Academic Editor: Luca Roncati
Background: To clarify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the policies and practices of delivery facilities in Japan from April 2020 to March 2021. Methods: We conducted an online survey of midwives working in obstetric wards nationwide between May 15, 2021, and July 31, 2021. We analyzed the 376 valid responses. Results: With the COVID-19 pandemic, most facilities have barred or partially restricted families and other visitors from being present (patient companions) in outpatient clinics, prenatal classes, during delivery, inpatient care, and inpatient visits. These changes were implemented nationwide, regardless of regional differences in the pandemic state of COVID-19. Meanwhile, by facility classification, prenatal classes, companion at birth, and inpatient visits were more likely to be canceled at perinatal centers than at clinics. The acceptance of “satogaeri deliveries” (a custom in Japan where pregnant women return to their natal homes for labor and childbirth) was partially restricted to about 40% of facilities, although this rate was lower in the four Kanto prefectures (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba). Conclusions: With the COVID-19 pandemic, the differences in Japan’s policies and practices of delivery facilities were attributed more to the role played by facilities in the regional perinatal system than to regional pandemic status.