Pregnant Women's Reports of the Impact of COVID-19 on Pregnancy, Prenatal Care, and Infant Feeding Plans

MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. Jan/Feb 2021;46(1):21-29. doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000673.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding / psychology*
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control
  • COVID-19 / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control*
  • Maternal Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / psychology*
  • Prenatal Care / psychology*
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data