A requirement by many hospitals for women to wear coronavirus masks during labor has stirred debate online, with some calling it distressing and others agreeing it is essential to reduce the risk of infection.

Health experts say wearing a mask during delivery poses no danger of oxygen deprivation to mother or child — one of the concerns raised by critics. But some suggest medical facilities should take a more flexible approach by recognizing the additional stress being imposed by the pandemic on expecting women.

In mid-July, an online debate was sparked when a photo of a notice stating that women must wear masks during childbirth was posted on Twitter. It is believed to have been taken by a woman during a hospital visit.