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1.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264311, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736507

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2pandemic necessitated several changes in maternity care. We investigated maternity care providers' opinions on the positive and negative effects of these changes and on potential areas of improvement for future maternity care both in times of crisis and in regular maternity care. METHODS: We conducted nineteen semi-structured in-depth interviews with obstetricians, obstetric residents, community-based and hospital-based midwives and obstetric nurses. The interviews were thematically analysed using inductive Thematic analysis. RESULTS: Five themes were generated: '(Dis)proportionate measures', 'A significant impact of COVID-19', 'Differing views on inter-provider cooperation', 'Reluctance to seek help' and 'Lessons learnt'. The Central Organizing Concept was: 'It was tough but necessary'. The majority of participants were positive about most of the measures that were taken and about their proportionality. These measures had a significant impact on maternity care providers, both mentally and on an organizational level. Most hospital-based care providers were positive about professional cooperation and communication, but some community-based midwives indicated that the cooperation between different midwifery care practices was suboptimal. Negative effects mentioned were a higher threshold for women to seek care, less partner involvement and perceived more fear among women and their partners, especially around birth. The most significant positive effect mentioned was increased use of eHealth tools. Recommendations for future care were to consider the necessity of prenatal and postnatal care more critically, to replace some face-to-face visits with eHealth and to provide more individualised care. CONCLUSION: Maternity care providers experienced measures and organizational changes during the first wave of the COVID19-pandemic as tough, but necessary. They believed that a more critical consideration of medically necessary care, increased use of e-health and more individualised care might contribute to making maternity care more sustainable during and after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/psychology , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Adult , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Male , Netherlands/epidemiology , Nurses/psychology , Organizational Innovation , Physicians/psychology , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 21(1): 810, 2021 Dec 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555052

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Like many countries, the government of Bangladesh also imposed stay-at-home orders to restrict the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (COVID-19) in March, 2020. Epidemiological studies were undertaken to estimate the early possible unforeseen effects on maternal mortality due to the disruption of services during the lockdown. Little is known about the constraints faced by the pregnant women and community health workers in accessing and providing basic obstetric services during the pandemic in the country. This study was conducted to explore the lived experience of pregnant women and community health care providers from two southern districts of Bangladesh during the pandemic of COVID-19. METHODS: The study participants were recruited through purposive sampling and non-structured in-depth interviews were conducted. Data was collected over the telephone from April to June, 2020. The data collected was analyzed through a phenomenological approach. RESULTS: Our analysis shows that community health care providers are working under tremendous strains of work load, fear of getting infected and physical and mental fatigue in a widely disrupted health system. Despite the fear of getting infected, the health workers are reluctant to wear personal protective suits because of gender norms. Similarly, the lived experience of pregnant women shows that they are feeling helpless; the joyful event of pregnancy has suddenly turned into a constant fear and stress. They are living in a limbo of hope and despair with a belief that only God could save their lives. CONCLUSION: The results of the study present the vulnerability of pregnant women and health workers during the pandemic. It recognizes the challenges and constraints, emphasizing the crucial need for government and non-government organizations to improve maternal and newborn health services to protect the pregnant women and health workers as they face predicted waves of the pandemic in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Community Health Workers/psychology , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Pregnant Women/psychology , Adult , Bangladesh/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Community Health Workers/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment/adverse effects , Poverty , Pregnancy , Qualitative Research , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
8.
Midwifery ; 102: 103116, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340769

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To explore women's experiences of maternity service reconfiguration during the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. DESIGN: Qualitative interview study. SETTING: South London, United Kingdom. PARTICIPANTS: Women (N=23) who gave birth between March and August 2020 in one of the ten South London maternity hospitals. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted (N=23), via video-conferencing software. Transcribed interviews were analysed 'by hand' using Microsoft Word. Template analysis was selected to code, analyse, and interpret data, according to the findings of a recently-published national survey of maternity service reconfiguration across the UK in response to COVID-19. FINDINGS: Three main themes emerged through analysis: (i) Disruption to In-Person Care and Increased Virtual Care Provision, (ii) Changes to Labour and Birth Preferences and Plans, (iii) Advice for Navigating Maternity Services During a Pandemic. KEY CONCLUSIONS: Women reported mixed views on the reduction in scheduled in-person appointments. The increase in remote care, especially via telephone, was not well endorsed by women. Furthermore, women reported an under-reliance on healthcare professionals for support, rather turning to family. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: We provide insight into the experiences of women who received antenatal, intrapartum, and postnatal care during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings should inform healthcare policy to build back better maternity care services after the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Pregnant Women/psychology , Telemedicine , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Maternal Health Services/trends , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pregnancy , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
9.
Midwifery ; 102: 103069, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275592

