Becoming a parent for the first time is likely one of the most life-changing events you will experience. Like any change that carries immense weight, it brings a range of emotions. Mostly these are emotions we thrive on, such as joy, happiness and love. But this experience can also bring stress, anxiety and fear.

Let’s face it: As parents we are solely responsible for the health and well-being of another human we brought into the world. Carrying this responsibility under traditional circumstances is tremendous. Now add the stress, anxiety and fear of a global pandemic, and this responsibility can become overwhelming.

Due to social distancing measures, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced new parents to abandon the traditional support structures. Because of this, parents with little ones born during the pandemic have not had access to the same postpartum resources. This, along with self-isolation, is having a serious effect on new parents’ mental health and should not be ignored.

It’s crucial for new parents to become more aware of the resources that are available in this post-COVID world. Here are some options to consider after bringing your bundle of joy home:

  • Breastfeeding can be difficult. Lactation consultants, usually associated with your child’s pediatrician, are doing virtual appointments and hosting support groups online.
  • Your nutrition is important. Work with family and friends to organize a meal train for dropping off food.
  • Take advantage of video meeting tools like Zoom, Google Meet or FaceTime to stay in touch with loved ones.
  • Take 10 minutes daily to practice self-care during your baby’s naps.

Finally, it’s important for new parents to seek help from their Employee Assistance Program if they have one, especially if they feel the need for mental health support. If you or someone you know has an FEI EAP, they can reach out to their EAP Services Center for mental health counseling and referrals 24/7/365.

Although becoming a parent during the pandemic can be overwhelming, the village we once relied on has adapted to support new families in creative ways. Let’s make sure all new parents find the support they need.

To learn more about FEI’s Employee Assistance Program, please visit