Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

A call for zero separation – restrictive policies and their impact on neonatal care in light of COVID-19

More than one year into the pandemic and we are well aware that COVID-19 is affecting neonatal care. In many places, possibly in more ways than we initially appreciated. Recent scientific research has revealed that neonatal care in low- and middle-income countries has been affected to an extent that threatens the implementation of life-saving interventions.1 Reasons for this development are certainly plentiful, including the concerns of medical staff and parents about contracting the coronavirus – a worry that in many places had been accelerated by the immense pressure put on the health system.

Sarah Fuegenschuh
Head of Communications

Johanna Kostenzer
Head of Scientific Affairs – Maternal and Newborn Health

European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants

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Keywords
parental visiting; COVID-19; family-integrated care
Key points
  1. Parents are partners in care for their babies and should never be considered visitors on NNUs.
  2. Policy changes during the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in many parents being separated from their babies.
  3. Reduced parental visiting may have a negative impact on the whole family with long-term consequences.
  4. A multi-pronged approach is required to ensure that parents are respected as partners in care for their baby.