COVID-19-related anxieties in first-time mothers during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and after 6 months: A descriptive study

Ofir Ben-Yaakov, Orit Taubman–Ben-Ari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The changes accompanying the transition to motherhood, joined by the stress aroused by the COVID-19 pandemic, may lead to high levels of parental anxieties. This study, conducted in two phases—in the midst of the first wave of the pandemic and after six months—explores differences in the level of COVID-19-related anxieties of Israeli mothers in their first year of parenthood. Design and methods: A cross-sectional study carried out with 198 first-time mothers aged 22–48 who completed self-report questionnaires on April 2020 and again on October 2020. The questionnaire was distributed through social networks and included a demographic scale and the COVID-19-related anxieties questionnaire. Findings: In the first phase, mothers reported higher anxieties concerning economic damage (M = 3.42; 3.11), being in public places (M = 4.34; M = 3.51), using public transportation (M = 4.80; M = 4.31), and going for infant checkups (M = 4.13; M = 3.06). In the second phase, mothers reported higher anxiety about being infected (M = 3.19; M = 3.48). Discussion: The results suggest the need to be attentive to the double stress of new mothers in a dynamic time of crisis, especially at the beginning of the crisis when anxiety levels may be highest. Application to practice: The findings may aid in developing interventions for new mothers in times of crisis. The finding that the COVID-19-related anxieties of new mothers may decrease over time points to the urgency of making interventions by health and medical professionals available to women in the first months after the birth of their first child.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-132
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Nursing
Volume64
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • Maternal stress
  • Mothers
  • Transition to parenthood

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