The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Indigenous individuals during pregnancy and the postpartum (perinatal) period. Despite this, less than 1% of studies examining perinatal mental health during the pandemic included Indigenous persons. The current work examined pandemic-related stressors and depression and anxiety among Indigenous women and mothers attending an Indigenous midwifery clinic.
Researchers found that a fear of COVID-19 infection, parenting and home-schooling children, and lack of support from female relatives and friends were particularly stressful. Despite these stressors, levels of depression (21%) and anxiety (26%) were lower than other groups surveyed during the pandemic and suggest that receiving culturally-supportive care from Indigenous midwives may have played a protective role.
Exploring the aspects of culturally-consistent care that may be contributing to the well-being of these Indigenous parents, as well as following them over time could help to optimize their mental health and that