Once the news of our stay at home order sunk in, I began to think of how this would affect the vulnerable people around me. As a postpartum doula, my first thought went to the new postpartum families and how difficult this season of life can be. After you factor in the scare of Covid-19, the isolation of the stay at home orders, and the uncertainty of what life looks like in the future; it can be a recipe for depression and anxiety in a new postpartum parent. What is often a time in life filled with visitor schedules, grandparents staying over and meal train deliveries, things seem more tenuous as a family navigates safe social contact or in some families, no safe contact at all.
Fortunately, we do have social media as a way to connect to friends and others in the same season of life. Reaching out to other parents on a late night local Facebook group can be just the thing you need to get some questions answered during a 2am feed. For visiting with family and friends we have Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp, MarcoPolo and a myriad of other ways to connect to our loved ones digitally. But what happens when things feel a little more serious? What if you need a therapist at this time, or want to attend a support group? I have discovered there are a number of therapists taking their practices online to support their clients. Postpartum Support International has free online support groups that are bursting at the seams with people needing support. I’m also seeing a lot of local postpartum and birth doulas taking their support virtually to help with their clients. Some doulas even do 3am phone calls, because we all know that is when it ALL hits the fan! I am encouraged to see all of this support happening virtually; while it does not replace that physical shoulder to lean on, it beats operating in complete isolation. If I can give any new postpartum family advice for surviving this time it would be to build and maintain your virtual community. Lean on them, cut out anything at this time that causes you to feel anxious (Hello, Twitter and news headlines.) Eat well, get at least 30 minutes of sunshine and take as many naps as possible. We will get through this, and you will have one whopper of a story to tell your little one once they are grown!
Her website is www.simplypostpartum.com
Brandlyn Owens is passionate about exploring and educating herself and others about mental health topics. She's a momma of 2 kiddos and she resides in Durham, NC.