According to a study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders Reports, pregnant women had higher levels of anxiety compared to fertility patients during the Covid pandemic.
Koubon Wakashima and colleagues at Tohoku University, Hokkaido University and the National Foundation of Brief Therapy posted a survey on several pregnancy and fertility websites towards the end of May and the beginning of June 2020.
Almost 300 pregnant women and 13 women undergoing fertility treatment responded to a Japanese version of the Fear of Covid-19 Scale, originally developed by Iranian researchers.
“The pandemic has changed the social environments of pregnant women and fertility patients,” says Tohoku University clinical psychologist Koubon Wakashima.
Restrictions in Japan meant that pregnant women have been unable to participate in group parenting classes or travel to their parents’ homes to receive traditional childbirth assistance. Medical institutions in the country reported fewer women accessing infertility treatments.
The study revealed that pregnant women in Japan had higher levels of anxiety compared to fertility patients.
Pregnant women were more concerned about increasing the stockpiling and monitoring of their own health. Pregnant women kept constantly turning to to social networking services for important health related updates.
Finally, the researchers compared the results of their survey to a similar one done in Iran and found that pregnant Japanese women demonstrated higher levels of anxiety compared to pregnant Iranian women.