Becoming a mother during the COVID-19 national lockdown in Italy: Issues linked to the wellbeing of pregnant women

Chiara Ionio, Martina Smorti, Lucia Ponti, Marta Gallese, Angelica Andreol, Lucia Bonassi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown represent risk factors for the mental health of pregnant women. We explored the impact of COVID-19 restriction policies on psychological health, analysing the predictive role of social support on maternal wellbeing. A total of 212 pregnant women recruited from two public hospitals in Italy were divided into two groups: (a) a pre-COVID-19 group composed of 141 expectant women (mean age = 34.6; SD = 4.3) at their third trimester before the national lockdown period; (b) a COVID-19 group composed of 71 pregnant women (mean age = 33.3; SD = 4.5) at their third trimester during the COVID-19 national lockdown. Participants completed two self-report questionnaires: the Profile of Mood States and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Moreover, the COVID-19 group was asked to respond to an open question concerning worries about their pregnancies and COVID-19. Results showed that pregnant women during COVID-19 presented higher anxiety, depression and hostility, and lower vigour, than the pre-COVID-19 group. The main concerns were related to the effect of hospital restriction policies on childbirth and fears of contracting COVID-19. Perceived partner social support represented a protective factor only for the pre-COVID-19 women. Limitations, strengths, and theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy-related concerns
  • Psychological well-being
  • Social support


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