What About New Mothers? Talkspace Provides Telehealth Assistance The Pandemic
As the year began, Katie Cloyd of Nashville was blessed with her first baby daughter. In her two previous childbirths, Katie confessed to Talkspace to have battled postpartum depression and was hoping to have a calm afterbirth period.
In the interview, she confessed how her third child’s birth gave her peace and felt very healthy in her baby’s first few months.
How hard parenting a newborn was during the pandemic
Everything changed, however, when the pandemic struck, and everything about the first year with her baby changed from the way Katie had imagined.
With the pandemic came isolation, and she had to spend many hours holed in the house with her babies. Among the things she missed was presenting her child to her family and friends, or taking a summer break away.
All these changes started eating into her mental health
According to her, each passing day felt like she was in a mission to self-destruct, as she tried to fight away the anxiety creeping in. She knew that she needed to be 100% fine to take care of her now bigger family.
The pandemic posed another load of uncertainty in her life, and she was always wondering how she would pull through. Would she or her husband get infected, thereby putting their children at risk? According to her, the fear and uncertainty made parenting feel “confusing, complicated and exhausting.”
How COVID-19 made it hard to be a new mother
Being a new mother, even under normal conditions, is challenging. Due to newborns’ fragility, they demand round the clock care, which is often hard to achieve alone. Due to modernization, parenting is less communal, meaning everyone takes care of their children with little external help. It gets hard for those who live away from their parents and friends to get any postpartum assistance.
The pandemic has made parenting hard, as it came with its set of hardships. In a post in the New York Times by Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, M.D., there are several stressing factors for mothers delivering during the pandemic. Among these are lack of support people, being asymptomatic for COVID-19, infant separation, and lack of family support during recovery.
These negatives, coupled with the stress coming with COVID-19 containment measures, it is possible to have postpartum mental health issues.
Increase in mental health problems with new mothers
After the pandemic struck, there has been an increase in postpartum depression and anxiety. Dr. Lakshimin pointed out that mothers who don’t have a good support system are at a higher risk of postpartum mood disorders. She has witnessed more cases of intrusive worry, obsession, hopelessness, and insomnia.
Ways to manage postpartum mental health issues during the COVID-19 pandemic
Many mothers wonder if it is the right thing to do, getting a child during this pandemic period. Despite the mental health challenges that may arise, it is possible to get through childbirth during the pandemic, provided you have good support.
According to Dr. Lakshmin, as posted on Talkspace, the first step to good postpartum mental health is discussing any problems faced with your health worker. Therapists also come in handy because they are more experienced in mental health.
With advancements in technology, mothers can seek professional help through various applications as zoom, where they virtually meet the experts.
In her final words in The Talkspace interview, Katie confessed that, though it proved challenging due to the isolation, she is striving to make it work, and is grateful for having a ‘solid support system’ around her. In her closing remarks, she urged women not to be afraid of reaching out and seeking help.