COVID-19 Is Negatively Affecting New Moms’ Mental Health, Survey Says

Almost three quarters of respondents noted feeling anxious and depressive symptoms during self-reportings.
save article
profile picture of Nehal Aggarwal
By Nehal Aggarwal, Editor
Published June 23, 2020
close-up of mom holding her newborn baby with dad in the background
Image: Cavan Images

The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the quality of maternal care for expectant mothers, from partners not being allowed during certain aspects of the pregnancy to having to wear extra protective gear to appointments. Now, according to a report, the changes may have serious adverse effects on these women’s mental health.

A new flash report from Motherfigure, a maternal wellness startup, looked into the impact COVID-19 had on the pregnancy, birth and postpartum period for new moms. Overall, there has been an increase in postpartum depression and decrease in birth satisfaction and breastfeeding success.

The report surveyed 106 postpartum moms who had given birth amid the pandemic. They rated their birth experiences in comparison to “normal” times. Of the respondents, 20 percent said that their satisfaction with their birth experience was poor or very poor, as compared to 10 to 15 percent before the pandemic hit. According to the report, pre-pandemic an estimated 11 percent of births included doulas. For the first half of 2020, however, most doulas were unable to deliver in-person care and services due to visitor restrictions. The report also found that one in four moms said they wanted lactation support during the pandemic, but were unable to receive it.

More worrying, 72.6 percent of respondents self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms during mental health screenings. Plus, 70.6 percent of mental health providers who serve the perinatal population also noted, while they aren’t seeing an increase in the amount of women with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD), they are seeing an increase in the severity of the conditions compared to what they typically see. Before the pandemic, 15 percent of women experienced postpartum depression, and 4 to 10 percent experienced post-traumatic stress disorder after birth.

According to the American Psychological Association, postpartum depression (PPD) affects one in seven new moms, and symptoms can last up to a year postpartum. For women of color, that percentage is closer to 38 percent. Even before the pandemic, less than 25 percent of the women who screened positive for PPD received follow-up care. The report states that the increasing shift to telehealth and mental health professional shortages may also contribute to the worsening anxiety and depressive symptoms new moms are currently facing.

Unsurprisingly, the report also noted a surge of interest in home births and birth centers, with Google searches for “home birth” and related terms reaching their highest point in March, surging between 60 and 100 percent. Since then, according to the flash report, the search terms have sustained higher monthly averages, and inquiries to birth centers have more than tripled.

As the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, it’s clear that there needs to be more ways to offer support to expectant and new moms during this time. To read the full report, visit

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

save article
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List

Next on Your Reading List

young woman sick on the couch at home
1 in 10 People Who Had Covid While Pregnant Will Develop Long Covid
By Wyndi Kappes
pregnant woman receiving covid-19 vaccine
Mom’s COVID-19 Shot Lowers Preterm Birth Risk, Stanford Study Shows
By Wyndi Kappes
pregnant woman receiving a vaccination
Should Pregnant People Get the COVID Vaccine?
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
pregnant woman standing in kitchen and looking at phone
What All Moms-to-Be Should Know About COVID in Pregnancy
Medically Reviewed by Kendra Segura, MD
doctor vaccinating black pregnant woman
Why COVID Vaccines and Boosters Are Critical for Black Birthing People
By Rachel Villanueva, MD
close up of doctor hands with blue gloves holding covid vaccine vial and needle
Largest Study to Show COVID-19 Vaccine Doesn’t Impact Fertility
By Nehal Aggarwal
toddler at home playing with magnetic letters, spelling out home
COVID-19 Resources for Pregnancy and Parenting
By The Bump Editors
Pregnant woman outside wearing a mask and holding her belly.
CDC Now Recommends Pregnant People Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
By Nehal Aggarwal
Pregnant woman wearing a face mask and looking down.
Pregnant Women Are Being Denied the COVID-19 Vaccine Despite Eligibility
By Nehal Aggarwal
pregnant woman packing hospital bag during pandemic
Moms Share Stories of Being Pregnant and Giving Birth in a Pandemic
By Ashlee Neuman
mom holds newborn baby after birth
Vaccinated Moms-to-Be Can Pass COVID-19 Antibodies to Baby, Studies Show
By Nehal Aggarwal
Pregnant woman at doctor's office getting her blood pressure checked.
Pregnant Women to Be Included in COVID-19 Vaccine Trials, Pfizer Says
By Nehal Aggarwal
cropped smiling face of new mom looking at and holding her newborn baby
Study: COVID-Positive Moms Can Pass Protective Antibodies to Their Newborns
By Dina DiMaggio, MD, and Anthony F. Porto, MD, MPH
jungle themed decorations for baby shower
How to Throw a Virtual Baby Shower and Still Make It Special
By Lynsey Eidell
dad holding his newborn baby while burping him
A Year Into COVID-19 Shows Why a Baby Boom Isn’t All That Likely
By Nehal Aggarwal
outdoor tables at baby shower
How to Host a Social Distancing Baby Shower During COVID-19
By Brittany Anderson
pregnant woman in serious indoor setting sitting on bed and looking out the window
Pregnant Women More Likely to Face Higher Risks From COVID-19, Study Says
By Nehal Aggarwal
pregnant woman touching her belly against backdrop of palm trees
ACOG Releases Statement on New CDC Data for COVID-19 and Pregnancy
By Nehal Aggarwal
newborn baby and nurse in hospital after delivery
Transmission of COVID-19 to Baby During Birth Is Uncommon, Study Says
By Nehal Aggarwal
during pregnancy eating foods such as pasta with choline may lower risk of covid-19 in baby
Extra Choline May Help Moms-to-Be Protect Baby From COVID-19
By Nehal Aggarwal
Article removed.