Having a Baby During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Risks and Protective Factors Associated with Different Features of Prenatal Distress Among U.S. Pregnant Women

Sunah Hyun, PhD
Department of Pediatric Newborn Medicine
Division of Women’s Health
Poster Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a severe threat to everyone. However, some vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, face an even more significant challenge. Identifying the potential risk and protective factors implicated in the experience of pregnancy-specific and COVID-19 related stress is key for developing strategies for addressing the concerns of women during this particular time. We examined associations between resilience, distress tolerance, and emotional and instrumental social support with two outcomes: pregnancy-specific distress and COVID-19 pregnancy distress to prioritize intervention targets for pregnant women. This study utilized the preliminary PEACE 2020 data collected from Wave 1 data collection (N = 619) among pregnant women during May 21, 2020 to August 17, 2020. Notably, 68.6% of respondents indicated being more stressed about going to the hospital because of COVID-19. Among protective factors, higher levels of distress tolerance were associated with lower levels of general prenatal stress. Higher levels of instrumental support and distress tolerance were associated with lower levels of COVID-19 pregnancy distress. Drawing on this data, specific implications can be made to better support women’s healthy pregnancy during the pandemic.

Scientific Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a severe threat to everyone. However, some vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, are currently facing an even greater challenge. Identifying the potential risk and protective factors implicated in the experience of pregnancy-specific and COVID-19 related stress is key for developing strategies for addressing the concerns of women during this particular time. In an effort to prioritize intervention targets for pregnant women, we examined associations between resilience, distress tolerance, and emotional and instrumental social support with two outcomes: pregnancy-specific distress and COVID-19 pregnancy distress, while controlling for current mental health symptoms using the preliminary PEACE 2020 data collected from Wave 1 data collection (N = 619) during May 21, 2020 to August 17, 2020. Notably, 68.6% of respondents indicated being more stressed about going to the hospital because of COVID-19. Controlling for mental health symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, PTSD), higher levels of distress tolerance was associated with lower levels of general prenatal stress (B=-.211, p<.001). Moreover, higher levels of instrumental support and distress tolerance associated with lower levels of COVID-19 pregnancy distress (instrumental support: B=-.140, p<.01, distress tolerance: B=-.096, p<.05). Drawing on this data, specific implications can be made to better support women’s healthy pregnancy during the pandemic.

Clinical Implications
By enhancing interdisciplinary partnerships among perinatal healthcare professionals, specific implications can be made to better support women’s healthy pregnancy during the pandemic.
Research Areas
Authors
Liu, C. H., Hyun, S., Mittal, L., & Erdei, C.
Principal Investigator
Dr. Cindy Liu

Explore Other Posters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *