In 2020, a global pandemic changed our lives in an instant. 

As we adjusted to social distancing and lockdowns, our community partner, the Mater Foundation, embarked on a game-changing research project to monitor the effect of COVID-19 on mums-to-be along with their newborns.  

Thanks to Golden Casket and our Queensland customers, last year we made a $500,000 contribution to the Queensland Family Cohort Pilot Study run by the Mater Foundation in the hope of learning more about the virus. 

Being pregnant can be an uncertain time for many new parents, but what does COVID-19 pose to these soon-to-be-mothers and their families?

Mater Research Professor Vicki Clifton said lifestyle, physical health, mental health and social support data collected from families impacted by COVID-19 was being compared to those recruited before the pandemic.  

“Comparing data across both cohorts gives us a clearer picture of the real impact of the pandemic,” she said.  

“Pre-COVID–19 families experience anxiety, stress, and depressive symptoms. At 24 weeks of pregnancy, three to eight percent of mothers in the QFC Study reported a moderate to severe rise in depression, postnatal depression, anxiety, stress, sleep deprivation, and satisfaction as a couple.” 

Professor Clifton said this showed a combination of physical and social factors negatively affected women’s mental health during pregnancy, which she believed could be intensified by COVID–19.  

The team is hopeful this knowledge and insight will help them better assess and support mothers and their families through this period, ensuring extra support services during and after pregnancy.  

To learn more about the QFC study, head to the Mater Foundation website.