We are rapidly evaluating our data and preparing articles for submission.
One of our first analyses has evaluated patient-provider communication. We found that 1 out of 5 women in our sample were not comfortable speaking about their COVID-19 related worries with their provider.
We have also found that 40% of women, including 25% in their third trimester, said that their provider had not spoken with them about how the COVID-19 pandemic would affect their labor and delivery experience.
Using questions generated by participants in our sample, we have created the below handout. We hope that this can be used as a resource for patients and providers to communicate more effectively during the pandemic so that women are able to know what to expect with their care.
Our recently published letter to the editor in Health Expectations examined commonly reported birth plan changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We found that 45.2% of participants reported changing some aspect of their birth plans. You can find the full piece here.
Notably, respondents exhibited a much higher preference for out of hospital births than the national average before the COVID‐19 pandemic (5.4% vs. 1.6%, respectively). While this may be partly due to sample demographic characteristics, this percentage was also high among women in the sample who had previously given birth (5.1% now planned on an out of hospital birth, while only 3.1% of these women had previously delivered out of hospital), suggesting that part of this increase is likely attributable to the pandemic.
Commonly reported reasons for birth plan changes are highlighted in the handout below. We hope that the diverse factors influencing maternal birth plan choices presented here may serve as reference providers can use to explore patient concerns.