Looking after your mental health during COVID-19
Our team of perinatal mental health researchers at DrDawnKington.com recognize that the stress factors that come with pregnancy and parenting are difficult, the added stress of the unexpected and sudden arrival of the coronavirus adds a new layer of anxiety and depression that most of us were unprepared for. It is therefore not surprising that there are reports of a decline in mental health across the country, and indeed around the world as individuals comply with stay home orders and take in news reports.
We want to offer you a line of support.
Mamas, we see you. Dads too.
We see your dreams and plans turned upside down – cancelled baby showers, no visits from friends, no loving family members bringing a casserole to sit down together for dinner, no coffee dates, no prenatal or postpartum “Mommy and Me” yoga classes. We see you struggling with feelings of isolation and overwhelm. The days are long with no one to share them except those living with you – perhaps one other adult and your kids.
You were never meant to do this alone.
Since the virus is new, experts are still studying it and we do not yet have the full picture. What we do know is that maternal mental health is more important than ever – both during pregnancy and in postpartum.
Find comfort in the knowledge that medical experts, researchers, public health officials are working hard all over the world to keep you safe, find ways to contain the virus and to find a cure.
There is a lot of misinformation out there. To combat that, we have collected a library of useful information here and will be updating it as time goes on.
Blog Posts and Resources from Dr Dawn Kingston
Pregnancy Anxiety & Postpartum Depression During COVID-19
– a version of this post was published on Mother.ly.com
How to Calm Your Nerves About Pregnancy During COVID-19
– a version of this post was published on Baby-Chick.com
Are You Pregnant and Anxious About the Coronavirus?
– also seen on The Natural Parent Magazine online
Ideas for Managing Stress in Pregnancy While Physical Distancing – downloadable content
Coronavirus and Mental Health – Blog Posts and Resources
University of Reading + University of Oxford: Supporting Children and Young People with Worries about COVID-19 (PDF)
CAMH Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic
Psychology Tools: Free Guide To Living With Worry And Anxiety Amidst Global Uncertainty (Multilanguage PDF)
Anxiety Canada: What to do if you’re anxious or worries about coronavirus (COVID 19)
Anxiety Canada: Balancing Public Health and Mental Health
Yale Medicine: Pregnant and Worried Amid COVID-19? – Yale Medicine Ob/Gyn specialists answer common questions about pregnancy and COVID-19
Mother.ly: We answered parents’ most important questions about COVID-19
The Sydney Morning Herald: Fear and loneliness: Becoming a first-time mum in a pandemic
Beyond Blue: How to Check In With Someone (Video)
Therapy Assistance Online (TAO): Mindfulness exercises during the coronavirus (Video)
Nova Scotia Health Authority: Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) (Free resources in your pocket for low mood, worry and other common concerns).
Wellness Together Canada: Mental Health and Substance Use Support
Government of Canada: COVID-19 information
Government of Canada: COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool
Coronavirus and Mental Health – Resources from Associations
CBC Canada: How to Access Free Mental Health and Emotional Support During the COVID-19 Crisis
Anxiety Canada: Coping With Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Mental Health Commission of Canada: Covid-19 Resources
Mental Health Commission of Canada: How are you coping with COVID-19? Take 5 minutes to complete the COVID-19 Impact on Mental Health Pulse Check Survey to take stock of your state of mind and the coping strategies that are working best for you.
Mind.org.uk: Coronavirus and your wellbeing
Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance: COVID-19 Information
ReproductiveFacts.org From the American Society for Reproductive Medicine: COVID-19: Questions Your Patients May Have
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: A guide to managing stress and anxiety by the CDC for anyone experiencing distress during the pandemic.
Coronavirus and Pregnancy
NEW (December 18, 2020) The Society of Obstetrictians and Gynaecologists of Canada: SOGC statement on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada: COVID-19 Information – links to statements from Canadian health and pregnancy associations
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Pregnancy and Breastfeeding FAQs
The Conversation: Coronavirus while pregnant or giving birth: here’s what you need to know
Coronavirus and Kids
Safety and Wellness During Distressing Times
Canadian Women’s Foundation: List of shelters and services divided by geographical location for women at risk of assault, abuse or sexual violence.
World Health Organization – Wellbeing Index Questionnaire (English version) – Check in on your wellbeing with this questionnaire designed by the WHO. This is not a test for anxiety or depression but is instead a tool you can use to reflect on your wellbeing at this stage in time.
World Health Organization – Wellbeing Index Questionnaire (Available in other languages)