Risk & Resilience Factors Influencing Postpartum Depression & Mother-Infant Bonding During COVID-19

A recent study featuring PISC Senior Scholar Rebecca Waller, PhD, evaluates the impact of increased stress during the COVID-19 pandemic on postpartum depression and mother-infant bonding. 833 diverse participants were recruited from an urban medical center in Philadelphia, PA. Participants were initially assessed during an early phase of the pandemic and assessed a second time twelve weeks after giving birth. Results indicate that participants who experienced adverse childhoods, prenatal depression, or COVID-19 related distress, are significantly more likely to suffer from postpartum depression. Moreover, women reporting strong emotional regulation, self-reliance, and healthy relationships have significantly improved postpartum outcomes. In the future, the team recommends implementing “policies to increase the number of nonspecialty providers providing perinatal mental health services…to improve lifelong outcomes for women and their children.”

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