Most Black Women Suffer with Mental Health Symptoms During Pregnancy

black women

According to a study in “The Nurse Practitioner,” published in December, black women have a high risk of mental health distress during pregnancy.

452 black women were examined for the prevalence of mental health conditions by Susan Gennaro, Ph.D., R.N., from the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, along with her colleagues.

A 42.9% increase in the scores of depression, anxiety, and stress measures was seen in the research participants. Moreover, among these participants, the mean score for anxiety was 9.16. In addition, 12.80 for depression and 21.79 for stress. More than 36.1% of the participants (one-third) experienced two symptoms, and one-third experienced all the symptoms.

The authors wrote,

Pregnant Black individuals experience high levels of comorbid mental health distress including depression, anxiety, and stress

The findings indicate that treatment for mental health concerns needs to be broad-based and effective for all three conditions. Prenatal interventions should aim to address mental health distress through screening and treatment of depression, anxiety, and stress, especially for pregnant Black individuals. This study furthers understanding of the prevalence of prenatal mental health conditions in pregnant Black people.


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