Women's perspectives on the quality of maternal and newborn care in childbirth during the COVID-19 pandemic in Latvia: Results from the IMAgiNE EURO study on 40 WHO standards-based quality measures

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2022 Dec;159 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):97-112. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.14461.


Objective: To investigate women's perspectives on the quality of maternal and newborn care (QMNC) around the time of childbirth during the COVID-19 pandemic in Latvia, comparing the years 2020 and 2021, among women who went into labor or had a prelabor cesarean.

Methods: Women giving birth in healthcare facilities in Latvia from March 1, 2020, to October 28, 2021, answered an online questionnaire including 40 WHO standards-based quality measures. Descriptive and multivariate quantile regression analyses were performed to compare QMNC in 2020 and 2021.

Results: 2079 women were included in the analysis: 1860 women who went into labor (group 1) and 219 with prelabor cesarean (group 2). Among group 1, 66.4% (n = 99/149) of women received fundal pressure in an instrumental vaginal birth, 43.5% (n = 810) lacked involvement in choices, 17.4% (n = 317) reported suffering abuse, 32.7% (n = 609) reported inadequate breastfeeding support while 5.2% (n = 96) lack of early breastfeeding. A significant reduction in QMNC due to the COVID-19 pandemic was reported by 29.5% (n = 219) and 25.0% (n = 270) of respondents in 2020 and 2021, respectively (P = 0.045). Multivariate analyses highlighted a significantly lower QMNC index for 2020 compared with 2021 (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: This first study investigating QMNC in Latvia showed significant gaps in QMNC perceived by respondents, with slightly better results in 2021. Appropriate healthcare strategies to improve health care for women and newborns in Latvia are required.

Clinicaltrials: gov Identifier:NCT04847336.

Keywords: COVID-19; Eastern Europe; IMAgiNE EURO; Latvia; childbirth; maternity care; newborn care; quality of care.

Publication types

  • Clinical Study

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Latvia / epidemiology
  • Maternal Health Services*
  • Pandemics
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care
  • World Health Organization

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04847336