Psychological effects caused by COVID-19 pandemic on pregnant women: A systematic review with meta-analysis

Asian J Psychiatr. 2021 Feb;56:102533. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102533. Epub 2020 Dec 28.


Aim: This study aimed to investigate and monitor the mental health status of pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Materials and methods: The meta-analysis was used to study the literatures on the psychology of pregnant women in four databases until Sep 27, 2020.

Results: A total of 19 articles were included in the final meta-analysis. The overall prevalence of anxiety was 42 % (95 %CI 26 %-57 %) with substantial heterogeneity (I2 = 99.6 %). The overall prevalence of depression was 25 % (95 %CI 20 %-31 %) with substantial heterogeneity (I2 = 97.9 %). Age, family economic status, social support, and physical activity seem to correlate with the mental health status of pregnant women.

Conclusion: The prevalence of anxiety and depression among pregnant women increased significantly during the COVID-19 epidemic. Pregnant women are more concerned about others than themselves during COVID-19, and younger pregnant women seem to be more prone to anxiety, while social support and physical activity can reduce the likelihood of anxiety and depression. It is necessary to take some psychological intervention measures for pregnant women to help them go through this special period safely and smoothly.

Keywords: Anxiety; COVID-19; Depression; Pregnant women; Psychological intervention.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • COVID-19*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Economic Status
  • Exercise / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology
  • Pregnant Women / psychology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Social Support