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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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1 - 15 of 47
Breastfeeding experiences during the COVID-19 lockdown in the United Kingdom: an exploratory study into maternal opinions and emotional states

Cristina Costantini; Anna Joyce; Yolanda Britez (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Human Lactation

The COVID-19 pandemic has hugely impacted upon people’s psychological and physical wellbeing; however, the effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on mothers of young children, with particular regard to breastfeeding, are unknown. This study aims to explore: (1) Sources of advice and support available to breastfeeding mothers during and prior to the COVID-19 lockdown; (2) Mothers’ opinions on statements and recommendations made by the World Health Organization on the importance of breastfeeding and breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic; (3) Maternal emotional states (i.e., anxiety and depression symptoms) experienced by breastfeeding mothers during the COVID-19 lockdown; and (4) influence of breastfeeding duration and number of children on breastfeeding opinions and emotional states.

The breastfeeding experiences of COVID-19-positive women: a qualitative study in Turkey

Özlem Aşcı; Meltem Demirgöz Bal; Ayla Ergin

Published: September 2021   Journal: Japan Journal of Nursing Science

The aim of the study was to determine the breastfeeding experiences of COVID-19-positive women. This was a qualitative study of 14 women diagnosed with COVID-19. One-to-one telephone interviews were conducted and recorded. The data were analyzed thematically.

An online cross-sectional survey of complementary feeding practices during the COVID-19 restrictions in Poland

Andrea Horvath; Agata Stróżyk; Piotr Dziechciarz (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: Nutrients
This cross-sectional online survey performed in Poland aimed to improve understanding of how COVID-19 pandemic restrictions affected complementary feeding practices among parents of infants aged 4 to 12 months. Self-selected parents were recruited through the internet. The anonymous questionnaire was opened during two intervals during COVID-19 restrictions. The primary outcome was an assessment of sources of information and infant feeding practices in the context of COVID-19 restrictions. Data from 6934 responders (92.2% mothers) were analyzed.
Breastfeeding during the Covid-19 pandemic

J. P. Dadhich; Nupur Bidla

Published: September 2021   Journal: Journal of Neonatology
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a serious challenge to the lactating women to practice optimal infant and young child feeding. Although international and national agencies developed appropriate evidence-based guidelines early in the pandemic, availability of this information to the mothers and their caregivers needs to be enhanced. This becomes important in view of apprehension about the risk of a decline in breastfeeding practices during the pandemic due to various factors. Any decrease in the breastfeeding rates may lead to increased childhood morbidity, mortality, and malnutrition. This article provides a glimpse of available evidence-based guidelines on breastfeeding by Covid-19 positive mothers and attempts by the baby food industry to exploit the situation by promoting their products. The article also deals with infection prevention and control measures to be observed by the mother while caring and breastfeeding her baby and other action required to protect breastfeeding from commercial influence.
The role of mothers’ self-compassion on mother–infant bonding during the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal study exploring the mediating role of mindful parenting and parenting stress in the postpartum period

Daniela V. Fernandes; Maria C. Canavarro; Helena Moreira

Published: August 2021   Journal: Infant Mental Health Journal
The current COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging time for postpartum mothers, and associated challenges may have a negative impact on their parenting and, consequently, on mother–infant bonding. This study aimed to longitudinally explore whether mothers’ self-compassion was associated with mother–infant bonding and whether this relationship was mediated by mindful parenting and parenting stress. A total of 125 Portuguese mothers of infants aged between 0 and 12 months completed an online survey at two assessment points during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (T1: April–May 2020; T2: June–July 2020). The survey included several questionnaires assessing sociodemographic, clinical, and COVID-19 information; self-compassion; mindful parenting; parenting stress; and mother–infant bonding.
COVID-19: relationship and impact on breastfeeding : a systematic review

