Perinatal distress during COVID-19

Monash University research has shown that new mothers, pregnant women or those planning a pregnancy are showing signs of distress during the early stages of COVID-19 due to the lack of specific and timely information about health and risk relevant to themselves and their family.

Using a leading Australian online support forum, a three-phase analysis found negative sentiment at 61.9 per cent from forum posts between January 27 and May 12, 2020.  Women commonly used the terms 'worry', 'risk', 'concern' and 'anxiety' and were seeking peer support via online parenting forums as an information source in the absence of official information relevant to their unique circumstance.

The period in and around birth is a significant life phase for women that is associated with increased risk of adverse mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be exacerbating vulnerability in this population.

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