By Kate Ryder, Maven’s Founder and CEO
I've been hearing the term "the new normal" recently to describe our current world more and more. Though we are certainly in a very new place, there is nothing normal about this. How we are living is incredibly abnormal.
As we go through one of the most challenging weeks yet, the work that our team at Maven is doing has been a bright spot for me. Many of our members—going through fertility treatments, pregnancy, or early parenthood—are living anxiously in this new abnormal.
Pregnant women across the country—and around the world—are facing the possibility of going through labor without the doulas or other individuals they had lined up to support them. I am living with my sister, who is 8 months pregnant, and where she’ll deliver and with whom is a constant topic of anxious discussion at our dinner table. Our Care Advocates on Maven are fielding questions around whether to have a home birth, or if mothers in hospitals will be separated from their baby if they test positive for COVID-19. Grandparents are wondering when the joy of meeting their grandchild will be worth the risk of falling ill. Fertility patients are seeing IVF and egg freezing cycles postponed and wondering if they can afford to wait. Parents who have lost childcare are now at home caring for babies, homeschooling older children, and working—all at once. Others have lost their jobs and are wondering how they’ll afford rent.
A lot is uncertain right now, but one thing is clear: Due to the influx of COVID-19 patients and the need to limit the spread of the virus, Americans with critical healthcare needs outside of COVID-19 will struggle to get the support they need over the coming months. The crisis is already having an impact on pregnancy, fertility, and pediatrics.
Many OB-GYNs have reduced in-person visits, raising the possibility that complications and risks may go undetected. Hospitals are triaging all but the most urgent support requirements, reducing postpartum stays and support for critical but non-life-threatening care during and after pregnancy. Routine pediatric care and wellness visits have been disrupted. Last week was my daughter’s second birthday, and I’m constantly worried that she or my rowdy three-year-old son may fall and need emergency pediatric help.
“A lot is uncertain right now, but one thing is clear: Due to the influx of COVID-19 patients and the need to limit the spread of the virus, Americans with critical healthcare needs outside of COVID-19 will struggle to get the support they need over the coming months. The crisis is already having an impact on pregnancy, fertility, and pediatrics.”
These care gaps will lead to increased costs and productivity losses for employers during an already challenging period. The difficulties for parents working from home without childcare are clear. But there are less obvious consequences, too. As high-risk pregnancies get less attention, the incidence of postpartum complications and avoidable C-sections are likely to rise. And as women get less support during and after childbirth, they may be more likely to experience postpartum depression and perhaps find themselves less able to transition back to work, despite wishing to do so.
With challenge, however, comes great opportunity. This is a defining moment, a chance for each of us to use the tools we have at our disposal to meet the needs that our healthcare system can’t. In the months and years ahead, companies will be judged on how well they responded to this crisis. At Maven, we feel fortunate to be in a position to do something about this crisis and be a part of the solution. With the largest women’s and family health telemedicine network, our army of care experts includes OB-GYNs, pediatricians, family physicians, doulas, infant sleep coaches, nurse practitioners, and mental health providers, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round, from the comfort of members’ own homes.
At a time when traditional healthcare is overwhelmed and simply leaving your home carries significant risk, we’ve been hard at work over the last few weeks on products to support our clients and our members right now.
Here’s what we’ve done.
We’ve created a targeted COVID-19 product for prenatal, postpartum, and pediatric care.
We’re offering a six-month maternity product for employers to ensure pregnant and postpartum needs are met during this time of healthcare shortages, with expedited rollout within a week. Health plans can also plug Maven into their per-visit telemedicine solution to expand access to maternity and pediatric telemedicine—both for commercial populations and Medicaid.
We’ve expanded access to care.
We’ve seen amazing new providers join Maven over the last three weeks, with our nearly 2000 providers setting 6x availability. As hospitals and OB-GYN practices limit patient visits, this expanded access can provide members with the support and validation they might miss out on without their regular in-person prenatal appointments.
One member who had previously experienced pregnancy losses, for example, had her first ultrasound postponed indefinitely but was able to connect with both an OB-GYN and a mental health provider on Maven. We’ve also helped multiple women transfer from NYC to a suburban hospital. And our midwives and doulas are providing one-on-one childbirth education to mothers whose birth plans are suddenly upended, and virtual day-of-delivery support to offer reassurance and help with breathing exercises in real time. We’ve been seeing daily spikes in utilization across our members, with 500% growth in mental health appointments in the last week.
We’ve developed new resources and webinars to provide additional support beyond direct provider interactions.
Members have access to weekly seminars on COVID-19 and its potential effects on women’s and family health hosted by our providers, including OB-GYN and Maven Medical Director Dr. Jane van Dis and top Reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Brian Levine, who provide the latest clinical guidance and answer member questions. We also offer up-to-date FAQs for pregnancy, fertility, infant care, and pediatrics. And we're piloting virtual peer groups for our prenatal members to provide community and support from the comfort of home.
Maven is here for you, 24/7
We’re here for you and your family. Join Maven now and start building your virtual support network today without leaving home.
Maven is a virtual clinic for women and families. With the largest telemedicine network in women’s and family health, you can schedule a virtual doctor’s appointment to speak with one of Maven’s providers—anytime, anywhere. There are more than 20 types of care providers available on Maven, including OB-GYNs, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, midwives, doulas, mental health specialists, and more.
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