Pregnancy care and childbirth cannot wait for a pandemic to pass. Your providers and hospital have to be there to reassure your patients about your continued ability to offer nurturing care. The best way to do that is to provide clear, concise messages about changes to your maternity processes and services.
What Moms-To-Be Want to Know
Figure out what your maternity patients want to know about the coronavirus and pregnancy. Coronavirus is a huge search topic right now. Look at online sources to help focus concerns for expecting moms. Consider:
- What searches are trending on Google? Look at Google Trends to find popular terms and topics. On a Google search results page, check the common questions knowledge box or look at “searches related to” at the bottom of the page.
- What information are organizations like the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Academy of Pediatrics, and March of Dimes putting out for this audience?
- What questions are women asking on social media? Explore Facebook groups, Reddit threads, etc.
And use your organization’s providers as local experts. Talk to your OB-GYNs and midwives to find out what questions their patients are asking them.
Strengthen Your Content Marketing Assets
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women should protect themselves from COVID-19. People look for information to reduce anxiety. Content marketing during a crisis can educate and improve patient trust in your organization.
Reference search trends and resources, and apply your marketing knowledge to create a list of pregnancy and COVID-19 related blog topics or content marketing hub articles. Answer questions people are asking, such as:
- Can becoming ill with COVID-19 increase my risk of miscarriage?
- Is it safe to deliver my baby in a hospital now? Should I change my labor and delivery plans?
- How does COVID-19 change prenatal and postpartum care visits?
- If I get COVID-19 while I’m pregnant, can I pass it to my unborn baby?
- Will I be tested for COVID-19 when I’m admitted for labor and delivery?
Draw Attention to Care & Safety Changes
Your organization and moms-to-be have the same priority – a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. Most hospitals and health care systems have modified their prenatal care because of COVID-19. Send updates to patients about care or process changes to:
- Expand infection-control practices and safety measures to protect mothers and newborns
- Replace some in-person prenatal care visits with telephone and virtual visits for women with low-risk pregnancies
- Increase waiting room precautions (masks) and procedures
- Provide wearable home monitoring devices for women with high-risk pregnancies and those who face barriers to accessing prenatal care
- Move preparedness education classes online
- Limit support people present during birth
- Restrict visitors
- Shorten the length of hospital stays
Informing patients about changes is relatively easy with established communication channels. Reach your patients through your patient portal, website, email, and social media. Consider using live, online chat sessions with your experts to answer maternity patient questions and ease fears. They will appreciate the fact that you’re addressing their needs with patient-friendly, practical solutions.
Reassure & Prepare Worried Patients
Giving birth during COVID-19 is an unfamiliar experience and comes with anxieties and expectations. First-time moms and moms with other children may be facing a different birthplace experience than they anticipated. Help reduce the unknown as much as possible by communicating exactly what patients will experience, step-by-step, when they come to deliver their baby. Emphasize the safety of mom, partner, baby, and staff.
Offer Facts to Make Informed Care Choices
Concerns about COVID-19 and visitor restrictions are making some pregnant women reconsider giving birth at a hospital. Explain why hospitals are a safer option for the mother and baby when giving birth. Explain that you have advanced technology and expert providers available to care for any problems during labor and delivery and after. Deliver easy-to-understand messages written in plain language so women can make informed choices about their care.
Extend Mental Well-Being Support
It’s normal for pregnant women to feel overwhelmed by the challenges COVID-19 brings to their pregnancy and newborn care. Provide patients with ways to manage their feelings, such as:
• Linking them to your online support groups or one associated with a national organization
• Offering digital wellness resources through your website to support lifestyle changes, mental health, self-care, and stress relief
• Highlighting the availability of referrals for therapy and counseling if needed
Highlight Community Outreach & Convenient Care
Community outreach, education, and care programs that impact maternal health and prenatal care are a focus of many hospitals and health care systems. Meeting pregnant women in their communities to provide for their health care needs is one way to ensure they continue to get the care they need. Publicize your efforts towards home health, mobile health, digital community education, and convenient services women can get within their communities or through telemedicine.
Make Childbirth a Joyful, Positive Experience
Remember, childbirth is one of the most memorable experiences of parents’ lives. Continue to celebrate bringing a new baby into the world – even during a pandemic. Focus on the important aspects of a safe and healthy delivery and newborn bonding. Craft messages that assure patients they will receive the same exceptional care during COVID-19 as they would any other time.
Relieve pregnant women’s fears with patient and provider stories. Share narratives from maternity nurses about the care they give and from maternity patients who praise your hospital for the amazing care and successful delivery of their babies during COVID-19.
Avera Health wrote a patient story about two separate moms’ insights on their recent deliveries. Although they acknowledged their worries and disappointments dues to Avera policy changes due to COVID-19, they also share how they had good experiences even though it wasn’t what they originally imagined.
Cone Health created two patient birth stories. One story is about the early delivery of a mother’s first baby. The other tells the story of a mom who had pregnancy complications before and after birth.
Connect with Your Patients
Be a trusted source of information and support for your maternity patients during COVID-19 and they won’t forget your messaging during this challenging time.
If you need help creating compelling digital content that connects with your target audiences, contact Geonetric.