The implications of face mask wearing for babies and families during the COVID-19 pandemic: A discussion

Mrs Lynette Staff, Janet Green, Patricia Bromley, Linda Jones, Julia Petty

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Abstract

COVID-19 has changed the way that newborn babies are cared for within the neonatal setting, and infants in the first year of their lives, due to the introduction of social distancing and the wearing of face masks to limit the spread of the infection. Potential implications of these practices exist, related to the normal development of attachment, face processing and recognition by the infant, and connections with others. This paper discusses the importance of face-to-face interactions in relation to these within the context of developmental theory. Mask wearing can potentially impact relational communication, requiring us to change our current ways of working. The possible implications of decreasing face-to-face interactions for the infant and relational communication are discussed, along with key recommendations for both parents and health professionals to mitigate the potential long-term effects on development related to human connection and attachment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56
Number of pages1
JournalWomen and Birth
Volume35
Issue number1
Early online date12 Sept 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2022
EventAustralian College of Midwives National Conference - Together at the Top - Cairns, QLD, Australia
Duration: 15 Sept 202215 Sept 2022

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