Simona Fumagalli1*, Laura Iannuzzi2, Virna Franca Zobbi1, Romina Sada1, Dominique Mylod2 and Antonella Nespoli1
1School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
2Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom
*Corresponding Author: Simona Fumagalli, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy.
Received: September 25, 2020; Published: January 22, 2021
Problem: The world is fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic and an infodemic; Italy is one of the most severely affected countries.
Background: The internet represents a popular source of health information. In Italy, its use amongst pregnant women and new mothers has increased during the lockdown. No research has examined the nationally accessible information related to childbirth in these unprecedented circumstances.
Aim: To explore online information accessible to Italian users concerning childbirth and coronavirus-related issues.
Methods: A mixed methods exploration of the web was conducted involving searches on Google, peer discussion forums and midwifery association webpages. Data were analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. A cross-consultation analysis of themes was performed to identify macro categories of information.
Findings: A total of 720 results from free searches, 635 interventions from 97 forums and 68 posts from four midwifery association webpages were analysed. Informative/divulging sources were the most prevalent in Google; pregnancy-related topics appeared more in discussion forums and midwifery association webpages. ‘Prevention’; ‘risks and outcomes’; ‘users’ experiences’ and ‘reorganisation of maternity services’ represent the cross-consultation categories of information.
Discussion: Google emerges as the main contributor to the infodemic; national systems of alert and ranking of web sources are needed. Women’s pragmatic needs are more likely to be addressed by peer-discussion forums and midwifery association webpages during and after COVID-19.
Conclusion: This is the first study to investigate childbirth-related web information during COVID-19 in Italy; findings may impact on education, research and practice.
Keywords: Social Network; Childbirth; Midwifery; Internet; COVID-19; Information
Citation: Simona Fumagalli., et al. “What Information is Available to Women Regarding Coronavirus and Childbirth in Italy? A Mixed-methods Exploration of the Web During the COVID-19 Lockdown”. Acta Scientific Women's Health 3.2 (2021): 02-13.
Copyright: © 2021 Simona Fumagalli., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.