As a perinatal mental health therapist who supports pregnant and postpartum moms, I’m finding that mothers are experiencing increased distress such as overwhelm, anxiety, isolation and depression due to limited in-person support because of COVID-19.
It’s more important than ever to support perinatal mental health. Before the pandemic, moms might have expected friends or family to stop by to watch the baby while the mother rests, parents might fly in from another state to help, a postpartum doula may be of service, or a friend may come over to cook and clean.
Now, in pregnancy and postpartum planning with my clients, we make it a priority to explore what support options are available when extra caution is necessary. Some ways to increase perinatal mental health during this time might include:
- Identifying at least one friend who is a mom and can offer support through texts or FaceTime.
- Joining a virtual Mommy and Me class.
- Joining a virtual Pregnancy or Postpartum Support Group.
- Discussing with their partner when the mom can spend time outside of the house without the baby for a set amount of time so she can take a drive and listen to music or a podcast, grab a drive-thru coffee, or take a walk.
- Having a food chain where friends order or deliver food and leave it at the door.
- Calling a lactation consultant to see what services they offer virtually.
- Discussing the division of labor with their partner, especially housework.
- Reevaluating expectations.
Being pregnant and having a baby is already hard. It’s even harder in a pandemic with limited in-person support options. Creativity is key. Support may look different, but it’s still available and an important part of the perinatal time period. Sometimes thoughts and feelings can get overwhelming, this is when the support of a therapist can be incredibility helpful.
Are you looking for perinatal mental health support? I’d love to hear from you.
Please note that this article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice from a doctor or mental health professional.