Zero separation. Together for better care! Infant and family-centred developmental care in times of COVID-19 – A global survey of parents’ experiences

Munich, November 2021: The COVID-19 pandemic has created exceptional challenges, especially for the care of preterm, sick and low birth weight infants. Restrictions to stem virus transmission have impacted the provision of healthcare, including infant and family-centred developmental care (IFCDC). Hospitalised newborns, together with their families, have been severely affected by separation policies with so far unforeseen short and long-term consequences. We, therefore, call for a zero separation policy and the consistent application of an IFCDC approach. In a global online survey the parents’ experiences was explored with regard to the disruptions and restrictions on different elements of IFCDC during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents of newborns in need of special/intensive care shared their experiences regarding prenatal care, parental access, infant nutrition and breastfeeding, health communication, and mental health.

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