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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

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

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Adaptation of infant mental health services to preterm infants and their families receiving neonatal intensive care unit services during the COVID-19 pandemic

Jessalyn Kelleher; Jack Dempsey; Stephanie Takamatsu (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Infant mental health
Multiple changes and stressors at the family, hospital, and societal levels have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic that impact the early social environment of infants in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) settings. This manuscript reviews these pandemic-related adversities, including hospital-wide visitor restrictions, mask requirements that interfere with caregiver facial expressions, parental anxiety about virus transmission, and reduced support services. It will further describe adaptations to mental health service delivery and approaches to care in the NICU to mitigate increased risk associated with pandemic-related adversities. Adaptations include integration of technology, staff education and support, and delivery of activity kits to encourage parent–infant bonding. Data was collected as part of routine program evaluation of infant mental health services from one 50-bed NICU setting and describes family concerns, barriers to visitation, and utilization of mental health services during the pandemic.
Transitioning to virtual interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic: impact on the family connects postpartum home visiting program activity

Anna Rybińska; Debra L. Best; W. Benjamin Goodman (et al.)

Published: January 2022   Journal: Infant Mental Health Journal
This paper analyzes program activity for Family Connects (FC), an evidence-based postpartum home-visiting intervention, during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic began, FC transitioned to a virtual protocol which maintains key psychosocial components of the in-person protocol and adjusts health assessments to address the lack of in-person contact. Program performance is contrasted for periods before the pandemic onset (April 2019–March 2020) and after the onset (April 2020–March 2021), involving 10,280 scheduled visits and 6696 visited families (46% non-Hispanic white; 20% non-Hispanic Black; 23% Hispanic; and 10% other race). Post-pandemic onset, FC program participation rates were at 89.8% of pre-pandemic levels. Home visitors observed post-onset increases in families’ concerns about home safety but declines in families’ needs related to infant care. Community connections were facilitated for 42.9% of visited families post-pandemic onset compared to 51.1% pre-pandemic onset.
Psychological risks to mother–infant bonding during the COVID-19 pandemic

Cindy H. Liu; Sunah Hyun; Leena Mittal (et al.)

Published: October 2021   Journal: Pediatric Research

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between mental health symptoms, along with psychological experiences and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) related concerns, and self-reported maternal–infant bonding experiences of postpartum women. Using data collected from May 19 to August 17, 2020, this cross-sectional online study assessed 429 women to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women during the postpartum period. Enrolled respondents were asked to participate in a 30–45-min online survey about COVID-19-related experiences, pregnancy, stress, and well-being.

Breastfeeding supportive practices in European hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic

Anne Merewooda , Riccardo Davanzob , Maetal Haas-Kogan Merewood; Riccardo Davanzo; Maetal Haas-Kogan (et al.)

Published: October 2021
During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, international recommendations and guidelines regarding breastfeeding-supportive hospital practices changed frequently. For example, some recommended separation of mothers and infants; others, feeding pumped milk instead of milk fed directly from the breast. Many recommendations were inconsistent or in direct conflict with each other. Guidance from UENPS (the Union of European Neonatal and Perinatal Societies) published in April 2020 recommended rooming in and direct breastfeeding where feasible, under strict measures of infection control, for women who were COVID-19 positive or under investigation for COVID-19.
Postpartum women’s psychological experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic: a modified recurrent cross-sectional thematic analysis

Leanne Jackson; Leonardo De Pascalis; Joanne A. Harrold (et al.)

Published: September 2021   Journal: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

COVID-19 has placed additional stressors on mothers during an already vulnerable lifecourse transition. Initial social distancing restrictions (Timepoint 1; T1) and initial changes to those social distancing restrictions (Timepoint 2; T2) have disrupted postpartum access to practical and emotional support. This qualitative study explores the postpartum psychological experiences of UK women during different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated ‘lockdowns’. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 women, approximately 30 days after initial social distancing guidelines were imposed in the UK (22 April 2020). A separate 12 women were interviewed approximately 30 days after the initial easing of social distancing restrictions (10 June 2020). Data were transcribed verbatim, uploaded into NVivo for management and analysis, which followed a recurrent cross-sectional approach to thematic analysis.

