A Survey Among Italian Pregnant Women and New-mothers During the COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown
In response to the COVID-19 pandemics, drastic measures for social distancing have been introduced also in Italy. The purpose of this study was to describe some aspects of lifestyle, access to health services, and mental wellness of Italian pregnant women and new-mothers during the lockdown. We carried out a web-based survey to assess how pregnant women and new-mothers were coping with the lockdown. Expected outcomes were categorized in different analysis domains: psychological well-being and
... al well-being and support, physical exercise, dietary habits, access to care, delivery and obstetric care, neonatal care and breastfeeding.We included 742 respondents (response rate 86.2%), 603 were pregnant (81.3%) and 139 (18.7%) had delivered during lockdown. We found a high score for anxiety and depression in 62.7% of pregnant women and 61.9% of new-mothers. During the lockdown, 61.9% of pregnant women reduced their physical exercise, and 79.8% reported to eat in a healthier way. 94.2% of new-mothers reported to have breastfed their babies during hospital staying. Regarding the impact of restrictive measures on breastfeeding, no impact was reported by 56.1% of new-mothers, a negative impact by 36.7%.The higher prevalence of anxiety and depressive symptoms in pregnant women and new-mothers should be a public health issue. Clinicians might also consider to recommend and encourage "home" physical exercise. On the other hand, most women improved their approach towards healthy eating during the lockdown and a very high breastfeeding rate was reported soon after birth: these data are an interesting starting point to develop new strategies for public health.