Perinatal depression and psychological factors during different periods of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy


Objective. The present study aimed to investigate whether psychological dimensions that are crucial during pregnancy (perinatal depression, anxiety, prenatal attachment, loneliness, and maternal support) may differ at different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Materials and Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 400 Italian women recruited during two periods of the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy (i.e., 200 Italian women T1 from September to December 2021, and 200 during T2 from March to September 2022). Descriptive statistics and between-group differences were analyzed, also considering the stage (prenatal vs. postnatal) and type (risk vs. physiological) of pregnancy.
Results. Except for perinatal depression, all other psychological dimensions differed between groups. Negative psychological dimensions (i.e., anxiety and loneliness) were significantly higher among women recruited during T2 than among women recruited during T1, whereas positive psychological dimensions (i.e., prenatal attachment and maternal support) were significantly higher among women recruited at T1 than among women recruited at T2. A similar trend was found when pregnancy stage and type were considered.
Conclusions. This study emphasizes the need to compare and define protection and risk factors in high-risk pregnant women during the pandemic period from Sars-Covid19 infection and in the immediate reopening in “pseudo-normality” thanks to the use of the first vaccination cycles; and addressing women’s perinatal mental health during major stressful events cited, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, high-risk pregnancy and experiences of loneliness in conditions of hospitalization and the pandemic.

Table of Content: Online first

Remember that the download is free only for personal use. If you want to utilize articles for large distribution, please contact us at