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Women’s health and midwifery
Unintended consequences of restricting father presence during maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. Marsha Campbell-Yeo1,2
  1. 1 Faculty of Health, Dalhousie University School of Nursing, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  2. 2 Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, IWK Health, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Professor Marsha Campbell-Yeo, Faculty of Health, Dalhousie University School of Nursing, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada; marsha.campbell-yeo{at}

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Commentary on: Andrews K, Ayers S, Williams LR. The experience of fathers during the COVID-19 UK maternity care restrictions. Midwifery. 2022 Oct;113:103434. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2022.103434. Epub 2022 Jul 16

Implications for practice and research

  • Restriction of fathers from maternity care during the pandemic led to unintended negative consequences.

  • Considering a birth partner to be an essential component of optimal maternity care should underpin future pandemic planning.


With the aim to reduce transmission of COVID-19, severe restrictions were placed on family presence across most aspects of care delivery including end-of-life, long-term care, emergency, paediatric and perinatal care.1 The study by Andrews et al 2 focuses on the experiences of fathers during COVID-19 restrictions in the UK. Given the significant effect of family restrictions instituted during pandemic and the paucity of evidence related to fathers, gaining an understanding of father’s experiences is of interest to families, clinicians …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.