We are surrounded by images of blissful motherhood on social media, TV and in magazines. But many new mothers experience some distressing feelings after giving birth. That’s normal because the responsibilities of being a new parent are both tough … and exhausting. Fathers are also at risk of depression after the birth of a baby, and the risk goes up significantly when the mother experiences depression too.
New parents need plenty of support during the best of times, but when faced with hospitals overwhelmed with coronavirus patients, new visitation rules for delivery rooms and the general uncertainty about how coronavirus affects our lives, the stakes can feel especially high.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, your plans for support after childbirth from family and friends have probably been changed or may have even been cancelled. Losing your support system can make it harder to figure out a smooth transition to parenting.
Fortunately, help is available – from family, peers and providers. However, support looks a little different now. Most providers are using telehealth visits for most of their visits, and support groups have moved online.
Below are resources for providers, support groups and ways that we all can support parents and families during this uncertain time.
- A dedicated group for those who will deliver or who have delivered during the pandemic can be just the social-distancing shoulder you need. The ‘COVID-19 Baby’ Parents Group on Facebook is a place to share information and commiserate over fears that can provide pregnant women and new parents the sense of community and solidarity they need to make it through.
- Our friends at Moms on Call have also created a quick list of ways parents can beat those COVID-19 blues. Moms on Call has many resources, tips and tricks to help keep your life steady and stress free.
- Postpartum Support International (PSI) Resources:
- The PSI helpline is available for calls from moms, dads, families or anyone who may be looking for resources to help a loved one. Call 1-800-944-4773 or text 503-894-9453 for English or 971-420-0294 en Español.
- PSI also offers Chat with an Expert sessions for moms and dads.
- Explore PSI’s COVID-19 Help Center.
- If your loved one is suffering, be sure to read PSI’s blog post on How To Support A New Mom Who Is Struggling With Postpartum Depression.
- Call your doctor, your child’s doctor, your home visiting nurse or your mental health counselor for professional screening and help.
- Be sure to check these five self-care steps regularly: sleep, food, water, exercise and support.
- Here are some additional ways we can care for each other during these times.
These groups and resources can offer the chance to communicate with people who get it. We hope these make the day-to-day challenges, fear and overwhelm a little easier to take.