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic saw universal, radical, and ultra-rapid changes to UK National Health Services (NHS) maternity care. At the onset of the pandemic, NHS maternity services were stripped of many of the features which support woman and family centred care. In anticipation of unknown numbers of pregnant women and maternity staff potentially sick with COVID-19, services were pared back to the minimum level considered to be required to keep women and their babies safe. The aim of this survey was to understand the impact of COVID-19 public health messaging and pandemic-related service changes on users of maternity care in the UK during the pandemic. METHODS: We conducted an online survey to explore user's experiences of COVID-19 public health messaging and 'socially-distanced' maternity care across the UK. The study population consisted of women who had experienced pregnancy after the 11th March 2020 (when the WHO declared a pandemic), whether or not they were still pregnant. We collected data between June and September 2020. We used framework analysis for the free-text data and generated descriptive statistics. FINDINGS: Women were generally happy to adopt a precautionary approach and stringently social distance in the context of a relatively unknown pathogen and in an environment of extreme anxiety and uncertainty, but were acutely aware of the negative impacts. The survey found that the widespread changes to services caused unintended negative consequences including essential clinical care being missed, confusion over advice, and distress and emotional trauma for women. COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in women feeling their antenatal and postnatal care to be inadequate and has also come at great emotional cost to users. Women reported feeling isolated and sad in the postnatal period, but also frustrated and upset by a lack of staff to help them care for their new baby. KEY CONCLUSIONS: With growing evidence of the impact of the virus on pregnant women and an increased understanding of the unintended consequences of unclear public health messaging and overly precautious services, a more nuanced, evidence-based approach to caring for women during a pandemic must be prioritised. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: All maternity services should ensure they have clear lines of communication with women to keep them updated on changing care and visiting arrangements. Services should ensure that opportunities to provide safe face-to-face care and access for birth partners and visitors are maximised.


Subject(s)
Anxiety , COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Postnatal Care/psychology , Pregnant Women/psychology , Prenatal Care/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Health Care Surveys , Humans , Maternal Health Services/trends , Pandemics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
10.
J Glob Health ; 11: 05010, 2021 May 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1248385

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to system-wide disruption of health services globally. We assessed the effect of the pandemic on the disruption of institutional delivery care in Nepal. METHODS: We conducted a prospective cohort study among 52 356 women in nine hospitals to assess the disruption of institutional delivery care during the pandemic (comparing March to August in 2019 with the same months in 2020). We also conducted a nested follow up cohort study with 2022 women during the pandemic to assess their provision and experience of respectful care. We used linear regression models to assess the association between provision and experience of care with volume of hospital births and women's residence in a COVID-19 hotspot area. RESULTS: The mean institutional births during the pandemic across the nine hospitals was 24 563, an average decrease of 11.6% (P < 0.0001) in comparison to the same time-period in 2019. The institutional birth in high-medium volume hospitals declined on average by 20.8% (P < 0.0001) during the pandemic, whereas in low-volume hospital institutional birth increased on average by 7.9% (P = 0.001). Maternity services halted for a mean of 4.3 days during the pandemic and there was a redeployment staff to COVID-19 dedicated care. Respectful provision of care was better in hospitals with low-volume birth (ß = 0.446, P < 0.0001) in comparison to high-medium-volume hospitals. There was a positive association between women's residence in a COVID-19 hotspot area and respectful experience of care (ß = 0.076, P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has had differential effects on maternity services with changes varying by the volume of births per hospital with smaller volume facilities doing better. More research is needed to investigate the effects of the pandemic on where women give birth and their provision and experience of respectful maternity care to inform a "building-back-better" approach in post-pandemic period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery, Obstetric , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Pandemics , Adult , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Hospitals , Humans , Nepal/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Prospective Studies
12.
Matern Child Health J ; 25(6): 849-854, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1212904

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Ethiopia has made remarkable progress in reducing childhood and neonatal mortality in the last two decades. However, with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ethiopia, disruptions in routine health care pose a significant risk in reversing the gains made in neonatal mortality reduction. METHODS: Using the World Health Organization's health systems building blocks framework we examined the mechanisms by which the pandemic may impact neonatal health. RESULTS: Our analysis suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic and measures taken by the government to control its spread could indirectly set back the gains made in neonatal mortality reduction in Ethiopia by weakening the health system building blocks. On the other hand, by exposing longstanding issues in the health system, the pandemic has pressed health sector stakeholders to urgently test innovative approaches to maintain delivery of essential health care. CONCLUSIONS: We recommend that the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia strike a right balance between the control of the pandemic and ensuring provision of essential neonatal health services. As the pandemic continues to spread in the country, the government should avoid verticalization of pandemic response efforts and adopt a diagonal investment approach to effectively respond to the pandemic as well as build health system resilience to maintain the gains made in the neonatal health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Infant Health , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Clin Obstet Gynecol ; 64(2): 398-406, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203757

ABSTRACT

Mobile applications and telehealth services are being used to unprecedented degrees in maternal and child care, with uncertain impact on population health outcomes. In this article, we will review the role of the COVID-19 pandemic in accelerating large scale implementation of telehealth services, known and anticipated impacts on maternal and child health and related inequities, and potential strategies to optimize outcomes at the population level.


