The pandemic has changed life considerably and certain things we took for granted we now desperately need. One of the biggest things we’ve lost is "the village". As a new parent, we are very much in need of the support and the network which usually surrounds us.
But what can we do to curb that loneliness? It has crept into our lives. As a first-time mum, lockdown stops us from finding that village.
Try To Connect
While an online community cannot fully replace a face-to-face group, social media is an excellent place to find people who are likeminded and can help you out when you’re at the end of your tether at 2am! Many mother and baby groups have also moved online. Remember to check your local area to see if there are any groups you can join and make new friends.
Getting outdoors lifts our mood considerably by easing stress and anxiety. If you can, first-time mums should bundle the little one up and head outdoors for a short socially-distanced walk with a friend. Or form a social bubble with a neighbour who has also had a baby. It’s amazing what a short walk and conversation can do for us.
And if getting outdoors is proving a little tricky for you just yet, there are plenty of ways to boost your mood with exercise and online classes specifically for mum and baby. From yoga to a postpartum workout, there are lots of exercise classes being run locally through Zoom or YouTube. It can be a great way to meet people and have fun at the same time. Check online boards to find one which suits you.
Many first-time mums have been faced with the sad difficulty of not being able to physically introduce their new baby to their family and friends. Use Zoom or Skype to feel closer to your family. Remember, it’s not all about the baby though, so talk to them about how you are and be honest about how you’re feeling.
Talk About It
Loneliness can stem from the isolation of being physically alone and the emotions we experience as a result of missing out on what should have been a normal pregnancy and birth. Sharing our joy has been stifled as the pandemic restricted our movements. Talk about the feelings you are experiencing and remember that every emotion is valid. If talking to family or friends does not help, there are therapists and counsellors available to talk to you online or on the phone.