Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a particularly adverse and stressful environment for expecting mothers, possibly enhancing feelings of anxiety and parenting stress. The present work assesses mothers' anxiety levels at delivery and parenting stress after 3 months as moderated by home-visiting sessions. Methods: Women (n = 177) in their second or third trimester of pregnancy during the COVID-19 lockdown were enrolled in northern Italy and split into those who did and did not receive home visits. After 3 months, the association between anxiety at delivery and parenting stress was assessed with bivariate correlations in the whole sample and comparing the two groups. Results: Higher anxiety at birth correlated with greater perceived stress after 3 months. Mothers who received at least one home-visiting session reported lower parenting stress at 3 months than counterparts who did not receive home visits. Conclusions for Practice: The perinatal period is a sensitive time window for mother-infant health, especially during a critical time like the COVID-19 pandemic. We suggest that home-visiting programs could be beneficial during global healthcare emergencies to promote maternal well-being after delivery.
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