Subject(s)
Child Health Services , Child Health , Health Status Disparities , Healthcare Disparities , Maternal Health Services , Telemedicine/methods , COVID-19/prevention & control , Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. , Child , Child Health Services/organization & administration , Child, Preschool , Female , Health Policy , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Minority Groups , Mobile Applications , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Pregnancy , Social Determinants of Health , Telemedicine/organization & administration , United States
14.
Arch Argent Pediatr ; 119(2): 76-82, 2021 04.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183983

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The objective of this study was to analyze available resources, guidelines in use, and preparedness to care for newborn infants at maternity centers in Argentina during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHOD: Cross-sectional study based on a survey administered to medical and nursing staff. In May 2020, Argentine facilities with more than 500 annual births were contacted; 58 % of these were from the public sector. RESULTS: In total, 104/147 facilities answered (71 %). All had guidelines for care during the pandemic, and 93 % indicated they had been trained on how to use them. A companion was not allowed during childbirth in 26 % of private facilities and in 60 % of public ones (p < 0.01). Deferred cord clamping was recommended in 87 %; rooming-in with asymptomatic newborns was promoted in 62 %; breastfeeding using protective measures was recommended in 70 %; and breast milk using a bottle, in 23 %. In 94 %, family visiting in the Neonatology Unit was restricted. Difficulties included the unavailability of individual rooms for symptomatic newborn infants and a potential shortage of health care staff and personal protective equipment. CONCLUSIONS: All facilities are aware of the national guidelines to fight the pandemic. Most have the resources to comply with the recommended protective measures. There is uncertainty as to whether personal protective equipment, staff, and physical space available at the different facilities would be enough if cases increased significantly.


Introducción. El objetivo de este estudio fue analizar recursos disponibles, guías utilizadas y preparación para la atención de neonatos en maternidades de Argentina durante la pandemia de COVID-19. Método. Estudio transversal mediante una encuesta enviada a equipos médicos y de enfermería. En mayo de 2020, se contactaron instituciones de más de 500 nacimientos anuales en la Argentina, el 58 % del sector público. Resultados. Respondieron 104/147 instituciones (el 71 %). Todas contaban con guías para la atención durante la pandemia, y un 93 % refirió haber recibido capacitación para su uso. No autorizaban la presencia de acompañante en el parto el 26 % de instituciones privadas y el 60 % de las públicas (p < 0,01). El 87 % recomendaba ligadura oportuna del cordón, el 62 % promovía internación conjunta en neonatos asintomáticos, un 70 % recomendaba la puesta al pecho con medidas de protección, y el 23 %, leche materna mediante biberón. El 94 % restringía el ingreso de familiares a Neonatología. Las dificultades incluyeron imposibilidad de contar con habitaciones individuales para neonatos sintomáticos y potencial limitación del personal de salud y equipos de protección personal. Conclusiones. Todas las instituciones conocen las guías nacionales para enfrentar la pandemia. La mayoría cuenta con recursos para respetar las medidas de protección recomendadas. Existe incertidumbre sobre si, ante un aumento significativo en el número de casos, serán suficientes los elementos de protección personal, el personal y el espacio físico disponible en los distintos centros.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Resources/supply & distribution , Infant Care/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Argentina/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Care Surveys , Health Policy , Humans , Infant Care/statistics & numerical data , Infant, Newborn , Infection Control/instrumentation , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/statistics & numerical data , Male , Maternal Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Pregnancy
15.
J Hum Lact ; 37(2): 260-268, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140457

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pandemic-related restrictions have limited traditional models of lactation support. RESEARCH AIMS: The primary aim of this study was to determine changes to breastfeeding support services during the coronavirus-2019 pandemic according to trained lactation providers. The secondary aim was to assess strengths and limitations of telehealth services. METHODS: A prospective survey was conducted entirely online using the Qualtrics platform during June 2020. Gatekeepers at Connecticut agencies and breastfeeding networks were forwarded an anonymous survey link to distribute to eligible lactation staff. RESULTS: A variety of participants (N = 39) completed the survey and the majority (69.2%; n = 27) were providing only telehealth services. More than half (58.1%; n = 18) of the participants who conducting telehealth in any form, found that virtual lactation support was moderately effective compared to in-person support. Weakness of virtual support included technical and logistical difficulties, challenges assisting with latching or reading body language over the phone or online, and accurately assessing infant growth. Strengths related to virtual support included the flexibility and convenience of home-based support, expanded communication strategies, and safety from virus exposure. Further, visits with a lactation professional decreased significantly during the pandemic. Limited in-hospital and pediatrician support were also noted, particularly among groups without access to telehealth resources. CONCLUSIONS: As a result of the pandemic and associated shifts in lactation services, breastfeeding disparities may be further exacerbated among those without equitable access to lactation support. Challenges and innovations in virtual support may influence adaptive options in the field moving forward.


