1. Altman, Molly R. PhD, CNM, MPH
  2. Mohammed, Selina A. PhD, RN, MSN, MPH
  3. Eagen-Torkko, Meghan K. PhD, CNM, ARNP
  4. Kantrowitz-Gordon, Ira PhD, CNM, ARNP
  5. Gavin, Amelia R. PhD


Introduction: The rapid uptake of telehealth for perinatal care during the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to mixed evidence as to its effectiveness, with limited research demonstrating satisfaction and appropriateness for communities at risk for poor birth outcomes. The purpose of this article is to describe the experiences of virtual care during pregnancy and postpartum among a diverse group of pregnant/birthing people in Washington State during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Methods: We conducted a thematic analysis study exploring experiences of care during the COVID-19 pandemic for 15 pregnant and birthing people in Washington State. This secondary analysis utilized data specific to experiences receiving care via telehealth.


Results: Three dominant themes were identified: loss of connection and relationships with providers; need for hands-on interactions for reassurance; and virtual care is good for some things but not all-desire for immediate, accessible care when appropriate. The majority of participants felt that it was subpar to in-person care due to a lack of connection and the inability to receive necessary tests and hands-on reassurance.


Discussion/Conclusions: Our study findings encourage very judicious use of virtual care for communities that are at high risk for birth disparities to avoid impacting relationship building between patient and provider.