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Authors

  1. Brown, Jill MSN, RN
  2. Moore, Kathryn MPH
  3. Keer, Emma BS
  4. Kane Low, Lisa PhD, CNM

Abstract

Maternity care services were significantly altered with the start of the global pandemic in 2020, challenging the ways care was provided for families during childbirth. This qualitative analysis focuses on maternity care professionals' perceptions of the impact of COVID-19 on maternity care in Michigan early in the pandemic. The question "How has COVID-19 impacted your work?" was embedded into a survey focused on maternity unit culture in process across Michigan. Directed content analysis was applied to the open text responses to identify themes. From April-June 2020, 1071 surveys were completed by nurses, physicians, and midwives; 647 (60%) included responses to the COVID-19 question. Five themes emerged: (1) provider health; (2) patient care impact; (3) burdens of personal protective equipment; (4) decreased support during labor due to visitor restrictions; and (5) ethical challenges and moral distress between concerns for self and carrying out professional roles. Maternity care providers in Michigan experienced a range of complex challenges due to the pandemic, with many experiencing conflicts and questioning their role as a provider amid concerns of the effects of COVID-19 on themselves and their families. Resources are necessary to support providers who experience distress to promote well-being and retention of this essential workforce.