Quality midwifery care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh: A focus group study with midwives, nurses, and midwifery educators.

Pappu NI, Holmedahl J, Gudjonsdottir S, Erlandsson K, Byrskog U

Eur J Midwifery 7 (-) 41 [2023-12-15; online 2023-12-15]

Bangladesh has made remarkable strides in the development of the midwifery profession. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has had profound effects on healthcare systems worldwide, including those related to reproductive, perinatal, and maternal health. Given the recent advancements in the midwifery field in Bangladesh, it is crucial to examine the pandemic's impact on existing barriers and the capacity of midwifery professionals to deliver high-quality care. The aim of this study is to describe the possibility of midwives being able to provide quality midwifery care in Bangladesh during the COVID-19 pandemic. To gather insights, data were collected from July to October 2020 via four qualitative focus group discussions online; 23 actively practicing midwives, nurses specializing in midwifery care, and midwifery educators, participated. The data analysis employed reflexive thematic analysis. The COVID-19 crisis posed significant threats to women's safety and health, with lockdowns exacerbating gender inequalities in society. Midwives faced added challenges due to their relatively low professional status and increased workloads. Insufficient policy implementation further compromised midwives' safety. Fear of contracting the virus and working during their free time also raised concerns about the quality of care provided. Nevertheless, the pandemic provided opportunities for midwives to demonstrate their ability to deliver independent midwifery care in Bangladesh. The pandemic underscored the importance of creating respectful and dignified working conditions for midwives. It revealed that professional midwives can work independently when provided with the necessary space and a supportive work environment. This opens the door for the implementation of a midwifery-led care model. Further research is recommended to investigate the medical safety and efficacy of independent midwifery care in the context of Bangladesh.

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38106465

DOI 10.18332/ejm/174234

Crossref 10.18332/ejm/174234

pmc: PMC10722304
pii: 41

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