Special Issue "Psychological Impact of COVID-19 Worldwide Pandemic on Pregnancy and the Offspring"

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Rafael A. Caparros-Gonzalez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, Universidad de Granada, Spain
Interests: Effects of prenatal stress on pregnant women and their offspring; Hair cortisol levels; Infant´s neurodevelopment; Psychological stress during pregnancy
Dr. Alejandro de la Torre-Luque
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Legal Medicine, Psychiatry and Pathology. Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Interests: Psychiatric Epidemiology; Lifespan development; Mental Health; Emotional disorders; Suicide; Biostatistics
Dr. Ana Ganho Ávila Costa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention - CINEICC. University of Coimbra. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
Interests: Emotional memory, Translational affective neuroscience, Non-invasive brain stimulation, fMRI, Peripartum mental health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a new pathology with a rapid increase in the number of infected and deaths around the world since it was first identified in December 2019. Available data on the psychological effects on pregnant women and offspring are still scarce. Information regarding its consequences may serve as a guide on how it may affect pregnant woman and her developing fetus.

During pregnancy, environmental circumstances (included the exposure to a war, the death of a relative or natural disasters) can affect maternal and neonatal health. It is known how the environment pregnant women are exposed to can create a permanent imprint on fetal physiology that will last his/her entire life. Thus, as stated in the Developmental Origin of Health and Disease (DOHaD) theory promulgated by the epidemiologist David Barker, fetal programming occurs during prenatal development that will determine the health and disease of that individual throughout his extrauterine life. Exposure to high levels of stress has been described among the prenatal events that may affect maternal and the developing fetus health.

Dr. Rafael A. Caparros-Gonzalez
Dr. Alejandro de la Torre-Luque
Dr. Ana Ganho Ávila Costa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Prenatal stress
  • Antenatal stress
  • Psychological stress
  • Psychological well-bieng
  • Physiological stress
  • Cortisol
  • Pregnancy
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-Co-2
  • Offspring
  • Neonate

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
The COVID-19 Pandemic Can Impact Perinatal Mental Health and the Health of the Offspring
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 162; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs10110162 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2280
Abstract
The COVID-19 ongoing pandemic constitutes a major challenge for countries throughout the world due to the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 and devastating consequences in health. No one is free from COVID-19 impact. In this regard, pregnant women are not the exception. The COVID-19 [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 ongoing pandemic constitutes a major challenge for countries throughout the world due to the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 and devastating consequences in health. No one is free from COVID-19 impact. In this regard, pregnant women are not the exception. The COVID-19 outbreak represents a massive source of stressful agents for women and their babies during the perinatal period. The COVID-19 pandemic has been suggested to potentially have short- and long-term detrimental effects on pregnant women and the baby. These adverse consequences range from mental to medical diseases. During the last centuries, several dreadful and fatal incidents have put pregnant women and their babies at higher risk of mortality and health deterioration. For example, it has been informed that women exposed to the 1918 flu pandemic (commonly known as the Spanish flu) while pregnant showed higher rates of premature delivery in the short term. Long-term consequences have also been reported and individuals (both males and females) who were exposed to the 1918 flu pandemic while in utero had a higher risk of developing schizophrenia, diabetes, coronary heart disease or cancer throughout their lifespan. Full article

Research

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Article
Stress and Psychopathology Reduction in Pregnant Women through Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy during COVID-19: A Feasibility Study
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 100; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070100 - 09 Jul 2021
Viewed by 844
Abstract
Background: The global pandemic has affected the psychological health of the population, including pregnant women. Due to the difficulty of offering conventional therapies to reduce stress in this population, studies are needed to show the effect of online therapies. Therefore, the objective was [...] Read more.
Background: The global pandemic has affected the psychological health of the population, including pregnant women. Due to the difficulty of offering conventional therapies to reduce stress in this population, studies are needed to show the effect of online therapies. Therefore, the objective was to test the effect of online cognitive behavioural therapy in pregnant women during the pandemic on the main variables of stress and psychopathology. Methods: The sample consisted of 16 pregnant women who participated in a weekly cognitive behavioural intervention for 8 weeks. Prenatal concerns, general stress, stress vulnerability, resilience and psychopathology were assessed. Results: The results show a reduction in prenatal concerns, perceived stress, stress vulnerability and psychopathology, as well as an increase in resilience. Conclusions: Online cognitive behavioural intervention may be effective in pregnant women, so it is important to conduct a randomised controlled trial to certify these findings. Full article

Review

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Review
Breastfeeding during COVID-19: A Narrative Review of the Psychological Impact on Mothers
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 34; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11030034 - 14 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1876
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the normal course of life, with measures to reduce the virus spread impacting motherhood expectations and, in particular, breastfeeding practices. This study aimed to review evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 on breastfeeding plans and how these relate [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the normal course of life, with measures to reduce the virus spread impacting motherhood expectations and, in particular, breastfeeding practices. This study aimed to review evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 on breastfeeding plans and how these relate to women’s psychological outcomes. Searches were conducted on PubMed and Web of Science for studies in English, Spanish, and Portuguese between January 2020 and January 2021. All study designs and pre-prints were considered. Twelve studies were included. Reports suggest that COVID-19 impacts differently on breastfeeding plans, which in turn leads to distinctive mental health outcomes. Positive breastfeeding experiences have been observed when mothers perceive that they have more time for motherhood, which may be associated with better mental health outcomes. Negative breastfeeding experiences have been observed when mothers are separated from their newborns, when mothers struggle with breastfeeding, or when mothers perceive decreased family and professional support, which seems to be associated with worse mental health outcomes. These preliminary results highlight the need for further research into the association between COVID-19, breastfeeding expectations, and maternal mental health. Filling this gap will foster the development of guidelines and interventions to better support mothers experiencing the obstacles of COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
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