Publications & Reports

"Never let a good crisis go to waste": Positives from disrupted maternity care in Australia during COVID-19.

Kluwgant D, Homer C, Dahlen H


OBJECTIVE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of changes to maternity care were rapidly introduced in all countries, including Australia, to reduce the risk of infection for pregnant women and their care providers. While many studies have reported on the negative effects of these changes, there is a paucity of evidence on factors which women and their providers perceived as positive and useful for future maternity care. DESIGN: Data was analysed from the Birth in the time of COVID-19 (BITTOC 2020) study survey. Conventional content analysis and descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data and examine which aspects of COVID-amended care women experienced as positive. Data from women were compared to data from midwives. SETTING: This project took place in Australia in 2020-2021. PARTICIPANTS: The survey was distributed to women who gave birth and midwives who worked in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020 onwards). MEASUREMENTS AND FINDINGS: Women reported a variety of positives from their maternity care during COVID-19. These included both care-related factors as well as contextual factors. The most commonly mentioned positives for pregnant and postnatal women were care-related, namely fewer visitors in hospital, having increased access to telehealth services. These were also the most commonly reported positives by midwives. Having midwifery continuity of care models, giving birth at home and having their partner work from home were also highlighted by women as positives. KEY CONCLUSIONS: Despite the negative effect of COVID-19-related restrictions on maternity care, a variety of changes were viewed as positive by both women and midwives, with strong agreement between the two groups. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: These findings provide evidence to support the inclusion of these positive elements of care and ensure that the lessons learned from the pandemic are utilised to improve maternity care in Australia going forward.

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  • Journal: Midwifery
  • Published: 17/04/2022
  • Volume: 110
  • Pagination: 103340