Marcelino Pérez-Bermejo; Belén Peris-Ochando; María Teresa Murillo-Llorente

Published: August 2021   Journal: Nutrients
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO). One major problem faced is whether breastfeeding by mothers infected with the virus is safe. The objective of this work is to study the impact that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can have on breastfeeding, and whether the virus or antibodies can be transmitted from mother to child through milk. We carried out a systematic review of studies focusing on the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on breastfeeding by mothers infected with the virus. The bibliographic search was done through Medline (Pubmed), MedlinePlus and Google Scholar. From 292 records, the title and summary of each were examined according to the criteria, and whether they meet the selection criteria was also analysed. A total of 30 articles are included, of which 26 deal with the study of RNA virus in breastmilk and its involvement in breastfeeding and four on the study of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in milk. Most studies have been conducted in China.
Factors affecting breastfeeding practices under lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand: a cross-sectional survey

Chanodom Piankusol; Wachiranun Sirikul; Krongporn Ongprasert (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
A COVID-19 lockdown and restrictive order has had a large impact on the lives of people. This cross-sectional study was conducted to identify factors affecting breastfeeding among mothers living in Thailand during the lockdown. Data were collected from 903 mothers with infants ages 0–12 months from 17 July 2020 to 17 October 2020 after the first nationwide COVID-19 lockdown period by an online platform and interview questionnaire survey. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the association between the effect of lockdown and breastfeeding practices with potential confounder adjustment including maternal age, ethnicity, newborn age <6 months, family income below $16,130 per annum, education below undergraduate level, and working status.
Good practices in perinatal care and breastfeeding protection during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic: a national situation analysis among BFHI maternity hospitals in Spain

Barbara Muñoz-Amat; Carmen Rosa Pallás-Alonso; María-Teresa Hernández-Aguilar

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Breastfeeding Journal

Although the positive effects of good clinical quality standards in perinatal care and breastfeeding support for women, newborns and families have been already demonstrated, many of these practices were disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of this study was to analyse the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on perinatal care and breastfeeding support practices offered by the Spanish maternity hospitals committed to the UNICEF Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), to women with and without COVID-19. Implementation of perinatal practices was assessed by a cross-sectional survey conducted in May 2020 using an online questionnaire. Comparison with pre-pandemic situation and level of commitment to BFHI practices was performed.

Predictors of breastfeeding self-efficacy during the covid-19 pandemic

Maryam Ahmad Zadeh Beheshti; Zainab Alimoradib; Nasim Bahrami (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Neonatal Nursing

Breastfeeding self-efficacy (BSE) is a strong predictor of the duration of breastfeeding. The aim of this study is to determine the predictors of BSE in breastfeeding mothers during the Covid-19 pandemic. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 300 breastfeeding mothers who breastfed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Convenience sampling was used to recruit participants. A battery of online questionnaires measured sociodemographic and obstetric characteristics, breastfeeding self-efficacy, spouse postpartum social support, perceived social support, anxiety and depression, and fear of Covid-19. Data were analyzed using Pearson correlation coefficients, one-way ANOVA, and multivariable linear regression via stepwise method. The significance level in this study was α = 0.05.

Emergency and disaster response strategies to support maternal-infant dyads in times of COVID

Felipe Aros-Vera; Ilana R. Azulay Chertok; Semyon Melnikov

Published: August 2021   Journal: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
The COVID-19 pandemic has produced an unprecedented global health crisis. Vulnerable populations, such as breastfeeding mother-infant dyads, are in a particularly delicate situation. Before, during, and after birth mothers and their infants could be exposed to the virus. Due to fear of infection transmission, there has been an increase in separation of COVID-positive mothers and their infants and a decline in breastfeeding, despite research supporting the provision of mother's milk for her infant. During this crisis, evidence-based education counseling and resources can support healthful infant feeding which is necessary for short- and long-term infant growth and development. Using a framework of disaster preparedness and response, this study delineates operational guidelines and policy recommendations to support maternal-infant dyads during the COVID pandemic outbreak. Key recommendations include promotion of breastfeeding and milk expression, avoiding the use of formula, engaging healthcare providers in supporting lactation, and incorporating evidence-based breastfeeding and lactation protocols and practices in disaster preparedness and disaster response plans.
Breastfeeding in the era of COVID-19: a narrative review

