INTRODUCTION: To investigate whether is there any differences in the mental health of pregnant women during Delta and Omicron COVID-19 waves and to determine the variables related to the symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety of pregnant women.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted from April to June 2021 (Delta wave) and March to June 2022 (Omicron wave). Pregnant women were evaluated using a questionnaire consisting of sections assessing sociodemographic characteristics, the perceived burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, and psychometric instruments: Depression Anxiety and Stress Scales-21 (DASS-21), and Perception of causes of COVID-19 scale.
RESULTS: DASS anxiety, depression, and stress subscales scores were higher in the Delta wave than in the Omicron wave (p<0.001). Mothers' anxiety and fears about their own health and the health of their babies were higher in the Delta wave than in the Omicron wave (p<0.001). DASS symptoms were found to be associated with education level, employment, income, and weight gain during pregnancy (all p<0.05).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: This study indicated that stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms were higher in pregnant women in the Delta wave than in the Omicron wave. Recommended implementation of mental health promotion, prevention and intervention strategies to support pregnant women during epidemics.