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Matern Child Health J ; 26(9): 1753-1761, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1959051


OBJECTIVE: Obstetrical patients are at risk of complications from COVID-19 and face increased stress due to the pandemic and changes in hospital birth setting. The objective was to describe the perinatal care experiences of obstetrical patients who gave birth during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: A descriptive epidemiological survey was administered to consenting patients who gave birth at The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) between March 16th and June 16th, 2020. The participants reported on prenatal, in-hospital, and postpartum care experiences. COVID-19 pandemic related household stress factors were investigated. Frequencies and percentages are presented for categorical variables and median and interquartile range (IQR) for continuous variables. RESULTS: A total of 216 participants were included in the analyses. Median participants age was 33 years (IQR: 30-36). Collectively, 94 (43.5%) participants felt elevated stress for prenatal appointments and 105 (48.6%) for postpartum appointments because of COVID-19. There were 108 (50.0%) were scared to go to the hospital for delivery, 97 (44.9%) wore a mask during labour and 54 (25.0%) gave birth without a support person. During postpartum care, 125 (57.9%) had phone appointments (not offered prior to COVID-19), and 18 (8.3%) received no postpartum care at all. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 pandemic and public health protocols created a stressful healthcare environment for the obstetrical population where many were fearful of accessing services, experienced changes to standard care, or no care at all. As the pandemic continues, careful attention should be given to the perinatal population to reduce stress and improve continuity of care.

RéSUMé: OBJECTIF: Les patients obstétriques sont à risque de complications de la COVID-19 et font face à un stress accru en raison de la pandémie et des changements dans le cadre de l'accouchement en milieu hospitalier. L'objectif était de décrire les expériences de soins périnataux des patients obstétriques qui ont accouché au cours des premières phases de la pandémie de COVID-19. MéTHODES: Un sondage épidémiologique descriptif a été menée auprès de patients qui ont accouché à L'Hôpital d'Ottawa (TOH) entre le 16 mars et le 16 juin 2020. Les participants ont fait un compte rendu de leurs expériences en matière de soins prénataux, hospitaliers et post-partum. Les facteurs de stress domestique liés à la COVID-19 ont été étudiés. Les fréquences et les pourcentages sont présentés pour les variables catégorielles et la médiane et l'écart interquartile (IQR) sont présentés pour les variables continues. RéSULTATS: Au total, 261 participants ont répondu au sondage. L'âge maternel médian était de 33 ans (IQR: 30­36). Collectivement, 94 participants (43,5%) ressentaient un stress élevé en lien avec les rendez-vous prénataux et 105 (48,6%) pour les rendez-vous post-partum en raison de la COVID-19. Il y avait 108 patients (50,0%) qui avaient peur d'aller à l'hôpital pour accoucher, 97 (44,9%) qui portaient un masque pendant leur travail et 54 (25,0%) qui ont accouché sans personne de soutien. En lien avec les soins post-partum, 125 (57,9%) ont eu des rendez-vous téléphoniques (non offerts avant la pandémie COVID-19) et 18 (8,3%) n'ont reçu aucun soin post-partum. CONCLUSION: La pandémie de COVID-19 et les politiques de santé publique ont créé un environnement de soins de santé stressant pour la population obstétrique où beaucoup avaient peur d'accéder aux services de soins, ont connu des changements dans les soins de base ou n'ont pas eu de soins du tout. Alors que la pandémie se poursuit, une attention particulière doit être accordée à la population périnatale afin de réduire le stress et améliorer la continuité des soins.

COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Parturition , Patient Outcome Assessment , Postpartum Period , Pregnancy
CMAJ Open ; 10(3): E643-E651, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1934594


