How the COVID-19 Pandemic Changed a New Mothers Sense of Loneliness, and Who Was Key to Helping Them Through It

Ai Miyoshi, Yutaka Ueda, Asami Yagi, Toshihiro Kimura, Eiji Kobayashi, Kosuke Hiramatsu, Satoshi Nakagawa, Takahiro Tabuchi, Yoshihiko Hosokawa, Sumiyo Okawa, Tadashi Kimura


Background: We report here on new mothers changing sense of loneliness before and after the first year of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and assess what and who they felt were important to them for reducing their loneliness.

Methods: We conducted an online survey of mothers. The questionnaire had sections regarding the home childcare environment, her anxiety and sense of loneliness levels, and whether or not she could consult with.

Results: It revealed that 58.6% of mothers had felt lonely more often than they had before COVID-19 pandemic and that 45.0% had felt lonely within recent 30 days. Mothers who were not working, or who could not get anyones help for the first month after childbirth, or who had anxiety about child-rearing or their economic situation, or whose family was unable to respond to her feelings or support her, or who did not have anyone to consult with, or who did not have sufficient opportunities to consult with her friends and neighbors, or who could not consult with, or had refrained from consulting with, pediatric clinic, felt loneliness more often. Mothers who could not consult with their husband, mother, father, brothers, and sisters, mother-in-law, neighborhood friends, or business colleagues felt loneliness more.

Conclusions: A new mothers perception that her needs were not being met, or whether she could consult with her neighborhood friends or work colleagues as well as her husband, parents, and/or mother-in-law, was associated with more loneliness. Stronger involvement of family and friend in her child-rearing should be promoted.

J Clin Gynecol Obstet. 2022;11(4):101-107


COVID-19; Childbirth; Perinatal care; Loneliness; Social isolation; Key person

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