New parents need their village now more than ever, and in the absence of an in-person village, many are thinking outside the square and accessing support in other ways.
Here are ten ways new parents can still access support during this time:
1) Online mothers’ groups and circles are popping up all over the place. I’ve been running an online mothers’ group for the most beautiful group of local new mums. Seeing the way they support each other makes my heart sing and I know the bond they have will become even stronger because of this extra challenging time.
2) Online emotional support. Many health professionals are offering online counselling and support. Access to the wonderful free resources on the COPE website as well as telephone support from PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia) ph. 1300 726 306 Mon-Fri 9am-7:30pm AEST is still available. I offer online counselling sessions as well.
3) Meal trains can be organised with friends and family still able to drop meals off on doorsteps. I love setting these up for my clients – they are always so helpful and appreciated. I am happy to provide further information about this service – just ask!
4) Friends and family can grocery shop and drop it off. Online shopping is still very much available for many items ranging from blankets and clothes to baby carriers and cloth nappies.
5) Laundry can be left out for someone to collect, wash, dry, fold and drop off again. Remember to ask for help when you need it, most people who can help will be delighted that you’ve asked them!
6) Ask Grandparents or others to entertain older kids by reading stories or playing show-and-tell over Facetime or Zoom.
7) Maternal & child health nurse advice and support is available by calling their 24 hour line on 13 22 29.
8) Breastfeeding advice and support is available 24/7 from the Australian Breastfeeding Association by calling their helpline on 1800 686 268.
9) Virtual postpartum doula support. I have created an online postpartum care package to support new mums during the first six weeks post birth. This includes a 90 minute postpartum planning session during pregnancy, six weekly Zoom calls after your baby is born, plus six weeks of unlimited audio and text messaging support. I also send a pampering gift pack as part of this package.
10) The Possums Community Room runs on Mondays and Wednesdays at 2pm AEST. This online group provides evidence-based support for parents caring for a baby during COVID-19 and is facilitated by an Accredited NDC (Neuroprotective Development Care, also known as the Possums Programs) Practitioner. Parents can access support with infant sleep, breastfeeding, cry/fuss problems and maternal mental health at these sessions.
It’s a very challenging time for many new parents. However, there is support out there and hopefully, the much needed in-person assistance will be able to be accessed soon – and won’t it be all the more appreciated when it does arrive!