1. Breman, Rachel Blankstein PhD, MSN, MPH, RN
  2. Neerland, Carrie PhD, APRN, CNM
  3. Iobst, Stacey E. PhD, RNC-OB, CNE
  4. Bradford, L. Latey MD, PhD
  5. Barr, Eric MS
  6. Malloy, Shannon BS
  7. Burgess, Adriane PhD, RNC-OB, CCE, CNE, C-ONQS


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to capture the experiences of postpartum people during the first wave of COVID-19, specifically their access to contraception and lactation support.


Methods: This cross-sectional study surveyed individuals in the United States who used the Ovia Pregnancy and Parenting app. The survey was administered via an email Web link sent to postpartum people who gave birth between March 1, 2020, and June 11, 2020. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted.


Results: A total of 388 postpartum people completed the survey. Most participants had just given birth to their first baby (68.5%; n = 261) at term gestation (37-41 weeks) (92.9%; n = 355). From the qualitative data, using content analysis, we derived 6 themes and 2 subthemes: quarantine, changes in postpartum care, loneliness and isolation, stress, resource changes, and positive impact. The theme loneliness and isolation had 2 subthemes: depression/sadness/hopelessness and anxiety.


Discussion: The experience of being postpartum during the COVID-19 pandemic brought unforeseen challenges. Providing care and support to postpartum people during a pandemic, specifically during a time of quarantine, should be reimagined. Increased use of virtual postpartum care services and expanded mental health support could serve to fill the gaps identified by participants.