Assessing the mental health of pregnant and postpartum women during COVID-19

A new survey aims to shed light on the level of stress that pregnant and postpartum women are facing around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to assess their well-being and mental health.

The survey is sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Pregistry, a website for women and health care providers that contains information, tools, and resources focused on healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Karestan Koenen, professor of psychiatric epidemiology, and Sonia Hernández-Díaz, professor of epidemiology, developed the survey.

Millions of women will give birth during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the consequences for pregnant women and their offspring are unknown, Koenen said. The lack of information can lead to anxiety among pregnant women, women who are considering becoming pregnant, and their families. And the public health measures needed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 present unique challenges to pregnant and postpartum women, she said.

Koenen and Hernández-Díaz hope that the survey will provide important information about how pregnant and postpartum women are faring during the pandemic. Survey questions aim to discover, for example, how often women check the news and social media about COVID-19; what worries them most about the disease; the effect of the pandemic on their sleep, diet, and relationships; whether they’ve been feeling anxious or depressed; and information about their support systems.

Sign up for the survey: Health and Wellbeing of Pregnant and Post-Partum Women During the COVID-19 Pandemic