Sustaining quality midwifery care in a pandemic and beyond

Mary Renfrew (Lead / Corresponding author), Helen Cheyne, Justine Craig, Elizabeth Duff, Fiona Dykes, Billie Hunter, Tina Lavender, Lesley Page, Mary Ross-Davie, Helen Spiby, Soo Downe

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    82 Citations (Scopus)
    52 Downloads (Pure)


    The rapid development of COVID-19 has altered the context of healthcare and services around the world. In maternal and newborn services, restrictive practices have been introduced in many settings that limit women’s decisions and the rights of women and newborn infants. In many countries the immediate response of the maternity services resulted in restrictions on the place of birth, continuity of care, and mother-baby contact. The UK provides an examples of a country in which an evidence-informed approach is now developing in which essential elements of quality can be maintained. To keep women, newborn infants, families, and staff safe in all countries, balance is needed between the restrictions required to control the spread of infection and maintaining evidence-informed, effective, equitable, respectful, kind and compassionate care. A set of key principles is proposed in this paper, to inform care and service provision in this current crisis and beyond. The public health and human rights agendas should be aligned. Covid-relevant, evidence-informed, rights-respecting, effective, compassionate, and sustainable public health and clinical policy, guidance, and practice should be developed. A pro-active strategy to inform longer-term planning for life during and after the pandemic should be grounded in evidence and co-created with women, families, and staff.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number102759
    Number of pages7
    Early online date25 May 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


    • Pandemic
    • COVID-19
    • midwifery
    • maternity services
    • quality care
    • sustainability

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
    • Maternity and Midwifery


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