The Disproportionate Burden of the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Pregnant Black Women

Raquel E. Gur, Lauren K. White, Rebecca Waller, Ran Barzilay, Tyler M. Moore, Sara Kornfield, Wanjiku F.M. Njoroge, Andrea F. Duncan, Barbara H. Chaiyachati, Julia Parish-Morris, Lawrence Maayan, Megan M. Himes, Nina Laney, Keri Simonette, Valerie Riis, Michal A. Elovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted the well-being of vulnerable populations in the US, including Black people. The impact on pregnant women is of special concern for the intrauterine and post-natal development of their offspring. We evaluated in an online survey a sample of 913 pregnant women, 216 Black, 571 White, 126 Other, during a 2-week stay-at-home mandate in the Philadelphia region. We applied logistic regression models and analysis of covariance to examine general and pregnancy-specific worries and negative consequences arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and resilience. Black pregnant women reported greater likelihood of having their employment negatively impacted, more concerns about a lasting economic burden, and more worries about their prenatal care, birth experience, and post-natal needs. In the full sample, 11.1% of women met screening criteria for anxiety and 9.9% met criteria for depression. Black women were more likely to meet criteria for depression than White women, but this difference was not significant accounting for covariates. Resilience factors including self-reliance and emotion regulation were higher in Black women. Racial disparities related to COVID-19 in pregnant women can advance the understanding of pregnancy related stressors and improve early identification of mental health needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113475
JournalPsychiatry Research
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • Depression
  • Pregnancy
  • Racial disparity
  • Resilience
  • Stress, Anxiety


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