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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 70-71

A virtual birth companion! – Yet another application of virtual reality during the COVID-19 pandemic


1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Submission28-Sep-2020
Date of Acceptance05-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication21-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vijayan Sharmila
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jpsic.jpsic_33_20

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How to cite this article:
Sharmila V, Babu TA. A virtual birth companion! – Yet another application of virtual reality during the COVID-19 pandemic. J Patient Saf Infect Control 2020;8:70-1

How to cite this URL:
Sharmila V, Babu TA. A virtual birth companion! – Yet another application of virtual reality during the COVID-19 pandemic. J Patient Saf Infect Control [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 May 6];8:70-1. Available from: https://www.jpsiconline.com/text.asp?2020/8/2/70/304217



Dear Sir,

Presence of birth companion during the labour is encouraged as a part of ensuring quality labour care and has been implemented in several hospitals across the globe. It is expected that allowing the presence of birth companion in labour rooms will help to reduce mental stress of the pregnant women during the process of childbirth. Research shows that women who receive good social support during labour and childbirth tend on average to have shorter labours, to control their pain better and to have less need for medical intervention.[1] However, the COVID-19 pandemic is temporarily changing the way hospitals and communities function to reduce the possible spread of coronavirus infection. Although majority of elective medical and surgical procedures are being postponed, deliveries and caesarean sections are still being carried out with due precautions. During this unprecedented time, many expecting mothers and their partners are apprehensive on how this will affect their birthing experience and the newborn baby. To ensure a healthy and safe environment for patients and staff and to protect the mother and the newborn from possible exposure to COVID-19, birth companions are not allowed at most of the hospitals, including the maternity ward, labour room and operation theatre during caesarean section.[2] This can have adverse effects of the mental status of labouring women who are already in a stressed state of mind. Use of technology to stay connected to one's family during delivery can be extrapolated in improving the birthing experience during this pandemic.[3] The birth companion can be allowed 'virtually' into the labour room and operation theatre by means of mobile phones that can be placed on a mobile holder attached to the IV stand. A video call dialled from the parturient's phone to the partner or the birth companion will allow them to be digitally together, thereby helping to maintain the support system for the mother throughout labour and delivery as well as in operation theatres during caesarean section. Permitting and practicing this technique will contribute positively to maternal satisfaction during delivery and will definitely be welcomed by couples and obstetricians alike as a part of 'new normal'. This will serve as yet another modification during this COVID-19 pandemic that is rebooting the world into virtual reality.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Afulani P, Kusi C, Kirumbi L, Walker D. Companionship during facility-based childbirth: Results from a mixed-methods study with recently delivered women and providers in Kenya. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2018;18:150.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Hermann A, Deligiannidis KM, Bergink V, Monk C, Fitelson EM, Robakis TK, et al. Response to SARS-Covid-19-related visitor restrictions on labor and delivery wards in New York City. Arch Womens Ment Health 2020:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Singh RP, Javaid M, Kataria R, Tyagi M, Haleem A, Suman R. Significant applications of virtual reality for COVID-19 pandemic. Diabetes Metab Syndr 2020;14:661-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
    




 

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