In early 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic grew, ICM coordinated a global research study—funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Johnson & Johnson—to better understand the challenges and concerns of professional associations of midwives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the study was to gather information from midwives’ associations across the world to determine the impact of the global pandemic. A descriptive cross-sectional survey using an on-line questionnaire was sent via email to every midwives’ association member of ICM.
A total of 101 responses were received from across the globe between July 2020 and April 2021. All the regions and sub-regions where ICM has member organisations responded: Francophone and Anglophone Africa; North America and the Caribbean; Latin America; Western Pacific; Eastern Mediterranean; South East Asia as well as Northern, Central and Southern Europe. The study identified the sheer scale of many of the global issues facing midwives and women from the start of the pandemic until midway through 2021. The common themes included a lack of supply of PPE, the move to online and telephone consultations in addition to the uncertainty of where to give birth in the context of fear of infection and the changing status of maternity facilities becoming COVID-19 facilities.