The Covid-19 pandemic brought serious problems to the global health. Not only the disease itself. The lockdowns and all the measures adopted in order to control the pandemic, had catastrophic effects in terms of mental health, increasing stress and anxiety.
This is also an issue when we talk about women who got pregnant and had their babies in times of pandemic. Tommy's, a charity in the UK, who provides support to pregnant women and their babies, points out that women have been suffering from stress and anxiety during pregnancy. This shows that the work of midwives has been crucial especially now, in this pandemic context.
During the most complicated periods of the pandemic, Tommy's midwives provided assistance to several pregnant women through a hotline. Most of these women didn't want to pressure the National Health Service with their doubts, among so many things that were already happening, with so many Covid cases. Tommy's midwives were often the support of these mothers, explaining what they could do to avoid anxiety and, listening to them, they tried to calm down their fears, explaining what would be a reason for concern and immediate medical care.
In a research published by the journal "Placenta", from Manchester's University, a study has been conducted to evaluate the pressures that can affect expectant mothers, whether they became infected with Covid-19 during pregnancy or not. The stress and anxiety caused by fear and the “abnormal” situation in which they are going to give birth, has effects on maternal health, also in physical terms. According to this study, the placental problems tripled in mothers who had Covid, but also doubled in mothers who did not get the disease.
The study suggests that stress in pregnancy should be an object of concern in times of pandemic, almost as much as the virus itself, as it can lead to inflammation and functional changes in the placenta, risking both mothers and babies lives. One of the most relevant conclusions of this investigation is that mothers who gave birth during the pandemic are more likely to develop depression and anxiety. In fact, a research conducted in the UK, with about 5,500 pregnant women, showed that 9 out of 10 felt more anxious because of Covid-19. These women pointed to the stress of having to face unsafe environments, such as work, where many also felt the pressure of being fired, due to the pandemic. Therefore, there is scientific evidence that psychological support for pregnant women should be privileged and considered, in the current situation.
In the UK, Midwives are seen as an important support to both mothers and babies. Above all they look out for women's rights. Also read “The important role of a midwife in the UK”.
Also, Vitae Professionals is recruiting Midwives to work for one of the largest hospitals in the Eastern region of the UK. Check out here.