Of the 18,063 respondents who had undergone labor, half felt that maternal and newborn care had been negatively affected due to the pandemic. 42 percent stated that they had difficulties in getting adequate help during labor, and 31 percent said the same about breastfeeding. 62 percent were not allowed to be accompanied by their companion of choice in the labor room.
The researcher in charge in Sweden is Dr Helen Elden, Senior lecturer and Associate professor in Reproductive and perinatal health at the Institute of health and care sciences, Sahlgrenska academy, Gothenburg university, and Senior consultant university hospital midwife at Sahlgrenska university hospital.
“The study is unique in that it reports on how more than 21,000 women from 12 European countries have experienced the quality of maternal and newborn care during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she says.
Major findings included an overall lower quality of care perceived by women who had undergone Cesarean delivery and big differences in the standard of care provided across different countries’ in Europe.
The lowest maternal and newborn care standards were reported by women in Croatia, Romania, and Serbia, whilst the highest were reported from women giving birth in France, Luxembourg, Spain, Sweden, and Germany. Other countries included in the study were Italy, Norway, Portugal, and Slovenia.
Younger women and those who underwent instrumental delivery (foceps or ventouse suction) gave significantly lower quality ratings. One notable finding for Sweden was that only 36 percent of women were asked for their consent before instrumental delivery, whilst insufficient use of protective equipment was also another distinguishing feature.
Source: Healthcare in Europe