article