Purpose: The aim of this study is to describe how the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has affected pregnancy, prenatal maternity care practices, and infant feeding plans among pregnant persons in the United States.
Study design: Cross-sectional descriptive study using an app-based survey.
Methods: A link to the survey was sent via email to users of the Ovia Pregnancy app on May 20, 2020 and was open for 1 week. Participants were asked to complete the survey as it applied to their pregnancy, breastfeeding, and maternity care received during the COVID-19 pandemic, beginning approximately February 2020 through the time of the survey. There were 258 respondents who completed the survey.
Results: The majority (96.4%; n = 251) of pregnant women felt they received safe prenatal care during this time period. Slightly less 86.3% (n = 215) felt they received adequate prenatal care during this time period. 14.2% (n = 33) reported changing or considering changing the location where they planned to give birth due to COVID-19. Of those who reported they had begun purchasing items for their baby, 52.7% reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their ability to get items they need for their baby.
Clinical implications: Although it is imperative to implement policies that reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19 to pregnant women and health care providers, it is necessary for health care providers and policy makers to listen to the collective voices of women during pregnancy about how COVID-19 has affected their birth and infant feeding plans and their perception of changes in prenatal care.