Mental health and the pandemic have been parallel for a while now among the masses. New mothers are no different from being not affected by the pandemic says Paul Haarman. New mothers are an integral part of society, which lays the foundation of a new life in this world. To the millions of women who celebrated giving birth to a life in the year 2020 till now in the pandemic has not been the same. Childbirth is a joyful process with friends and family gathering, but in covid everything got limited. Some grandparents couldn’t see their grandkids right after birth due to lockdown guidelines and social distancing norms. Many people missed pre-birth rituals like baby showers.
With researches going on mental health amid the pandemic, unusual prenatal stress was present among new parents.
Let us go through the effects of prenatal stress among new parents as explained by Paul Haarman:
- Origin of later health issues due to stress during pregnancy.
- A dark phase in women’s lives affects the to-be-born individual in general due to the loss of lives around.
- Isolation phase due to social distancing.
- A high tendency of shrinking internally is that feeling of something missing from within due to the absence of social networks.
Interrelation of mental health, COVID- 19 and social networks
Friends and extended families form our social network. It helps us tackle any shallow situation with social interaction and a mix of multiple emotions like love, laugh, hope, and whatnot. These emotions and togetherness make our celebration more joyous, and sorrows pass easily. The health issues and financial losses stressed everyone, including the new mothers. However, not emphasizing this topic of mental health maybe, but this pandemic made the situations worse for new mothers due to lack of social interaction, says Paul Haarman.
Statistics for signs of depression in new mothers during the pandemic
The research found that the number of individuals suffering from depression during the pandemic was comparatively more of pregnant women. Among those pregnant women, 62% agreed to the fact that they had anxiety and behavioral changes during the pandemic.
The stats of a survey for depression in new mothers show that 50% of the total were non-depressed, 23% of women were mildly depressed, 17% were moderately depressed, and 10% faced severe depression. Analyzing the situation in comparison to the pre-pandemic times, it was found that anxiety count during the pandemic in new mothers was just double than it was in normal days.
Long term effects of COVID- 19 in pregnant mothers
The first and foremost health sign due to mental stress in pregnant women relates to the fetus development process. Changes in body weight of mother as well as the infant being other. This is followed by work-from-home pressure after the birth and irregular breastfeeding due to work commitments. Poverty and job losses are other concerns.
Pandemic and its related consequences have affected each one of us. The same happened with the new mothers. But with technologies like telehealth, things eased and are continuing to do so. With decreasing cases, we all are shifting once again to a normal life like before. Let us all take mental health as a social responsibility, urged Paul Haarmanto the masses.