How the Italian women perceived distress from their puerperal conditions during the COVID-19 outbreak

Elsa Vitale

Mental Health Center Modugno, Local Health Authority, Bari, Italy

DOI 10.36148/2284-0249-408


The COVID-19 pandemic strongly influenced the habits of the puerperal in the usual management of the birth event. The present study aimed to evaluate how post-traumatic stress in puerperia varied during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, it assessed any differences in the distress perception by considering some socio-demographic variables related to the birth event, as: the weeks of gestation of the birth, the partum typology and the breastfeeding typology.


An online questionnaire was administered to women who complete their pregnancies during the pandemic. The questionnaire included items relating to the characteristics of childbirth and the Impact of Event Scale-Revised.


156 puerperal women were recruited, 36.54% of the participants registered a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 8.97% outlined a probable diagnosis of PTSD, 28.85% highlighted the presence of some symptoms related to PTSD and 25.64% were fine.


PTSD among puerperal women was intensely evident in the avoidance dimension, especially in participants who have given a pre-term birth, though the caesarean surgery and who had artificially breastfed their own unborn child in the puerperium.

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