The effect of COVID-19 infection in pregnancy on childbirth fear and prenatal attachment level in pregnant women: A survey study

Bingul E., Akbas B., Asir B., Karaca S. T., Tekgunduz S. E., Aksoy A. N.

ANNALS OF CLINICAL AND ANALYTICAL MEDICINE, no.11, pp.1214-1218, 2022 (ESCI) identifier


Aim: Fear of childbirth is an emotional stress that affects the mental health and well-being of mothers during pregnancy. The aim of the present study was to compare the prenatal attachment, childbirth fear and hopelessness levels of pregnant women who had and did not have COVID-19 infection during pregnancy. Material and Methods: This prospective questionnaire study was conducted with participants between the ages of 18 and 40 who had 20 or more gestational weeks. Two groups were formed as follows: Group 1: Participants who had COVID-19 infection, and Group 2: Participants who did not have COVID-19 infection during pregnancy. Patients in both groups were given questionnaires using Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire, Prenatal Attachment Inventory and Beck Hopelessness Scale, and the results were recorded. Results: Childbirth fear and Beck Hopelessness Scale scores were higher in Group 1 than in Group 2 (p < 0.001 and p = 0.023, respectively). The Prenatal Attachment Inventory scale score of Group 2 was higher than that of Group 1 (p = 0.001). A negative correlation was observed between childbirth fear and prenatal attachment scores (p = 0.012, r= -0.250). There was a negative correlation between the Beck Hopelessness Scale score and Prenatal Attachment Inventory scores (p < 0.001, r= -0.416). Discussion: Covid-19 infection during pregnancy increased the childbirth fear and hopelessness levels in pregnant women while reducing the prenatal attachment level. Pregnant women should be informed about prevention methods against COVID-19 infection and necessary measures should be taken.