One of the public health concerns is how to combine prevention of the further COVID-19 spread and the presence of a partner during labour and childbirth. The aim of the study was to analyze the impact of COVID-19 and related restrictions on the presence of a partner during childbirth. The online quantitative survey and qualitative research (using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions) were conducted from July to October 2020 as a part of international multi-country study I-SHARE (International Sexual and Reproductive Health Survey in the time of COVID-19). The study was carried out as a part of the state research project “Impact of COVID-19 on health care system and public health in Latvia; ways in preparing health sector for future epidemic” (VPP-COVID-2020/1-0011). Data were summarized and analyzed using MS Excel and IBM SPSS 26.0. Data from the birth register from CDC Latvia for the study period was analyzed. From all 1173 responders 70 women were pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic, 63 women gave birth.
One third (34%) of the pregnant women did not receive information on acquiring COVID-19 during pregnancy. Almost all pregnant women (97.1%) received a substantial emotional support from their partners before pandemic and 27.1% noticed a higher degree of support during the pandemic. However, 61.4% of pregnant women felt anxiety and depression, and 37.8% were frustrated due to COVID-19 restrictions. Qualitative research confirmed that worries regarding the presence of a partner during childbirth was the main cause of anxiety for women and influenced the choice of the maternity hospital. To ensure emotional and practical support during childbirth, decisions to restrict the presence of a partner in maternity wards should be consulted with involved health care providers and legal experts. Reasoning of these decisions should reach every pregnant woman and her partner.
- 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)