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April 16, 2022 9:16 am
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Study: Depression Among New Israeli Moms Doubled in Covid Lockdowns

avatar by i24 News

A staff member hands a face mask to a boy as students return to school after the summer break, less than a month into a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine booster drive, at Arazim Elementary School in Tel Aviv, Israel September 1, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

i24 News – Forty percent of Israeli women who gave birth in the midst of the Covid pandemic experienced pre- or post-natal depression, according to a recent study.

Researchers from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University examined 730 women who gave birth between July 2020 and February 2021 – a time when the nation was in its third lockdown as a measure to curb Covid.

They found that two in five of the women reported forms of depression either ahead of giving birth and/or in the first year of the baby’s life, double the pre-Covid rates, The Times of Israel (ToI) reported.

According to the study, women who were out of work and stressed about Covid were far more likely to develop depression.

The findings back up a growing amount of cases where the pandemic negatively affected people’s mental health, especially among women, children, and the most vulnerable.

In the peer-reviewed study – which was led by Dr. Samira Alfiomi-Ziadna of Ben-Gurion’s Center for Women’s Health Studies and Promotion – women were assessed based on criteria used by mental health professionals.

“Even though we no longer have lockdowns, we believe that it will take time for rates to fall back to pre-pandemic levels,” Alfiomi-Ziadna told ToI.

“Being in the home during the coronavirus lockdowns disrupted normal social and family support structures,” she added.

The study also found that rates of depression among Arab women in Israel were far higher than Jewish women, which Alfiomi-Ziadna attributed to socioeconomic status.

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