How the pandemic has affected the mental health of new moms
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth a whole new set of complications to the experience of new motherhood. It has been a trying time to give birth, from the postponement or cancellation of celebrations such as baby showers to having to throw a prepared birth plan out the window.
Experts in maternal mental health are concerned about the emotional well-being of the present generation of expectant and new moms, who have experienced more than the usual challenges.
Since there has been limited access to prenatal appointments and delivery rooms due to COVID precautions, new moms have had far fewer options than usual for crucial support during their pregnancy and the labor and delivery process.
The barriers to talking about these issues (embarrassment, shame, guilt) get in the way of many women getting the help they need. Additionally, many new moms are unaware of the different psychological health issues that can go along with having a new baby. They may think what they’re feeling is normal when it’s not or that the depression or anxiety will eventually go away on its own. They may attribute their issues to the lack of sleep that all new parents experience. While this is true to some degree (sleep deprivation can exacerbate mental health issues), the problems will only worsen if their symptoms go untreated.
Treatment for postpartum mental health issues
It’s important to remember that postpartum mental health conditions can significantly impact both the mother and child if left untreated.
One of the most challenging things about PPD is that many women feel like they have to suffer in silence. They may be ashamed or embarrassed to admit that they’re struggling, so they don’t seek out the help that they need. This is why it’s important to raise awareness about PPD and other maternal mental health issues and let mothers know that they are not alone. There are mental health services available to help them through this difficult time.
If you are a mother struggling with PPD, please reach out for help. There is no shame in getting the treatment you need to feel better. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and it deserves just as much care and attention.
You may also do some things on your own to enhance the effectiveness of your therapy and speed up recovery.
Make positive lifestyle choices. Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine. Make an effort to get enough sleep. Eat nutritious meals and avoid alcohol if at all possible.
Set reasonable goals. Don’t put pressure on yourself to accomplish everything. Reduce your expectations of perfection to what you can achieve.
Make time for self-care. Spend some quality time with your family or friends. That might mean asking a partner to look after the baby or arranging for a sitter, but it’s ok to prioritize your mental health and ask for help.
Don’t isolate yourself. Talk to your spouse, family, or friends about your feelings. If your symptoms are severe, ask for help.
If you are struggling with postpartum mental health issues, contact Serene Health. We offer a variety of behavioral health and mental health services. We also have appointments available from our telehealth platform so that you can speak to a therapist online from the comfort of your home. Call us at 844-737-3638 or visit us at www.serenehealth.com to schedule an appointment.