Rapid review of maternal health recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by WHO on 11 March 2020. There is some uncertainty regarding the implications of COVID-19 for pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Health systems worldwide are also under increasing strain preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 crisis, and the appropriate approach to ensure good-quality maternity healthcare remains an important public health priority.

Burnet Institute conducted a rapid review of national and international guidance for managing women in pregnancy or giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes clinical guidelines regarding treatment of pregnant women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, as well as health system guidance that directly impacts maternal health services.

To-date, we have identified the below list of guidelines as eligible for this review. The collated database is available online (see below) and will be kept up-to-date. It will be expanded as further guidelines are added and synthesis completed.

The intent of this database is to take a comprehensive approach to identifying guidance documents, and capture the broad spectrum of recommendations currently being published. Consequently, this list is inclusive of guidance from a wide range of sources.

Accordingly, the inclusion of a document in the database should not be considered an endorsement of its contents. Consideration should be given to the appropriateness and credibility of specific recommendations before using them in clinical practice.

Click here to view ‘Clinical guidelines for caring for women with COVID-19 during pregnancy, childbirth and the immediate postpartum period’ in the journal Women and Birth.

To download a list of GUIDELINES as at May 29, 2020 in an Excel spreadsheet, click on the button below.

Download Guidelines


From the data we identified a list of 91 specific interventions, grouped under 18 intervention types, for which the guidelines made recommendations. We prepared results tables on a “per-intervention” basis for certain priority topics, whereby individual recommendations across all guidelines for these interventions are assembled together. This allows the reader to compare guidance for a single intervention. As noted above, the inclusion of a recommendation from this database should not be considered an endorsement.

To download a full list of these interventions in a Word document, click on the button below.

Download Results

To download a list of RESULTS as at May 29, 2020 in an Excel spreadsheet, click on the button below.

Download Results

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Professor Joshua Vogel

Principal Research Fellow; Deputy Discipline Head, International Development; Co-Head, Global Women's and Newborn's Health Group