The ABC News recently reported stories of new mums who are unable to celebrate births amid coronavirus isolation. Unfortunately, the struggle is real! Having a baby is stressful enough but being in a hospital setting and having fewer family members around could make things quite depressing.
Since up to one in five women can develop postpartum depression, we are committed to provide extra support to expecting and new mums during this challenging time.
Great places for trusted information include:
Great places for personal support include:
- Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to speak with a maternal child health nurse
- Call Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) on 1300 726 306 for mental health support
If you are expecting a baby and anxious about the safety of giving birth in a hospital or birthing centre, please be assured that healthcare facilities and workers are doing everything they can to minimise the risk of COVID-19. Many hospitals are limiting the number of visitors and taking extra precautions to protect the health of patients.
You won’t be able to have visitors and extended families be with you in the hospital, however, your partner will be with you. You may feel disappointed that your birthing experience can’t go exactly like planned but try to celebrate your birth with family and friends via social media. There are restrictions for now, but they won’t be here for much longer!
If you have planned a home birth with your doctor and midwife, considering that your pregnancy is low risk, you can still go ahead with the plan. However, changing your birth plan late in your pregnancy is not advised. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your health practitioners first before making any decisions.
Breastfeeding is still recommended as it is the best way to protect your baby from a variety of illnesses. Practice good hygiene such as washing your hands as you normally would even without COVID-19 concerns. If you require more support with breastfeeding, you could contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association Helpline on 1800 686 268.
Feeling the “baby blues”? Please use these checklists to see if you are experiencing mental health challenges. These checklists are suitable for both expecting and new mums, as well partners/carers. You can then take the results to your doctor, psychiatrist or other health professionals. In addition, you can request a call back from PANDA to chat about your feelings.
In addition, new MBS telehealth items have been made available in place of the face-to-face consultations normally available under Medicare. This means that you could ask for online consultations with midwives, nurses, clinical psychologists, dietitians and many other allied health practitioners.
Need more resources for taking care of your post-partum body or your newborn? Checkout this page for more resources.