The experience of pregnancy and postpartum anxiety disorders results in adverse birth outcomes and the disrupted development of infants and children. Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated pregnant and postpartum women as more vulnerable to COVID-19 (CDC, 2021), and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders rates have increased. However, research regarding the lived experience of women with postpartum anxiety (PPA) during a global pandemic remains lacking. Using van Manen’s hermeneutic phenomenological research method, we interviewed eight women self-identifying as having had PPA during the COVID-19 pandemic. Analysis revealed five themes describing the lived experience of PPA during COVID-19: Wired, Trapped, Lost in Time, No Safety Net, and Doubting Myself. The lived experience of PPA was both mirrored and masked by the lived experience of a global pandemic, exacerbating PPA due to the unknown and constricting nature of the pandemic. These findings suggest the need for future research to include subjective human experiences as pivotal components in creating support practices and a deeper understanding of PPA in the context of unprecedented life events.
postpartum anxiety (PPA), hermeneutic phenomenology, COVID-19, qualitative, pandemic, postpartum
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Recommended APA Citation
Ladd, W., & De Decker, J. (2022). The Lived Experience of Postpartum Anxiety During COVID-19: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study. The Qualitative Report, 27(7), 1316-1340. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2022.5420
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