Association of continuity of carer and women's experiences of maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional survey

Allison Cummins, Annabel Sheehy, Jan Taylor, Sally DeVitry-Smith, Helen Nightingale, Deborah Davis

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Abstract

Background: Recent research highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternity services, although none to date have analysed the association between continuity of carer and how women felt about the changes to pregnancy care and birth plans. Aim: To describe pregnant women's self-reported changes to their planned pregnancy care and associations between continuity of carer and how women feel about changes to their planned care. Methods: A cross-sectional online survey of pregnant women aged over 18 years in their final trimester of pregnancy in Australia. Findings: 1668 women completed the survey. Most women reported at least one change to pregnancy care and birthing plans. Women receiving full continuity of carer were more likely to rate the changes to care as neutral/positive (p<.001) when compared with women who received partial or no continuity. Discussion: Pregnant women experienced many changes to their planned pregnancy and birth care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Women who received full continuity of carer experienced fewer changes to care and were more likely to feel neutral/positive about the changes than women who did not receive full continuity of carer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103761
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalMidwifery
Volume124
Early online date11 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023
Externally publishedYes

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