Objective: To evaluate the relationship between assisted reproduction technology (ART) and anxiety symptoms during late pregnancy and early parenthood. Method: Women with ART pregnancies were prospectively compared to their partners and to women with spontaneous pregnancies. The sample of 87 subjects, 48 ART (25 mothers and 23 fathers) and 39 non-ART mothers were given the ASQ-IPAT Anxiety Scale at 30-32 weeks of gestation, and at one week and three months after delivery. Results: The main socio-demographic and obstetrical characteristics were similar between groups. ART women showed higher scores for latent anxiety than non-ART women at three months after birth and showed no difference from ART men in all assessments. Manifest anxiety scores in ART women were higher, compared to non-ART women during the third trimester of pregnancy and one week after birth and were higher in all assessments when compared to ART men. Overall level of anxiety was higher in ART women in all assessments when compared to non-ART women and higher than in ART men during the two postnatal assessments. Conclusion: We confirm the higher level of anxiety that characterizes the pregnancy-birth process in ART pregnancies. In addition, the higher manifest anxiety present before delivery and one week post-partum can be explained by the special nature of these pregnancies. Psychological support should be offered to ART patients because anxiety is an important risk factor for maternal post-partum depression and can lead to negative effects on the neonate and on child emotional and behavioral development.
- Post-partum depression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health