Newborn Parents in the Time of COVID

We did it!

Not only did we survive 2020, many managed to get through a holiday season that looked drastically different from holidays past. There was a decrease of in-person family dinners, holiday parties, and white elephant games due to social distancing and staying safe. Many sacrificed, and have been sacrificing: missed graduations, absent proms, postponed weddings…the list goes on and on. One segment of the population that has been greatly affected is new parents.

The holidays are often a favorite time to meet new members of the family. Besides that, who doesn’t love to hold a newborn while participating in a favorite holiday tradition. New parents don’t just look forward to the introduction of the newest family member. The holidays often mean a reprieve from the responsibility of being new parents.

What parent hasn’t felt a modicum of relief to let someone hold that baby? They can catch up and revel in having an adult conversation. An aunt or uncle offering to change a diaper? A new parent can actually sit and eat an entire plate of food with no interruption! For many new parents, this didn’t happen in 2020…and really for the entire year.

Being new parents can be isolating and exhausting in the best of circumstances

Extended family and friends have been limited on the interactions and help that newborn parents might normally receive because of restrictions required by the pandemic outbreak. Even when giving birth, there were some laboring women who were not even allowed to have their significant other (or any support person) to be with them, depending on the specific hospital policies.

So what has happened in the wake of these “COVID babies”? The risk of increased postpartum depression and anxiety. New parents often need physical support the first few weeks (if not months) of bringing a newborn into their homes. Due to the pandemic, many did not receive this support.

Social distancing has been proven to help combat the pandemic. In a new parent’s world social distancing has the potential to become their worst enemy. New parents crave adult interaction and the physical support they can get from family and friends during this crucial transition time. But whether it’s the new parents or the family/friends that follow the new pandemic recommendations, it boils down to no physical interaction or presence in the newborn’s home. Which can lead to increased incidence of depression and anxiety in new parents.

If you are either a new parent that is experiencing the feelings and emotions of having a baby during a pandemic, or family/friends that want to know how to navigate support for a newborn family, please feel free to contact us here at Champaign Counseling. We can help get you where you want to be.