The Impact of Online Visit Practice by Midwifery Students on Child-Rearing Midwives during The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Descriptive Study
Background: In Japan, one of the goals of midwifery education is the development of one’s ability to comprehensively support the child-rearing generation in collaboration with professionals from other disciplines. However, in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, it has become extremely difficult to provide face-to-face support for mothers and children. Early on in the pandemic, we sought help from three parenting midwives as an alternative and attempted an online visit. Since midwives who are raising children respond to the training as both mothers who are care recipients and midwives as care providers. Therefore, we attempted to verify the usefulness of midwives experiencing training as mothers by clarifying the effects on those midwives who are raising children and who have experienced online visit training by students. Methods: The online visitations were conducted in June 2020. The collaborators were three midwives who were devoted to childcare. During the online visit training, we used the feedback records of their questions given by the collaborators (with their permission) to the students. The verbatim record was created from the records. Qualitative descriptive analysis was used, and subcategories and categories were extracted. This study was approved by the Ethical Committee for Epidemiology of Hiroshima University. Results: The average age of the three midwives was 36.3 years, with an average of 12.3 years of experience after graduation. They were each raising multiple children (ranging between a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 children). Their youngest infants were 6.7 months old on average for all. Five categories that emerged were: contributing to the development of midwifery students as a senior; the joy of accepting the efforts of a mother while raising children; recalling the humility of beginners through the integrity of midwifery students; learning opportunities about the benefits of online visits; and suggesting further challenges for online visits. Conclusion: The online visit training was an opportunity for midwives who are raising their own children to reinforce an honest and humble approach based on the attitude of the students, for self-improvement, and to reflect on the practice of midwifery from another person’s viewpoint. It was also noted that the midwives contributed to the education of midwifery students. Furthermore, they also agreed with the use of online visitations and considered the advantages and disadvantages of its use from the perspective of mothers and midwives. Online visits were seen to empower midwives on childcare leave, as their child-rearing was accepted and admired. Online visits by students were considered to be an opportunity to not only provide a sense of fulfillment as a recipient of care but also to think concretely about career advancement, during childcare leave, regarding the ideal way for midwifery training and teaching.