Table 3

Strategies to improve care and support for parents and babies

ThemeExemplar quotes
ParentsHealthcare providers
Consider birthing parent and baby as single entity to allow support person to attend birth and visitsSupposed to be a joyful moment, you just had a kid. So you're there by yourself and you’re scared, there’s fear. If there’s someone with you, usually it’s less stressful (Parent group 1)We've treated the birthing parent and the baby as a dyad, they are one unit. And now the visitor or the second person at the bedside is the second parent (HCP group 1)
Better access to in-person medical appointmentsUnder a certain age…virtual appointments don't work. Especially when you're talking about medical things…they need to see your baby (Parent group 1)
I took my daughter to the hospital…and they're having people wait outside and it was winter. And your child is already sick (Parent group 1)
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Offer choice of in-person or virtual for other servicesWe took prenatal classes through our hospital…initially we felt disadvantaged because they were virtual…but afterwards, we were quite satisfied…we really appreciated having that as an option (Parent group 2)---
Train more midwives, and homecare and community workersIt was very hard to find midwives around my area that were taking new patients, if they were overbooked (Parent group 2)We need to really ensure that we have adequate home care health workforce and continue to train people to work in child care in the community (HCP group 1)
Provide free or subsidised services/policies to support the vulnerableI think more free or low cost prenatal support (Parent group 2)The funding for programmes in in areas that don't necessarily have that sort of support (HCP group 3)
Facilitate access to postnatal servicesCredible information material
Maybe downloadable resources in a reputable place so that if you are searching, you will find something from a hospital or from a healthcare professional, and not moms on the Internet (Parent group 2)
Follow-up monitoring by healthcare providers
Some way of checking in on both baby and mom (Parent group 2)
Follow-up monitoring by healthcare providers
Doing a check-in, even once a month. And just connecting to see ‘how’s everyone doing?’ (HCP group 2)
Better advertise what is available
Spreading the word, because I find we have a lot of families come, and they don't even know that it’s available (HCP group 3)
Offer in different locations at convenient times
It’s about making things as easy as possible for them to be able to get to it and be able to use it (HCP group 3)
Provide interpreters having more interpreters, making things like that easier for families to access if language was a barrier (HCP group 3)
Coordinated centralised system
A more centralised, easy access system that allows families to get what they need would make many of our lives a lot easier and hopefully their lives easier (HCP group 2)
Peer support for mothers to address isolationHaving other new mothers around somehow to meet… Just to feel like you're not completely by yourself (Parent group 1)More community support groups where parents can support each other who are going through similar situations (HCP group 1)
Accommodate more daycare spotsEven if the daycare had 20 kids, maybe with the alternated days, would still help. Like maybe on Monday, Wednesday, could be your kid, and then on alternate days, it could be other people’s kids (Parent group 1)Provide more subsidised childcare spaces will be good for parents. And making the process faster. (HCP group 3)
Improve virtual care system---Triage to in-person or specialists
We didn’t have triage processes to realise who should be seen in what format. We have to continue to develop an appropriate virtual care health system that sees people at the right time in the right place, and turns people, if more appropriate, to in person settings too (HCP group 1)
Provide technology to those without
Support for families who don't have access to technology was a really big thing (HCP group 1)
Catch up on backlog of visits to assess child development---Catch up on the backlog of visits and consults and procedures, and everything that needs to be done (HCP group 1)
Use clear masks to help with speech development---Getting higher quality masks that are clear that can show our mouths…it will continue to impact speech from them not seeing the mouth motions (HCP group 3)
More funding and alternative funding models for healthcare professionals---The way I get paid is a little bit different from other people, and that allows me to actually spend the time to be able to get families the services that they need and follow-up with them, but not all physicians are able to do that because of the way that they're paid (HCP group 2)