The impact of COVID-19 lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic reduces severe anxiety

COVID-19 lockdown and lifting of lockdowns impact on the mental health of pregnant and postpartum families.

New research from the pilot component of the Queensland Family Cohort revealed that in expecting families and families with a newborn, COVID-19 lockdown did not affect levels of depression felt compared to a group a families that experienced a pregnancy or birth prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly though, the levels of severe anxiety, which can develop as difficulty in breathing, dry mouth and trembling hands, more than halved in pregnant and new mums during lockdown compared to the pre-COVID-19 group of families.


It was also found that while stress levels which considers irritability and the ability to relax, did not change with lockdown procedures, after lockdown was lifted families experiencing a pregnancy or who had a newborn, felt 70% less stressed, which might be due to stressful lockdown activities like working from home while home schooling or managing a pregnancy or newborn in isolation.


What was realised in this research was that overall mental health during pregnancy or with a newborn has more to do with the quality of life which considers things like resilience, health, relationships and living standards, more than COVID-19 lockdowns.


Read the paper published in the BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth Journal here.


This study was funded by the Golden Casket.


Collaborators: Mater Research Institute, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, University of the Sunshine Coast and Griffith University.