BACKGROUND: There is limited information on the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in obstetric settings in Canada, beyond the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (February to June 2020). We sought to describe the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant people admitted to triage units at a tertiary care hospital in Ottawa, Canada. METHODS: We conducted a descriptive study of pregnant people admitted to obstetric triage assessment units at The Ottawa Hospital between Oct. 19 and Nov. 27, 2020 (second local wave of the COVID-19 pandemic). Participants underwent SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (via naso- or oropharyngeal swabs) and serology testing upon admission. We excluded individuals younger than 18 years, those who did not speak English or French, those who enrolled in conflicting studies, those admitted for pregnancy termination and those triaged between 11:31 pm and 7:29 am. Swab and serology samples were analyzed using digital droplet PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, respectively. We defined SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity as a positive result for immunoglobulin (Ig) G, either alone or in combination with IgM or IgA. RESULTS: Of the 632 eligible patients, 363 (57.4%) consented to participation and 362 collectively provided 284 swab and 352 blood samples eligible for analysis. Common reasons for declining participation included feeling overwhelmed or anxious, being worried about repercussions of testing, pain or discomfort with testing or disinterest in research. Participants were mostly multiparous (53.9%) and in their third trimester upon admission (88.4%). In all, 18 (4.9%) participants had evidence of SARS-CoV-2 exposure; 2 (0.7%) of 284 were positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR and 16 (4.5%) of 352 were positive for IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2. INTERPRETATION: During the second local wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of active SARS-CoV-2 infection among obstetric patients in Ottawa was 0.7% and seroprevalence was 4.5%. Our low participation rate highlights the need for improvements in patient education and public health messaging on the benefits of SARS-CoV-2 testing programs.

COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Canada/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Pandemics , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Seroepidemiologic Studies
Int Breastfeed J ; 17(1): 8, 2022 01 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1633794


BACKGROUND: Breastmilk hand expression (BMHE) is recommended to promote lactation, relieve breast engorgement, and collect milk for future infant feedings. Resources to teach this skill are limited and infrequently developed in partnership with the obstetrical population. In collaboration with maternity care experts and individuals with recent breastfeeding experience, we designed a one-page toolkit that describes the process of BMHE and includes step-by-step instructions and images to illustrate the technique. This study aimed to evaluate the readability, clarity of content, layout, and informational value of this BMHE toolkit. METHODS: Individuals who intended to breastfeed, were currently breastfeeding, or had recently breastfed were electronically surveyed and completed a two-part survey that consisted of radio, multi-select, Likert scale, and open-ended questions. Part one captured sociodemographic factors, obstetrical history, and breastfeeding practices. Part two collected feedback on the BMHE toolkit. Participants were recruited electronically through social media and posters were circulated in antenatal and postnatal care settings in Ottawa, Canada between November 2020 and February 2021. RESULTS: Of the 123 participants, 117 (95.1%) had heard of hand expression prior to reviewing the toolkit and 99 (80.5%) had hand expressed before. Among the 48 participants who were no longer exclusively breastfeeding at the time of the survey, 22 (45.8%) had exclusively breastfed their infant for at least six months and 7 (14.6%) had discontinued exclusive breastfeeding within the first month. When asked about the BMHE toolkit, 118 (95.9%) participants said it was informative, 115 (93.5%) said it was easy to understand, and 114 (92.7%) said it was well laid-out. When asked about information seeking behaviours, participants indicated a preference for online resources (58.5%) and video resources (22.0%). CONCLUSIONS: The BMHE toolkit was well received by participants and the feedback was favourable overall. The survey feedback will be used to create a revised version of the toolkit that has been validated by the obstetrical patient population. Future research should focus on identifying implementation strategies to optimize the use of the toolkit and increase its effectiveness as an educational resource to teach participants correctly BMHE.

Breast Milk Expression , Maternal Health Services , Breast Feeding , Female , Humans , Infant , Lactation , Milk, Human , Pregnancy
Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol ; 128(5): 635-641, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1132864


Opioids cover a broad class of natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs that act on opioid receptors to produce powerful analgesic effects. Rates of opioid use and opioid agonist maintenance treatment have increased substantially in recent years, particularly among women. Trends and outcomes of opioids use on fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and longer-term child developmental outcomes have not been well-described. Here, we review the existing literature on the health effects of opioid use on female fertility, pregnancy, breastmilk and the exposed infant. We find that the current literature is primarily concentrated on the impact of opioid use in pregnancy and neonatal outcomes, with little exploration of effects on fertility. Studies are limited in number, some with small sample sizes, and many are hampered by methodological challenges related to confounding and other potential biases. Opioid use is becoming more prevalent due to environmental pressures such as COVID-19. More research is needed to better elucidate its effects on reproductive health among younger women and support the development of evidence-based recommendations for safe prescription practices and public health messaging.

Breast Feeding , Fertility/drug effects , Opioid-Related Disorders , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Pregnancy Complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Opioid-Related Disorders/complications , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/prevention & control , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/standards , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/trends , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications/epidemiology , Pregnancy Complications/prevention & control , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2