Obstetrics and Gynaecology, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, in January 2020. While international organizations and governments strive to strengthen the world’s emergency response mechanism to combat the pandemic, the public in general faces anxiety and fear. One of the most vulnerable groups is pregnant and lactating women. The pandemic has given rise to many apprehensions about the state of their health and well-being as well as that of their unborn or newly born child. A live Facebook session was conducted by a group of experts from a private university in Karachi, Pakistan, to proactively address the concerns of pregnant and lactating mothers during this challenging time. Worries raised by pregnant and lactating mothers during the live session helped in understanding the anxieties of this group amidst the COVID-19. This paper presents some recommendations in response to the apprehensions shared by pregnant and lactating mothers, that could help in promoting a positive birth experience. These recommendations include a) alternative methods of professional caregiving and support, b) engaging and strengthening midwifery services, c) safety of pregnant and lactating frontline health care workers, and d) supporting mental health and wellbeing. The proposed measures, if adopted by the government and the healthcare industry, could potentially, promote the safety and wellbeing of pregnant and lactating mothers during the pandemic.
Baig, M, Bhamani, S, Kurji, Z, Sheikh, L, & Karmaliani, R. Promoting positive birth experiences: Supporting pregnant and lactating women during the COVID-19 crisis. Journal of Asian Midwives. 2020;7(2):3–15.