Post partum period is an extremely exigent chapter requiring immense adaptations from a mothers’ personal and familial circle. Post partum depression- a morbidity that could start soon after child birth has long term implications on the health of the mother and her new born. Its estimated prevalence in India according to the WHO bulletin 2017 has been 22%. The hassle caused by COVID 19 pandemic, has overturned the life of some, displaced few and affected most of us. The study strives to assess the impact of COVID 19 pandemic on the psychological status of postnatal mothers delivering at our hospital.
Methods: This is a hospital based cross-sectional study conducted on 80 post natal mothers who delivered during the COVID 19 pandemic. The participants were given a questionnaire consisting of 3 parts- I- sociodemographic and parturition details, II- to analyse the impact of the pandemic, III-Edinburg Postnatal Depression scale questionnaire. Data collected was compiled, and analysed using percentages, and Chi square test was used to test the significant difference in the possible risk factors for the different levels of depression.
Results: This study has shown that 28.75% of the mothers fell in the category of moderate depression and that women less than 25years were more prone to psychological distress. The burden of anxiety and PPD was more in women with lower educational and socioeconomic status. The pandemic adversely affected both the employed and unemployed women to an equal extent with nearly 65% of mothers claiming to have suffered significant monetary loss. Primigravidas and mothers who underwent operational delivery were more prone to PPD.
Conclusions: Our study shows that nearly 28.75% of the participants suffered from moderate depression and this higher percentage of PPD can be attributed to the ongoing stressor- the COVID 19 pandemic. Thus it becomes essential for the treating obstetrician to collobrate with a psychiatrist to reach out and offer routine screening and timely support to the affected mothers at these crucial times.