Experiences of maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic in the North of England: implications for perinatal mental health and service delivery

Tomasina Stacey, Zoe Darwin, Alice Keely, Anna Smith, Dasa Farmer, Kate Heighway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: During 2020, UK maternity services made changes to service delivery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aims: To explore service users’ and their partners’ experiences of maternity services in the North of England during the COVID19 pandemic. Methods: Respondents (n=606) completed a co-produced survey during August 2020. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. Findings: Five major categories were identified: Valuing support from health professionals, Feeling lost in the system and let down by the system, The impact of restrictions to partners and others, Virtual contact is not the same as in-person contact, The need for emotional and psychological wellbeing support. Conclusion: The changes implemented may have compromised mental health and wellbeing in a critical period of vulnerability. Bringing stakeholders together can maximise learning from the emergency measures, to better inform future service provision. Work is needed to better hear from minoritised groups and ensure they are not further marginalised by changes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 May 2021

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