The Buzz: COVID-19 Disruptions to Perinatal Care

Authors: Cassandra Hendrix and Alexis George

January 14, 2020

How has COVID-19 impacted perinatal care in the US? And how is this impacting mothers’ psychological health?

Our goal was to characterize how perinatal care in the US has changed due to COVID-19. To do this, we compiled data from 14 different sites across the US, resulting in a dataset of over 7,000 pregnant and postpartum women. The states colored on this map indicate the number of participants we recruited from each state in the US.

We started by examining whether the quality of care that postpartum individuals received changed due to COVID-19. Based on the subjective report of the women in our study, 61% indicated their pre and postnatal care worsened because of COVID-19; that equates to about 1,000 women in our sample.

So…did the quality of perinatal care change because of COVID-19? The answer is yes!

But what were the specific changes that women experienced? We decided to quantify these experiences in a more objective way. To do that, we asked people whether they experienced specific disruptions to their perinatal care. The specific disruptions we asked about can be grouped into disruptions to one’s birth plan (in gold below), or disruptions to the postnatal care that people usually receive after giving birth (in blue).