Introduction: The COVID-19 and Reproductive Effects (CARE) project is a case study documenting the complex COVID-19-linked factors impacting prenatal care and birth experiences. The case study considers future research needed to document the downstream health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on pregnant women and their children.

The CARE Study: The CARE study is a longitudinal study designed to evaluate how the pandemic has affected pregnant women’s prenatal care decisions and birth experiences. In addition to measuring how the pandemic is affecting maternity care access and depression risk, an overarching goal of the CARE study is to develop educational handouts based on study results for participants, care providers, and policy makers. Building upon this preliminary work, future analyses are planned to examine how the COVID‐19 pandemic affected birth experiences and outcomes, as well as which socioeconomic and geographic factors most strongly influence whether women are able to access preferred providers and delivery facilities during the pandemic. Additional analyses will also explore shifting social attitudes toward maternity care norms, including altered preferences (eg, for out‐of‐hospital deliveries) that may persist beyond the pandemic.

Authors: Theresa E. Gildner, Zaneta M. Thayer

Publication Date: August 26, 2020

DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.23494

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