To gain insights in how women use technology to address health information needs during the prenatal and postpartum time frame.
An exploratory qualitative study recruited pregnant and recent postpartum women to share their perspectives on information they needed and how they obtained it.
Women who were pregnant or <90 days postpartum (n = 26) were recruited via social media and invited to share their experiences. Design thinking methodology was used to develop questions to understand information needs in the perinatal period as well as in context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Verbatim transcripts were coded by the research team according to Braun and Clarke's reflexive thematic analysis.
Five themes explain the experience of seeking information to support the perinatal period. Women explained the need for the following: (1) information and relationships are inseparable, (2) current practices leave needs unmet, (3) the pandemic exposes vulnerability in prenatal care, (4) left to figure it out alone, and (5) bridging the gap through technology.
Aggregated findings suggest how usual care can be modified to improve support for women through personalized care, improved information support, and use of technology. The study findings inform innovative strategies using current technologies to improve health promotion in a dynamic health environment.