When we first started to write about COVID-19 in March, it seemed like the pandemic would be a time-limited event. That was before everything shut down. Now it is fairly clear that many parts of the world will be dealing with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future and that this pandemic will continue to affect the lives of women and their families.
Even in the best of times, women who are pregnant or have children are acutely aware of the enormous responsibility they carry in caring for their families. When the world presents new threats and challenges, normal worries can grow into fear and anxiety.
It is especially challenging when the information we receive is so rapidly evolving. On the internet, news travels quickly, but often there are conflicting options on how we should protect ourselves and our families. Guidelines vary from country to country or state to state, and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.
Even for those who are healthy, this is a challenging time. Many of the things we rely on– schools, day care centers, libraries, restaurants — will continue to limit their hours or will remain closed. With recommendations related to “social distancing”, many feel deprived of the social support and communities that are important to their daily lives.
At the Center for Women’s Mental Health, it has always been our belief that one of our best tools for combating anxiety is to provide accurate and up-to-date information. We have created a new page on our website with a listing of mental health resources for patients and providers: COVID-19 Mental Health Resources
It has never been easy for pregnant and postpartum women to access specialized mental health services. It should be noted, however, that the recent relaxation of restrictions surrounding telehealth may actually make it easier for perinatal women to access mental health services. One of the sections on this resource page that specifically addresses how to find care for women who are pregnant or postpartum.
Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD
COVID-19 Mental Health Resources (MGH Center for Women’s Mental Health)