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Depression rates among pregnant women, new moms doubled during lockdown

Researcher ‘surprised’ by the high numbers, and says that even though lockdowns seem to be behind us, it will take time for levels to get back to normal.

(Nathan Jeffay/ The Times of Israel) — Two out of five Israeli women giving birth in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic experienced prenatal or postnatal depression, double the pre-COVID rates, according to a new study.

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University studied 730 Israeli women who gave birth between July 2020 and February 2021, a time that included the nation’s third lockdown, and found that 40 percent reported forms of depression ahead of giving birth and/or in the first year of the baby’s life.

The study adds to a growing body of literature on damage the pandemic has wreaked on peoples’ mental health, especially women, children and the most vulnerable. (…)