Where the System Failed: The COVID-19 Pandemic's Impact on Pregnancy and Birth Care

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Glob Qual Nurs Res. 2021 Mar 31;8:23333936211006397. doi: 10.1177/23333936211006397. eCollection 2021 Jan-Dec.


The COVID-19 pandemic created a massive shift in health care systems, including within pregnancy and birth care. To explore how experiences of pregnancy and birth were impacted, 15 patient participants and 14 nurse participants were interviewed and transcripts analyzed using critical thematic analysis. Patients highlighted how adaptations to care were inadequate to meet their needs, a desire for support in response to stress, and the impact of COVID on patients’ experiences. Nurses identified how inconsistencies in policies impacted nurses’ ability to care for patients, the impact on nurses from hospital actions, and the impact on patients from hospital actions. Both groups discussed how system changes had disparate impacts on marginalized communities, leading to racially-biased care. This pandemic will continue to have lasting impact on pregnant and birthing families, and the nurses who care for them, and it is imperative that hospitals examine their role and any potential impacts.

PMID:33869668 | PMC:PMC8020401 | DOI:10.1177/23333936211006397