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Academics from Chester Medical School at the University of Chester have created a survey to help them understand the extent to which maternity care has changed over in the past 10 years, in particular for groups which have had non-standard pregnancy periods and those who were pregnant during the COVID pandemic.

This new study will compare how women view their pregnancies and care in order to understand how services have improved over time and look at what changes need to be made to support expecting mothers, their children and partners in the future.

Dr Gareth Nye, a Lecturer in Physiology with expertise in pregnancy and postnatal medicine, explained: “Last year, we released a survey which was focused on women who had been pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic, and although we gained a lot of valuable information, we realised that our scope was too narrow.

“For pregnant women going through the pandemic, we’ve seen changes to every aspect of their care, but for some women this was more disruptive, particularly those who have gone through conditions such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or those who identify as having a disability.

“We are now beginning to see the long-term impact COVID-19 has had on pregnancies but, ultimately, we need to frame this in relation to non-COVID-19 years, to see what has changed for these women and how we can adapt in the future.”

The brief online questionnaire will cover antenatal care received by participants during the past 10 years and explore any additional care required for those diagnosed with common comorbidities – such as gestational diabetes – as these conditions require more interaction with medical professionals, looking further at labour, delivery and postnatal care. In addition, this survey explores the impact of COVID-19, vaccination, and lockdowns to see how women’s pregnancy experiences have been changed.

Dr Nye, who has three children, the third of whom was born during the first lockdown, added: “This will allow us to examine the extent to which the COVID-19 may have altered the scope of home visits from professionals and whether parents changed their approach to their children’s early life.

“The aim of this study is to highlight the areas that we need to continue to pay to attention to moving forward. For example, if health visitors and community midwives were not able to visit parents after birth because of lockdowns, have we missed anything on our children’s development? This is why we need to view pregnancy care over the past decade to understand the full impact.”

Survey participants need to be over the age of 18 and have been pregnant between 2012 and 2022  multiple pregnancies during this period would need to be completed separately.

To take part in the survey, visit

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