Personal experiences of the impact of COVID-19

What the research had to say

COPE research undertaken with 1,899 consumers, revealed that a significant number of individuals identified challenges relating the impact of COVID-19. This included increased anxiety and depression, changes to birthing practices, loneliness and isolation as a result of lockdown and reduced personal contact with health professionals 

Source: Centre of Perinatal Excellence (2022)                      

Below are the key themes identified pertaining to personal experiences of the impact of COVID-19. These themes informed the development of The Truth campaign.

Impact of COVID-19

As this survey took place amid the pandemic, many respondents reported feelings of anxiety around the impact of COVID-19 on their pregnancy and postnatal experience.

Those who were or had been pregnant during the pandemic, were likely to have had increased anxiety around the lack of supports in pregnancy and in the lead up to the birth and how this might impact them in the postnatal period.

“COVID-19 lockdown and my mother not being able to travel to Australia from the UK for the birth of her first grandchild.” 

“I was nervous about how I would cope considering how alone I was during coronavirus lockdown.”

Many spoke of the impacts of loneliness and isolation experienced through their pregnancy, as a result of the lockdowns.

“How emotionally lonely being pregnant can be, especially during a time such as 2020/2021 with full lockdowns, much lower resources available to new parents & often no family and friends to help”

For those with pre-existing anxiety, the pandemic is likely to have exacerbated fears and increased their overall emotional distress.

“Prenatal anxiety relating to COVID and panic buying – I wasn’t able to buy hand sanitiser for weeks (which I had been using regularly for months prior to covid)”

Fewer antenatal appointments and limits placed on birth partners further increased distress amongst some expectant parents.

What helped

Many women who described shock at just how difficult pregnancy was, found solace connecting with others going through a similar experience. This helped validate their own feelings and normalised some of the challenges not commonly discussed.

“Having a community of pregnant women – I found this in an online forum, where others spoke about their symptoms and struggles and normalised some of the less pleasant feelings associated with the pregnancy.”

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