Rozeta Sokou; Aikaterini Konstantinidi; Theodora Boutsikou (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Human milk is the best possible nutrition for infants, as it supplies them with nutrients, bioactive molecules as well as antibodies, which contribute to immune maturation, organ development, and healthy microbial colonisation. Few situations are considered definitive contraindications for breastfeeding. The disastrous Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic raised many health issues, including the safety of breastfeeding for infants born to affected mothers. To date relevant data are limited. This review will make an account of the published data so far, regarding the transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2 via human milk; it will also present the current feeding recommendations, issued by several international boards, though not always in agreement, for infants born to mothers suspected or positive for SARS-CoV-2. In most studies existing so far on women with COVID-19, the virus was not detected in breastmilk. Based on currently available data, it seems that breastfeeding and human milk are not contraindicated for infants born to mothers suspected or confirmed with COVID-19.
Baby friendly hospital initiative breastfeeding outcomes in mothers with COVID-19 infection during the first weeks of the pandemic in Spain

Miguel A Marín Gabriel; Laura Domingo Goneche; Irene Cuadrado Pérez (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Human Lactation

Adherence to the Ten Steps of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative has been shown to have a protective role for the initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding. This research aims: (1) To determine the breastfeeding rate during the first 6 months of life in children of mothers diagnosed with COVID-19 infection at the time of birth; and (2) to assess the possible influence of being born in a center with Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative accreditation. This was a two-group comparative longitudinal observational study of infants born to mothers with COVID-19 at the time of birth, between March 13–May 31, 2020 (the first wave of the pandemic) in Spain. Fourteen Spanish hospitals participated, five (35.7%) were Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative accredited. Type of feeding was assessed prospectively at discharge, 1, 3, and 6 months of age. A total of 248 newborns were included in the study.

Breastfeeding in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: a discussion paper

Karen Walker; Janet Green; Julia Petty (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Neonatal Nursing
Breastfeeding offers one of the most fundamental global health benefits for babies. Breastmilk is lifesaving, providing not only nutrition but immunologic benefits and as such is strongly supported by the World Health Organization and leading healthcare associations worldwide. When the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, the impact of the restrictions to prevent the spread of the disease created challenges and questions about provision of safe, quality care, including breastfeeding practices, in a new ‘normal’ environment. Mothers were temporarily separated from their babies where infection was present or suspected, parents were prevented from being present on neonatal units and vital breastfeeding support was prevented. This discussion paper provides an overview of essential areas of knowledge related to practice for neonatal nurses and midwives who care for breastfeeding mothers and babies, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the latest global guidance.
Triggering of postpartum depression and insomnia with cognitive impairment in Argentinian women during the pandemic COVID-19 social isolation in relation to reproductive and health factors

Agustín Ramiro Miranda; Ana Veronica Scotta; Mariela Valentina Cortez (et al.)

Published: July 2021   Journal: Midwifery

The 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19) required strict confinement measures that differentially impacted the individual's daily life. Thus, this work aimed to study postpartum women's mental health in Argentina during mandatory social isolation. A cross-sectional survey was conducted from May to July 2020, which included five validated questionnaires to assess postpartum depression (Postpartum Depression Screening Scale‐Short Form), insomnia (Insomnia Severity Index), memory complaints (Memory Complaint Scale), metacognition (Brief Metamemory and Metaconcentration Scale), and breastfeeding self-efficacy (Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form).

Maternal mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic in Beijing, China

Zhuang Wei; Ming-Yue Gao; Mary Fewtrell (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: World Journal of Pediatrics

The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on breastfeeding women and to identify predictors of maternal mental health and coping. Mothers aged ≥ 18 years with a breast-fed infant ≤ 18 months of age during the COVID-19 pandemic in Beijing, China, completed a questionnaire. Descriptive analysis of lockdown consequences was performed and predictors of these outcomes were examined using stepwise linear regression.

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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.


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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.