Strategies to support maternal and early childhood wellness: insight from parent and provider qualitative interviews during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication date: Jan 25, 2024

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in rapid changes to the delivery of maternal and newborn care. Our aim was to gain an understanding from parents and healthcare professionals (HCPs) of how the pandemic and associated public health restrictions impacted the peripartum and postpartum experience, as well as longer-term health and well-being of families. Qualitative study through focus groups. Ontario, Canada. HCPs and parents who had a child born during the COVID-19 pandemic. Semistructured interview guide, with questions focused on how the pandemic impacted their care/their ability to provide care, and strategies to improve care and support now or in future situations with similar healthcare restrictions. Thematic analysis was used to describe participant experiences and recommendations. We included 11 HCPs and 15 parents in 6 focus groups. Participants described their experiences as ‘traumatic’, with difficulties in accessing prenatal and postpartum services, and feelings of distress and isolation. They also noted delays in speech and development in children born during the pandemic. Key recommendations included the provision of partner accompaniment throughout the course of care, expansion of available services for young families (particularly postpartum), and special considerations for marginalised groups, including access to technology for virtual care or the option of in-person visits. Our findings may inform the development of healthcare system and organisational policies to ensure the provision of maternal and newborn care in the event of future public health emergencies. Of primary importance to the participants was the accommodation of antenatal, intrapartum and postpartum partner accompaniment, and the provision of postpartum services.

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Concepts Keywords
Canada COVID-19
Future Maternal medicine
Pandemic Telemedicine


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease VO Canada
disease MESH emergencies
disease VO population
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH death
drug DRUGBANK L-Arginine
drug DRUGBANK Methionine
disease VO vaccine
drug DRUGBANK Etoperidone
disease IDO entity
drug DRUGBANK Water
disease VO Thing
disease MESH uncertainty
disease MESH imposter syndrome
disease MESH pre eclampsia
disease VO mouth
drug DRUGBANK Spinosad
disease IDO process
disease VO time
disease VO Imovax ID
disease MESH fetal growth restriction
disease MESH stillbirths
disease VO protocol
pathway REACTOME Translation
disease MESH mental illness
disease MESH morbidity
drug DRUGBANK Ademetionine
disease VO Equity

Original Article

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