COVID adds layer of stress to postpartum mental health

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COVID adds layer of stress to postpartum mental health

Bringing a new baby into this world is undeniably exciting and beautiful, as well as emotional and life-changing.

Now add a global pandemic to the stressors and unknowns of parenting a newborn, and many new parents feel they have been left with a high-stakes, at times frightening, and even lonely task.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a clear impact on postpartum mental health. A New York Times review of multiple caregiver studies dubbed the stress of the pandemic as a “mental health crisis” for parents.

Understandably, this crisis has far from escaped new moms. Clinical reports of postpartum mood disorders have significantly spiked. The American Psychological Association reports pre-pandemic depression affected roughly 20{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9} of pregnant and postpartum moms in the first year following childbirth, while anxiety affected roughly 13{b4bb8ddb70249670c85c66def16f765bd40a90ddaa69bcee7e340d9a7e1b07a9}. In the midst of the pandemic, two Canadian studies of 900 and 2,000 pregnant and postpartum moms found depression and moderate-to-high anxiety had astoundingly more than doubled those pre-pandemic numbers.