University Of Tasmania

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The implications of face masks for babies and families during the COVID-19 pandemic: a discussion paper

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 19:47 authored by Janet GreenJanet Green, Lynette StaffLynette Staff, Patricia BromleyPatricia Bromley, Jones, L, Petty, J
COVID-19 has changed the way that newborn babies are cared for within the neonatal setting due to the introduction of social distancing and wearing of face masks to limit the spread of the infection. Potential implications exist related to the normal development of bonding and connections with others. This paper discusses the importance of face to face interactions for early attachment between babies and parents within the context of relevant underpinning developmental theory. Mask wearing can also potentially impact relational communication, requiring us to change our current ways of working. Decreasing face to face interactions and relational communication, along with key recommendations for both parents and health professionals are further highlighted to mitigate the potential negative effects of masks on long-term development related to human connection and attachment.


Publication title

The Journal of Neonatal Nursing








School of Nursing


Elsevier Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2020 Elsevier Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Neonatal and child health

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