Moral and mental health challenges faced by maternity staff during the COVID-19 pandemic

Psychol Trauma. 2020 Aug;12(S1):S141-S142. doi: 10.1037/tra0000629. Epub 2020 Jun 1.


The current COVID-19 pandemic places maternity staff at risk of engaging in clinical practice that may be in direct contravention with evidence; professional recommendations; or, more profoundly, deeply held ethical or moral beliefs and values, as services attempt to control the risk of cross-infection. Practice changes in some settings include reduction in personal contacts for tests, treatments and antenatal and postnatal care, exclusion of birth partners for labor and birth, separation of mother and baby in the immediate postnatal period, restrictions on breastfeeding, and reduced capacity for hands-on professional labor support through social distancing and use of personal protective equipment. These enforced changes may result in increasing levels of occupational moral injury that need to be addressed at both an organizational and a personal level. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Maternal Health Services* / ethics
  • Maternal Health Services* / organization & administration
  • Medical Staff* / ethics
  • Medical Staff* / psychology
  • Morals
  • Nursing Staff* / ethics
  • Nursing Staff* / psychology
  • Occupational Diseases* / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases* / psychology
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Psychological Trauma* / etiology
  • Psychological Trauma* / psychology