AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The InfantRisk Center (IRC) at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) has announced it is studying the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on pregnant women. Scientists are currently recruiting participants for an online survey.
“Pregnancy and the early postpartum period are times of great change and anticipation,” Christine Garner, Ph.D., assistant professor in the TTUHSC Department of Pediatrics and the IRC said. “The purpose of this study is to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected pregnant and postpartum individuals. We want to learn about their experiences with obstetrical care, social and physical distancing, and feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression.”
Dr. Garner adds stress can affect many things when it comes to a mother and her baby, such as breastfeeding.
“Stress can have long-term effects on babies. If the mom is stressed out, while she’s pregnant or while the baby is an infant, that can have an impact on the baby’s development,” said Dr. Garner.
Currently pregnant women or women who gave birth on or after March 1, 2020 are encouraged by the IRC to participate in an online survey.
This survey is open to both first time mothers or women who have had children before.
The IRC said participants must be at least 18 years old and must be living in the United States. The survey can be completed in 10 to 20 minutes and is completely voluntary and anonymous. Responses will be entered into a secure online database that is compliant with U.S. HIPAA requirements.
Dr. Garner said that this survey will help them understand what a woman needs moving forward in terms of pediatric care during and after pregnancy.
“Women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth are at a point in their lives when things are changing and there are often a lot of unknowns and what happens during that time of the peripartum period that can have long term impacts on the future,” said Dr. Garner.
Representatives of the IRC can be reached through www.infantrisk.com or by calling 806-352-2519.