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Pregnant women’s daily patterns of well-being before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland: Longitudinal monitoring through smartwatch technologyRyckman, Kelli K (Ed.)Background Technology enables the continuous monitoring of personal health parameter data during pregnancy regardless of the disruption of normal daily life patterns. Our research group has established a project investigating the usefulness of an Internet of Things–based system and smartwatch technology for monitoring women during pregnancy to explore variations in stress, physical activity and sleep. The aim of this study was to examine daily patterns of well-being in pregnant women before and during the national stay-at-home restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic in Finland. Methods A longitudinal cohort study design was used to monitor pregnant women in their everyday settings. Two cohorts of pregnant women were recruited. In the first wave in January-December 2019, pregnant women with histories of preterm births (gestational weeks 22–36) or late miscarriages (gestational weeks 12–21); and in the second wave between October 2019 and March 2020, pregnant women with histories of full-term births (gestational weeks 37–42) and no pregnancy losses were recruited. The final sample size for this study was 38 pregnant women. The participants continuously used the Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch and their heart rate variability, and physical activity and sleep data were collected. Subjective stress, activity and sleep reports were collected using amore »
Mental Health and Prenatal Bonding in Pregnant Women During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence for Heightened Risk Compared With a Prepandemic Sample
We compared 572 pregnant women (319 first-time mothers) surveyed in spring 2020, during the first wave of COVID-19 lockdowns in the United States, with 99 pregnant women (all first-time mothers) surveyed before the pandemic (2014–2020). Compared with the prepandemic sample, women assessed during the pandemic showed elevated depression, anxiety, and stress and weaker prenatal bonding to their infants. These findings remained significant when restricting the pandemic sample to first-time mothers only and held after controlling for race/ethnicity, education, and pregnancy stage. Average levels of depression and anxiety within the pandemic group exceeded clinically significant thresholds, and women who estimated that the pandemic had more negatively affected their social relationships reported higher distress. However, pandemic-related changes to social contact outside the household were inconsistently associated with mental health and with some positive outcomes (fewer depressive symptoms, stronger prenatal bonding). Given that prenatal stress may compromise maternal and child well-being, the pandemic may have long-term implications for population health.
Inflammation during pregnancy may aggravate iron deficiency (ID) by increasing serum hepcidin and reducing iron absorption. This could restrict iron transfer to the fetus, increasing risk of infant ID and its adverse effects.
We aimed to assess whether iron bioavailability and/or iron transfer to the fetus is impaired in overweight/obese (OW) pregnant women with adiposity-related inflammation, compared with normal-weight (NW) pregnant women.
In this prospective study, we followed NW (n = 43) and OW (n = 40) pregnant women who were receiving iron supplements from the 14th week of gestation to term and followed their infants to age 6 mo. We administered 57Fe and 58Fe in test meals mid-second and mid-third trimester, and measured tracer kinetics throughout pregnancy and infancy.
In total, 38 NW and 36 OW women completed the study to pregnancy week 36, whereas 30 NW and 27 OW mother–infant pairs completed the study to 6 mo postpartum. Both groups had comparable iron status, hemoglobin, and serum hepcidin throughout pregnancy. Compared with the NW, the OW pregnant women had 1) 43% lower fractional iron absorption (FIA) in the third trimester (P = 0.033) with median [IQR] FIA of 23.9% [11.4%–35.7%] and 13.5% [10.8%–19.5%], respectively; and 2) 17% lower maternal–fetal iron transfermore »
Compared with NW, OW pregnant women failed to upregulate iron absorption in late pregnancy, transferred less iron to their fetus, and their infants had lower BIS. These impairments were associated with inflammation independently of serum hepcidin.
This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT02747316.
Background The physical and emotional well-being of women is critical for healthy pregnancy and birth outcomes. The Two Happy Hearts intervention is a personalized mind-body program coached by community health workers that includes monitoring and reflecting on personal health, as well as practicing stress management strategies such as mindful breathing and movement. Objective The aims of this study are to (1) test the daily use of a wearable device to objectively measure physical and emotional well-being along with subjective assessments during pregnancy, and (2) explore the user’s engagement with the Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype, as well as understand their experiences with various intervention components. Methods A case study with a mixed design was used. We recruited a 29-year-old woman at 33 weeks of gestation with a singleton pregnancy. She had no medical complications or physical restrictions, and she was enrolled in the Medi-Cal public health insurance plan. The participant engaged in the Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype from her third trimester until delivery. The Oura smart ring was used to continuously monitor objective physical and emotional states, such as resting heart rate, resting heart rate variability, sleep, and physical activity. In addition, the participant self-reported her physical and emotionalmore »
A Micro-Level Analysis of Physiological Responses to COVID-19: Continuous Monitoring of Pregnant Women in CaliforniaContinuous monitoring of perinatal women in a descriptive case study allowed us the opportunity to examine the time during which the COVID-19 infection led to physiological changes in two low-income pregnant women. An important component of this study was the use of a wearable sensor device, the Oura ring, to monitor and record vital physiological parameters during sleep. Two women in their second and third trimesters, respectively, were selected based on a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Both women were tested using the polymerase chain reaction method to confirm the presence of the virus during which time we were able to collect these physiological data. In both cases, we observed 3–6 days of peak physiological changes in resting heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), and respiratory rate (RR), as well as sleep surrounding the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. The pregnant woman in her third trimester showed a significant increase in resting HR ( p = 0.006) and RR ( p = 0.048), and a significant decrease in HRV ( p = 0.027) and deep sleep duration ( p = 0.029). She reported experiencing moderate COVID-19 symptoms and did not require hospitalization. At 38 weeks of gestation, she had a normal deliverymore »