Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Alyssa O'Brien

Second Advisor

Kerry Nolte


Satisfaction with the experience of birth has been shown to be affected by the quality of support received by the birthing individual and how closely the experience aligns with their expectations. This is important because the hospital and societal restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic may have altered individuals’ experiences of birth during this time. This is further concerning as there is a known correlation between a negative birth experience and the risk for postpartum depression. This study aimed to identify birthing parents’ perceptions of support during birth and how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted support practices. A survey was administered to a convenience sample of 138 adult individuals who were recruited online. Participants who were invited to participate had given birth in the past five years. Consenting participants completed a 12-minute online survey which elicited birth experience and demographic questions based on expert consensus. A comparative, multivariable analysis was conducted using Strata 16 to compare those who gave birth prior to March 2020 and those who gave birth after that time to identify how the COVID-19 pandemic influenced support practices and the experience of birth. A Student’s t-test showed Intra-COVID participants felt more supported and heard by their nurse and more supported by their support person. These findings suggest altered healthcare practices and lack of visitors may allow greater focus on birthing individuals, development of the nurse-patient relationship, and promotion of family bonding. The homogeneity of the sample prevents extrapolation of results to the broader population.