Given the choice, almost no new moms-to-be would choose to have their babies during a global pandemic. The first few months as a mother are difficult enough without all of the stress and lack of support that goes along with social distancing. But of course, babies come when they’re ready—not according to when it’s convenient.
Taking care of a newborn during lockdown is a challenge. From trouble getting support safely from friends and family to mental health difficulties due to isolation and hormone shifts, new moms are going through a lot right now. If you’re just trying to get by with a little one during quarantine, here are some resources that could help you maintain good mental and physical health so you can care for your baby and yourself.
Quick Tip: Make Mental Health a Priority
Many moms experience postpartum depression or other mental health issues after giving birth. Not only is being a new mom an emotional experience, but hormones and lack of sleep influence a woman’s mood and can make new motherhood even more difficult than it already is. As a mom, you need to make your mental health a priority, for the sake of you and your baby’s well-being.
If you’re feeling stressed and sad, you’re definitely not alone. 74% of Millennial moms in the US are noticing that their mental health is worse than it was pre-pandemic, and many are experiencing burnout. Worrying about the state of the world, with fewer outlets for stress, is causing moms all over the country to experience mental health deterioration.
Taking care of your mental health requires that you pay attention to your mood and triggers that cause you to feel anxious, sad, or overwhelmed. Try journaling about your emotions and routines, and take note of anything that might be making your mental health worse. Then, you can work on finding strategies to improve your mood and mental health.
Take Advantage of Available Online Resources
The good news about mothering during this global health crisis is that the internet offers so many options for resources, support, and information. You might not be able to attend your mom’s group at the local park just yet, but you can join support groups and find answers to your questions online.
It’s perfectly normal to be scared as a new parent. Learning how to care for a newborn takes effort, and you’re probably not going to be “a natural.” You will make mistakes and you will need to ask for help. Fortunately, you can find the answer to just about every parenting question somewhere online.
With that said, be sure to pick your sources carefully. You’ll find a lot of conflicting information online, much of it from unreliable sources. Look for resources from experts and take personal opinions with a grain of salt—there are some issues that are very contentious and you have to be able to research and decide for yourself on which information to trust.
With Telehealth, You’re Not Alone!
If you’re experiencing postpartum depression or another health issue, then it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. While it might not be safe to head to your doctor or therapist’s office right now, many health services are available via telehealth.
Telehealth has been around for a while, but the pandemic has made it much more accessible to people. For some services, like check-ins, questions, and mental health services, telehealth is effective and convenient.
There’s no need to feel alone when you have access to telehealth! You can talk to a therapist or ask your pediatrician questions without needing to leave the house.
CDC & Government Resources
There’s a lot we don’t know about COVID-19 and how it might affect women and newborns. It’s a good idea to stay up-to-date with the latest CDC recommendations and resources. Learn how to protect yourself and your family during the pandemic, tips for breastfeeding and healthcare, and the latest on how the disease could affect children.
It might not be the ideal time to have a baby, but don’t let the pandemic rob you of these first precious months with your child. You might not be able to share them with friends and family, but you can still enjoy them and create memories you’ll never forget. Take care of yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help!