Main Article Content
Even though pregnant women are more prone to have severe COVID 19, few studies have been conducted on their protective behaviours against this disease in our country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fear of getting COVID infection may prevent antenatal women from visiting hospitals for routine antenatal checkups and utilization of telemedicine may be an alternative to get connected with their health care providers during the pandemic.
Aims: To evaluate the protective behaviour adopted by pregnant women during the COVID pandemic and their utilization of teleconsultation for antenatal care.
Methods: A cross- sectional study was conducted among pregnant women attending three selected hospitals in Trivandrum District in Kerala during May to August 2020. The data was collected from a random sample of 252 pregnant women registered in these hospitals using a self-administered semi-structured questionnaire.
Results: Around 89% of pregnant women had adopted good practice to protect themselves against the COVID 19. About 94% wore a mask whenever they went outside. About 72% completely avoided crowded place. About 72% had rated themselves to have good or very good knowledge regarding protective measures of COVID 19. Among the pregnant women, 61(24.2%) missed their scheduled antenatal visit once, 32(12.7%) missed twice and 8(3.2% missed three or more times during the pandemic period. Half of the pregnant women utilized telemedicine facility during the pandemic to stay connected with their doctors. But 31% were not aware of telemedicine facility in hospitals, while 1.6% does not have an internet access. Higher age group, current employment status and area of residence was found to be associated with poor practice.
Conclusions: Nearly 89% pregnant women adopted good protective measures against COVID19. Measures need to be taken to improve the availability of telemedicine facility in hospitals for antenatal women and to improve awareness about it among public which may help the antenatal women to stay connected with their health care providers during this pandemic.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Situation Report– 120. Available:https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200519-covid-19-sitrep-120.pdf?sfvrsn=515cabfb_2
Population of Kerala 2020 (Demographic, Facts, Etc.) – India Population; 2020 [Internet]. [cited 2020 May 3]. Available:https://indiapopulation2020.in/population-of-kerala-2020.html
Novel Corona virus (2019-nCoV) India Situation Report. (accessed 20th May 2020). Available:https://www.who.int/india/emergencies/india-situation-report
John Allotey, Elena Stallings, Mercedes Bonet, Magnus Yap, Shaunak Chatterjee, Tania Kew et al. Clinical manifestations, risk factors, and maternal and perinatal outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 in pregnancy: Living systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2020;370. doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3320
Ryan AG, Purandare NC, Mc Auliffe, Hod M. Clinical update of COVID-19 in pregnancy: A review article. J Obstet Gynaecol. Aug 2020. 46(8):1235-1245. Available:https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jog.14321
Rasmussen SA, Smulian JC, Lednicky JA, Wen TS, Jamieson DJ. Corona Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and pregnancy: What obstetricians need to know. AJOG. 2020;222(5):415-426.
Aghababaei S, Bashirian S, Soltanian A, Refaei M, Omidi T, Khani G. Perceived risk and protective behaviours regarding COVID 19 among Iranian pregnant women. Middle East Fertil Soc J. 2020;25 (1):29. Available:https://doi.org/10.1186/s43043-020-00038-z
Nwafor JI, Aniukwu JK, Anozie BO, Ikeotuonye AC, Okedo-Alex. Pregnant women’s knowledge and practice of preventive measures against COVID-19 in a low-resource African setting. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2020;150(1):121–123. Available:https://doi.org/10.1002/ijgo.13186
Corbett GA, Milne SJ, Hehir mp, Lindow SW, O’Connell MP. Health anxiety and behavioural change of pregnant women during COVID 19 pandemic. Ejog. 2020;96-97.
Yassa M, Birol P, Yirmibes C, Usta C, Haydae A, Yassa A et al. Near term pregnant women’s attitude toward, concern about and knowledge of COVID 19 pandemic. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.
Reynolds MR. Telehealth in pregnancy. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2020,Jun; 8(6):459-461.
Sharmila V, Babu TA, Balakrishnan P. Optimizing telemedicine for providing obstetric and reproductive health care services during COVID 19 pandemic. IJCMPH. 2020;7(8):3278-3283.
Fryer K, Delgado A, Foti T, Reid CN, Marshall J. Implementation of obstetric telehealth during COVID-19 and beyond. Matern Child Health J. 2020 Sep;24(9):1104-1110. Doi: 10.1007/s10995-020-02967-7. PMID: 32564248; PMCID: PMC7305486.