Tishra Beeson (Public Health)
Pregnant women have faced rapidly changing information about COVID-19 disease and its related outcome. As health systems and providers shifted care delivery models to adapt to the realities of pregnancy care during a pandemic, some pregnant women may have experienced changes to their care experience and gaps in their intended support services or strategies. This pilot study surveyed pregnant women in their third trimester (n = 297) about their intended use of supports, services, and benefits prior to COVID-19 being declared a global pandemic, and any alterations to their plans for using these support strategies during the pandemic. Paired t-tests were used to analyze differences between intentions for support service utilization between the two reporting periods. Linear regression models were used to test associations between the number of support strategies reported by pregnant women and demographic characteristics, as well as outcomes of interest such as perinatal depression, measured on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). This study highlights the importance of family-professional partnerships through a continuum of care, establishing and improving communities and systems for the MCH population, and robust resource assistance and referrals to health and social service providers for pregnant women as they navigate the complexity and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring a person-centered, flexible, and responsive coordination of care model that is reflective of local contexts is vital to meeting the overall health and social needs of pregnant women during a time of high uncertainty.
Keywords: Health, COVID-19, Pregnancy