News Flash Home
The original item was published from 5/10/2020 9:55:39 AM to 5/11/2021 12:00:02 AM.

News Flash

Health - Public Health News

Posted on: May 10, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Becoming a Parent during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Adjusting to parenthood is challenging in the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic. Needing to stay away from others along with hearing daily information about the COVID-19 outbreak can add to feelings of anxiety and depression in new parents. Because of COVID-19, new parents may need to find new ways to get help from family, friends, and community support.

Around one in seven women will experience a mental health issue like depression or anxiety before, during, or after pregnancy. It is the most common complication in pregnancy.

But mental health concerns often go undiagnosed and untreated. Without treatment, it can affect the physical and emotional health of a mom, their partner and the baby. The baby’s development might also be hindered. These impacts cost our families, community, and workplaces, both emotionally and economically. 

Risk Factors for a Bumpy Adjustment to Motherhood

We are surrounded by images of blissful motherhood on TV, in magazines and in popular culture. But many new mothers experience some distressing feelings after giving birth. That’s normal, because the responsibilities of being a new parent are tough and exhausting. 

A mother is more likely to have emotional distress if she has:

  • History of depression or anxiety before or during pregnancy.

  • “Baby blues” that don’t improve with self-care like sleep, food, or exercise.

  • Recent stressful events, including economic uncertainty.

  • Lack of support, from a partner or in general.

  • A difficult birth or infant health concerns.

Poor mental health can affect women during any pregnancy or birth and women of any race, age, or economic background. However, not everyone has equal access to help. Women of color, women with lower income and less education, and teen mothers are less likely to be diagnosed and treated. Recent immigrants are at higher risk too. Fathers are also at risk of depression after the birth of a baby, and the risk goes up significantly when the mother experiences depression too.

What Do Distressing Feelings Look Like?

Feelings of distress can start any time during pregnancy or after a baby is born. While the experience may look different for each individual, many women experience things like: 

  • Trouble sleeping even when exhausted.

  • Scary thoughts like hurting oneself or their baby.

  • Feeling sad, numb, or disconnected from life.

  • Feeling anxious all the time and overwhelmed with worry.

  • More anger, rage, and irritability than normal.

  • Guilt and shame about not bonding with their baby.

You or someone you love might show signs like having upsetting feelings for most of the day, nearly every day for two weeks or longer. If this happens, ask for help. 

Where to Turn for Help

With the COVID-19 pandemic, your plans for support after childbirth from family and friends have probably been changed or cancelled. Losing your support system can make it harder to figure out the bumpy transition to parenting. 

Fortunately, help is available—from family, peers and providers. Due to COVID-19, support looks different. Many providers are using telehealth visits for most of their visits. Support groups have moved online. See the resources below for providers, support groups, and ways that we can all support parents and families:

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Health - Public Health News

I’m fully vaccinated: What now?

Posted on: March 29, 2021

Variant B.1.1.7 Found in Whatcom County

Posted on: February 24, 2021

Whatcom County Vaccine Update 1/18/21

Posted on: January 18, 2021

Whatcom County Vaccine Update 1/14/2021

Posted on: January 14, 2021

Whatcom County COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Posted on: January 7, 2021

Situational Update on COVID-19 Data

Posted on: December 16, 2020

WCHD COVID-19 Vaccine Update 12/15/20

Posted on: December 15, 2020


Posted on: October 23, 2020

Emergency Preparedness

Posted on: September 22, 2020

Small actions add up

Posted on: September 10, 2020

COVID-19 and Chronic Stress

Posted on: September 3, 2020

How to Have a Safe Learning Pod

Posted on: August 25, 2020

The Importance of Contact Tracing

Posted on: August 19, 2020

Choosing the right mask

Posted on: August 13, 2020

Phase 2 Refresher

Posted on: August 12, 2020

Find your party of 5

Posted on: August 4, 2020

Updated Guidance for Phase 2

Posted on: July 25, 2020

Testing, Insurance, and Costs

Posted on: July 22, 2020

Share Compassion, Not COVID

Posted on: July 18, 2020

Summer Activities for Children

Posted on: July 16, 2020

Responding to COVID-19 Outbreaks

Posted on: June 9, 2020

Is it safe to gather with friends?

Posted on: May 23, 2020

Got Symptoms? Get Tested!

Posted on: April 30, 2020