Motherhood man, it’s already tough and totally unsustainable. Now we are in an unprecedented pandemic with no rulebook. Postpartum depression has seen a significant increase in self-reported levels of depression and anxiety from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Davenport, 2020) In addition to postpartum there is the baby blues, prenatal depression, or anxiety, PTSD (hello traumatic birth stories) and postpartum psychosis (Spalding, n.d.). All these mental health concerns have been around for years and are being exacerbated by our current climate.
It’s easy to feel alone and like there is no right decision. Do I let my baby see his grandparents? Should I be taking her to daycare? How will my partner and I manage working, parenting, and not letting our marriage totally disintegrate. I’m right here with you.
So how do we cope. We control what is in our control.
- Focusing on gratitude and optimism
- Manage expectations (this isn’t how you pictured it, so let’s make a new picture)
- Social support, and specifically partner and emotional support (text, call, video chat)
- Get moving, getting outdoors, find nature and just breathe. (even just a drive around a pretty park for my fellow cold weather folks)
- Manage expectations (none of this is how you imagined pregnancy would be.)
Local resources you can investigate are virtual yoga classes, local new mom support groups. There is also a corridor mom blog that has great resources. Just remember, you may be physically isolated, but there are so many others that are experiencing similar phenomenon's. Do not suffer alone. Find a friend, a therapist, a group, whatever you do, do it for you.
Links to some baby and me yoga and moms’ blog.
Charlotte V. Farewel, J. J. (2020). A Mixed-Methods Pilot Study of Perinatal Risk and Resilience During COVID-19. Journal of Primary Care & Community Health. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/2150132720944074
Davenport, M. M. (2020). Moms Are Not OK: COVID-19 and Maternal Mental Health. Frontiers in Global Women's Health. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fgwh.2020.00001
Spalding, D. (n.d.). Do I have postpartum depression? This screening quiz can help you find out, mama. Retrieved from Motherly: https://www.mother.ly/life/postpartum-depression-screening-tool