The association between the COVID-19 pandemic and postpartum care provision

Allie Sakowicz; Chloe N. Matovina; Sidney K. Imeroni (et al.)

Published: August 2021   Journal: American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology MFM

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a rapid transformation of the healthcare system in order to mitigate viral exposure. In the perinatal context, one change included altering the prenatal visit cadence and utilizing more telehealth methods. Whether this approach had inadvertent negative implications for postpartum care, including postpartum depression screening and contraceptive utilization, is unknown. To examine whether preventative health service utilization, including postpartum depression screening and contraceptive utilization, differed during the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to a pre-pandemic period.

The relationship between postpartum depression and social support during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study

Shuhei Terada; Kentaro Kinjo; Yoshiharu Fukuda

Published: July 2021   Journal: International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics

This study aims to examine the prevalence of postpartum depression and its relationship with social support adjusted for self-perceived impact of COVID-19 in parturient women admitted to a perinatal medical center in Japan. This cross-sectional study included 513 women who underwent a 1-month postpartum checkup between August 3 and November 27, 2020. Postpartum depression was measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Social support was measured using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and the score was dichotomized using the Youden index. Nineteen demographic and obstetric characteristics were also assessed.

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).

Stress levels among an international sample of pregnant and postpartum women during the COVID-19 pandemic

Diego F. Wyszynski; Sonia Hernandez-Diaz; Vanessa Gordon-Dseagu (et al.)

Published: June 2021   Journal: The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine
Stress is a complex condition that can have a profound effect on an individual’s sense of wellbeing and their ability to live a happy and healthy life. COVID-19 and its associated stressors have the potential to disrupt numerous facets of our everyday lives. Pregnant and postpartum women are especially vulnerable to changes in the availability of routine health and social care services and of their support networks. The current study sought to explore stress levels and their influencers among an international cohort of pregnant and postpartum women during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID‐19 guidelines for pregnant women and new mothers: a systematic evidence review

Madeline A. Di Lorenzo; Sarah O'Connor; Caroline Ezekwesili (et al.)

Published: March 2021   Journal: International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics

Nearly a year after COVID-19 was initially detected, guidance for pregnant and new mothers remains varied. The goal of this systematic review is to summarize recommendations for three areas of maternal and fetal care - breastfeeding, post-partum social distancing, and decontamination. We searched PubMed, Embase and Web of Science spanning from inception to November 09, 2020.

The effects of opioids on female fertility, pregnancy and the breastfeeding mother‐infant dyad: a review

Daniel J. Corsi; Malia S. Q. Murphy

Published: February 2021
Rates of opioid use and opioid agonist maintenance treatment have increased substantially in recent years, particularly among women. Trends and outcomes of opioids use on fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and longer‐term child developmental outcomes have not been well‐described. This paper reviews the existing literature on the health effects of opioid use on female fertility, pregnancy, breastmilk and the exposed infant. It finds that the current literature is primarily concentrated on the impact of opioid use in pregnancy and neonatal outcomes, with little exploration of effects on fertility. Studies are limited in number, some with small sample sizes, and many are hampered by methodological challenges related to confounding and other potential biases. Opioid use is becoming more prevalent due to environmental pressures such as COVID‐19.
Rates of opioid use and opi-
oid agonist maintenance treatment have increased substantially in recent years, par-
ticularly among women. Trends and outcomes of opioids use on fertility, pregnancy
and breastfeeding, and longer- term child developmental outcomes have not been
well- described. Here, we review the existing literature on the health effects of opioid
use on female fertility, pregnancy, breastmilk and the exposed infant. We find that
the current literature is primarily concentrated on the impact of opioid use in preg-
nancy and neonatal outcomes, with little exploration of effects on fertility. Studies
are limited in number, some with small sample sizes, and many are hampered by
methodological challenges related to confounding and other potential biases. Opioid
use is becoming more prevalent due to environmental pressures such as COVID- 19.
31 - 41 of 41

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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