Subject(s)
Breast Feeding , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Telemedicine/standards , COVID-19/prevention & control , Connecticut/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Humans , Internet Use , Maternal Health Services/standards , Pregnancy , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
16.
BJOG ; 128(5): 880-889, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119184

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To explore the modifications to maternity services across the UK, in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, in the context of the pandemic guidance issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and NHS England. DESIGN: National survey. SETTING: UK maternity services during the COVID-19 pandemic. POPULATION OR SAMPLE: Healthcare professionals working within maternity services. METHODS: A national electronic survey was developed to investigate local modifications to general and specialist maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the context of the contemporaneous national pandemic guidance. After a pilot phase, the survey was distributed through professional networks by the RCOG and co-authors. The survey results were presented descriptively in tabular and graphic formats, with proportions compared using chi-square tests. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Service modifications made during the pandemic. RESULTS: A total of 81 respondent sites, 42% of the 194 obstetric units in the UK, were included. They reported substantial and heterogeneous maternity service modifications. Seventy percent of units reported a reduction in antenatal appointments and 56% reported a reduction in postnatal appointments; 89% reported using remote consultation methods. A change to screening pathways for gestational diabetes mellitus was reported by 70%, and 59% had temporarily removed the offer of births at home or in a midwife-led unit. A reduction in emergency antenatal presentations was experienced by 86% of units. CONCLUSIONS: This national survey documents the extensive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternity services in the UK. More research is needed to understand the impact on maternity outcomes and experience. TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: A national survey showed that UK maternity services were modified extensively and heterogeneously in response to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , Organizational Innovation , Appointments and Schedules , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Health Care Surveys , Health Workforce , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Maternal Health Services/standards , Maternal Health Services/trends , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Pregnancy , Remote Consultation/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine/trends , United Kingdom/epidemiology
17.
J Natl Black Nurses Assoc ; 31(2): 15-24, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1092202

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this article is to discern and examine causative factors that are likely to influence the higher consequences of health disparities experienced by pregnant and postpartum African-American women with COVID-19. Although understudied, pregnancy in the presence of COVID-19 increases the risk for illness severity. Data suggest that pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized, to be admitted to the intensive care unit, and to require life support. Similarly, COVID-19 poses significant challenges to maternal and obstetric care during the postpartum recovery period. African- American women bear a disproportionately higher morbidity and mortality burden for diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. Pre-existing chronic health conditions may place pregnant and postpartum women at a higher risk for developing severe health consequences from COVID-19 before, during, and after delivery. In addition, social determinants of health are hypothesized to modulate the deleterious impact of COVID-19 among pregnant and postpartum African-American women.


Subject(s)
African Americans , COVID-19 , African Americans/psychology , African Americans/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/ethnology , Female , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Postpartum Period , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/ethnology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Severity of Illness Index , Social Determinants of Health/ethnology
20.
Pan Afr Med J ; 37(Suppl 1): 32, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1033041

ABSTRACT

Lockdown policies, travel restrictions and reduced provision of healthcare in Zimbabwe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have brought unprecedented challenges for healthcare delivery. Maternity services, including antenatal care, labour and delivery as well as postnatal care have been affected directly and indirectly by the pandemic and resultant control interventions, with delays introduced at several points across the continuum of care. Unfortunately, maternity conditions are time-sensitive, and delays can negatively impact feto-maternal outcomes, with increased maternal, fetal or neonatal morbidity and mortality. An audit at central hospitals revealed reduced utilisation of maternity services and a trend towards an increase in maternal mortality. A formal evaluation is required; however, mitigating public health interventions are required, especially as the burden of COVID-19 in the country has considerably come down. The World Health Organisation offers useful technical guidance for maintaining essential health services in pandemic times in low-resources settings, and rationalising the use of personal protective equipment, which can be contextualised and adopted to restore and maintain essential health services. Restoration of essential maternity services is urgently required in an environment that protects healthcare workers and their clients, minimising their risk of contracting COVID-19 whilst optimising fetomaternal outcomes. Thus, the various stakeholders involved in maternity care must urgently come together and find ways of achieving this goal.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care , Maternal Health Services/supply & distribution , Public Health , COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/standards , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Maternal Health Services/standards , Maternal Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Pregnancy , Zimbabwe
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