Research Topic

The Global Impact of COVID-19 on Maternity Care Practices and Childbearing Experiences

About this Research Topic

This is a call for articles on the impact of COVID-19 both on maternity care practices in various countries and on pregnant families’ experiences of maternity care. Perspectives from all types of maternity care practitioners, including but not limited to midwives—both professional and traditional--nurses, obstetricians, doulas, lactation consultants etc. are welcome, as are perspectives from the recipients of care—parents and families. Obstetricians’ perspectives are particularly welcome, as little has been written from their standpoints. We would like to achieve a balance in our articles between effects on providers and effects on pregnant people and their families.

We seek articles focusing on immediate impacts and on potential long-term impacts. Are the rapid changes we have been seeing in the US--such as hospitals excluding doulas and partners or forcing the laboring person to pick one or the other, and the quick rise in home and birth center births--also found in other countries? Will such responses to COVID-19 continue and become long-lasting, or will they be short-term, vanishing as soon as the pandemic is over?

How are responses to the coronavirus being racialized? What are the differences in care and impacts among marginalized and non-marginalized people?

What effects do cultural norms and mores have on people’s reactions to the pandemic? In what ways are their responses culturally influenced? Are there any rumors and/or conspiracy theories that are affecting people’s maternity care choices? If so, in what ways?

We are particularly interested in the effects in low-to-middle income countries and on traditional midwives and their clients. How are low-resource medical facilities—clinics and hospitals--coping? Are “TBAs” seeing an increase in the numbers of women coming to them for care? Has the pandemic affected how facility-based practitioners are regarding TBAs—is there any evidence that the need for them in times of crisis might encourage their integration into healthcare systems? Is this pandemic making people re-think the global push towards facility-based birth, or is it reinforcing that push? Why and how?

Are homebirth midwives who were formerly marginalized and perhaps persecuted in high-resource countries receiving more respect and efforts at integration? Have home-to-hospital transfers gone more, or less, smoothly during the pandemic?

Articles can be based on ethnographic fieldwork, personal experiences, on-line surveys or questionnaires, etc. Lengthy literature reviews are not needed—we seek direct and original data. Please use first-person when writing—we will not accept articles using too much third-person passive, as in “the project was carried out.” Stories and case studies are welcome—we wish this collection to have a lively tone in which real people’s voices can be heard!

Abstracts of around 250 words are required in advance of manuscript submission.

***Due to the exceptional nature of the COVID-19 situation, Frontiers is waiving all article publishing charges for COVID-19 related research.***


Keywords: Coronavirus, Covid-19, birth, maternity care, obstetrics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

This is a call for articles on the impact of COVID-19 both on maternity care practices in various countries and on pregnant families’ experiences of maternity care. Perspectives from all types of maternity care practitioners, including but not limited to midwives—both professional and traditional--nurses, obstetricians, doulas, lactation consultants etc. are welcome, as are perspectives from the recipients of care—parents and families. Obstetricians’ perspectives are particularly welcome, as little has been written from their standpoints. We would like to achieve a balance in our articles between effects on providers and effects on pregnant people and their families.

We seek articles focusing on immediate impacts and on potential long-term impacts. Are the rapid changes we have been seeing in the US--such as hospitals excluding doulas and partners or forcing the laboring person to pick one or the other, and the quick rise in home and birth center births--also found in other countries? Will such responses to COVID-19 continue and become long-lasting, or will they be short-term, vanishing as soon as the pandemic is over?

How are responses to the coronavirus being racialized? What are the differences in care and impacts among marginalized and non-marginalized people?

What effects do cultural norms and mores have on people’s reactions to the pandemic? In what ways are their responses culturally influenced? Are there any rumors and/or conspiracy theories that are affecting people’s maternity care choices? If so, in what ways?

We are particularly interested in the effects in low-to-middle income countries and on traditional midwives and their clients. How are low-resource medical facilities—clinics and hospitals--coping? Are “TBAs” seeing an increase in the numbers of women coming to them for care? Has the pandemic affected how facility-based practitioners are regarding TBAs—is there any evidence that the need for them in times of crisis might encourage their integration into healthcare systems? Is this pandemic making people re-think the global push towards facility-based birth, or is it reinforcing that push? Why and how?

Are homebirth midwives who were formerly marginalized and perhaps persecuted in high-resource countries receiving more respect and efforts at integration? Have home-to-hospital transfers gone more, or less, smoothly during the pandemic?

Articles can be based on ethnographic fieldwork, personal experiences, on-line surveys or questionnaires, etc. Lengthy literature reviews are not needed—we seek direct and original data. Please use first-person when writing—we will not accept articles using too much third-person passive, as in “the project was carried out.” Stories and case studies are welcome—we wish this collection to have a lively tone in which real people’s voices can be heard!

Abstracts of around 250 words are required in advance of manuscript submission.

***Due to the exceptional nature of the COVID-19 situation, Frontiers is waiving all article publishing charges for COVID-19 related research.***


Keywords: Coronavirus, Covid-19, birth, maternity care, obstetrics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 August 2020 Manuscript
30 September 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 August 2020 Manuscript
30 September 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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