UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on postpartum mothers in London, England: An online focus group study

Emmott, Emily H; Gilliland, Anna; Lakshmi Narasimhan, Anjana; Myers, Sarah; (2023) The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on postpartum mothers in London, England: An online focus group study. Journal of Public Health 10.1007/s10389-023-01922-4. (In press). Green open access

[thumbnail of s10389-023-01922-4.pdf]
Preview
Text
s10389-023-01922-4.pdf - Published Version

Download (640kB) | Preview

Abstract

Aims This study examines the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on postpartum mothers in England, with the aim of identifying opportunities to improve maternal experience and wellbeing. The postpartum/postnatal period is widely acknowledged as a time when mothers require greater levels of support from multiple sources. However, stay-at-home orders, commonly known as “lockdown,” deployed in some countries to limit COVID-19 transmission reduced access to support. In England, many postpartum mothers navigated household isolation within an intensive mothering and expert parenting culture. Examining the impact of lockdown may reveal strengths and weaknesses in current policy and practice. Subject and methods We conducted online focus groups involving 20 mothers living in London, England, with “lockdown babies,” following up on our earlier online survey on social support and maternal wellbeing. We thematically analysed focus group transcripts, and identified key themes around Lockdown Experience and Determinants of Lockdown Experience. Results Participants raised some positives of lockdown, including fostering connections and protection from external expectations, but also raised many negatives, including social isolation, institutional abandonment, and intense relationships within the household. Potential reasons behind variations in lockdown experience include physical environments, timing of birth, and number of children. Our findings reflect how current systems may be “trapping” some families into the male-breadwinner/female-caregiver family model, while intensive mothering and expert parenting culture may be increasing maternal stress and undermining responsive mothering. Conclusions Facilitating partners to stay at home during the postpartum period (e.g., increasing paternity leave and flexible working) and establishing peer/community support to decentre reliance on professional parenting experts may promote positive postpartum maternal experience and wellbeing.

Type: Article
Title: The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on postpartum mothers in London, England: An online focus group study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10389-023-01922-4
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10389-023-01922-4
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: COVID-19 · Lockdown · Postpartum · Postnatal · Intensive Mothering · Expert Parenting · Maternal Wellbeing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10170788
Downloads since deposit
17Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item