The association between the COVID-19 pandemic and postpartum care provision

Allie Sakowicz*, Chloe N. Matovina, Sidney K. Imeroni, Maya Daiter, Olivia Barry, William A. Grobman, Emily S. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic led to a rapid transformation in the healthcare system to mitigate viral exposure. In the perinatal context, one change included altering the prenatal visit cadence and increasing the utilization of telehealth methods. Whether this approach had inadvertent negative implications for postpartum care, including postpartum depression screening and contraceptive utilization, is unknown. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine whether preventative health service utilization, including postpartum depression screening and contraceptive utilization, differed during the COVID-19 pandemic when compared with the prepandemic period. STUDY DESIGN: This retrospective cohort study included all pregnant patients who received prenatal care at 1 of 5 academic obstetrical practices and who delivered at Northwestern Memorial Hospital either before (delivery from September 1, 2018, to January 1, 2019) or during (delivery from February 1, 2020, to May 15, 2020) the COVID-19 pandemic. Completion of postpartum depression screening was assessed by reviewing standardized fields in the documentation associated with the screening in the electronic health record system. The method of contraception used was ascertained from the postpartum clinical documentation. Patients were classified as initiating long-acting reversible contraception use if they received NEXPLANON (etonogestrel implant) or an intrauterine device during the hospitalization for delivery or within 3 months following delivery. Bivariable and multivariable analyses were performed. RESULTS: Of the 2375 pregnant patients included in this study, 1120 (47%) delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pregnant patients who delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic were significantly less likely to have undergone postpartum depression screening (45.5% vs 86.2%; P<.01); this association persisted after adjusting for potential confounders (adjusted odds ratio, 0.13; 95% confidence interval, 0.11–0.16). Pregnant patients who delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic also were significantly less likely to initiate long-acting reversible contraception use within 3 months of delivery (13.5% vs 19.6%; adjusted odds ratio, 0.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.53–0.84). CONCLUSION: The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a decrease in the completion of postpartum depression screenings and fewer patients initiating long-acting reversible contraception use overall. These results can inform adaptations in healthcare delivery in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100460
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics &amp; gynecology MFM
Volume3
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • LARC
  • contraception
  • depression screening
  • health services
  • long-acting reversible contraception
  • postpartum depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The association between the COVID-19 pandemic and postpartum care provision'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this