The psychological impact of COVID-19 on women’s wellbeing during pregnancy and postpartum one year after pandemic outbreak in Italy. A Systematic review

Alessia Caffieri, Giorgia Margherita


Background. Coronavirus (COVID-19) contagion prevalence and the severity of its symptoms do not seem different for pregnant and postpartum women than the general population. Nevertheless, the possible traumatic experiences related to the spread of covid-19 show negative effects on women’s mental health during the childbearing and postnatal period. Although international reviews observed this phenomenon worldwide, an in-depth exploration of Italian pregnant and postpartum women’s wellbeing is needed, considering the specific phases of the virus spread and the restrictive measures imposed by Italian government throughout the last year.

Aim. This research aims to identify and discuss existing studies on women’s antenatal and postnatal mental health during the first year of the pandemic in Italy. 

Method. In accordance with PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review was conducted, using the following databases: Web of Science, Embase, EBSCO (APA PsycArticles, APA PsycInfo; Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection; MEDLINE), Pubmed and other sources.

Results. Eleven articles were included in the review and three meaning trajectories were identified: Pregnancy and postpartum continuum – from anxiety to depression and post-traumatic stress; Risk dimensions: previous psychopathologies and the lack of social support; Focus on others health before themselves.

Conclusion. Findings suggest different vulnerable areas, such as a high fear for others health and the loss of the protective dimension of social support for pregnant and postpartum women’s wellbeing in Italy. This evidence might help to project useful and specific psychological screening and intervention programmes for perinatal clinic.


Covid-19; Pregnancy; Postpartum; Women; Review.

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