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Revue de neuropsychologie

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Impact of COVID-19 on depressive and anxiety symptoms of pregnant women: A systematic review Volume 13, issue 1, Janvier-Février-Mars 2021

Authors
1 Département de psychologie de la faculté des Arts et des Sciences de l’université de Montréal, Centre de recherche du CHU Sainte-Justine, Montréal
2 Ph. D., Professeure titulaire au département de Psychologie de la Faculté des Arts et des Sciences de l’Université de Montréal, Centre de recherche du CHU Sainte-Justine, Montréal
* Correspondance

The COVID-19 pandemic is worldwide and has had multiple impacts on our lives. In order to prevent the spread of the disease, governments recommend following multiple habits such as social distancing. These severe and restrictive measures can have serious consequences on our mental health, especially for pregnant women. It is well known that this population is more prone to develop depressive and anxiety symptoms, which may interfere with the normal development of the baby. The current pandemic is a great opportunity to explore the impact of a major crisis on this population's well-being. The purpose of this research is to review the recent literature to understand how stressful factors associated with COVID-19 have an actual impact on pregnant women's mental health. Our main hypothesis is that the prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms will be higher among pregnant women due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. We also assume that these symptoms will be less severe for women with sufficient and beneficial social support around them. Most of the seventeen articles considered in this review confirm both of our hypotheses. They show that several factors associated with the pandemic have an adverse impact on pregnant women. However, having a healthy lifestyle and proper social support can reduce the risk of developing depressive or anxiety symptoms. Since the stress, anxiety, and depression of pregnant women can influence both the cognitive and emotional development of the baby, protective factors should be encouraged in order to promote maternal and newborn well-being during a global health crisis.