Impact of COVID-19 on Infancy & Toddlerhood

Subject: Healthcare Research
Pages: 1
Words: 471
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: School

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly influenced human life in several different areas. A few areas that were negatively affected by the pandemic in a major way are women’s experiences with pregnancy and birthing. Some postpartum aspects, such as feeding young children, were also influenced by the conditions imposed by the pandemic state. This paper will explore the recent findings on the impact of COVID-19 on infancy and toddlerhood to draw attention to important problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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First, the pandemic and work-from-home policies, in general, caused stress among new parents through difficulties in managing work and childcare. According to DeYoung and Mangum (2021), in addition to the psychological distress stress caused by the pandemic, many had to face early release from the hospital during the birthing process. The early releases resulted in limited access to lactation support, which caused many mothers to resort to infant formula. The research conducted by DeYoung and Mangum (2021) determined that 64% of respondents received lactation support, either in hospital or birthing center, while 1% expressed that they did not receive lactation support even though they needed it.

As well as feeding infants, feeding young children became complicated in the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the suspension of activities of early child care and education (ECE) centers, many children did not have the opportunity for healthy meals and snacks for reduced cost for families. According to Bauer et al. (2020) many centers had to stop their activities due to three major reasons. First, the pandemic caused the lack of funding through the decrease in enrollments. Second, most workers in the field of childcare homes are older, meaning that they are subjected to the risk of having substantial negative consequences in case of becoming infected with COVID-19. Lastly, many families were directed to school districts for food distribution programs. The pandemic emphasized the fragile state of currently available child support programs such as ECE and their importance for the development of children.

Reasons why ECE had to stop their activities during the pandemic.
Figure 2. Reasons why ECE had to stop their activities during the pandemic.

References

Bauer, K.W., Chriqui, J. F., Andreyeva, T., Kenney, E. L., Stage, V. C., Dev, D., Lessard, L., Cotwright, C. J., & Tovar, A. (2020). A safety net unraveling: Feeding young children during COVID-19. American Journal of Public Health, 111(1), 116-120. Web.

DeYoung, S. E., & Mangum, M. (2021). Pregnancy, birthing, and postpartum experiences during COVID-19 in the United States. Frontiers in Sociology, 6, 1-13. Web.