Connecting in a time of social distancing
Updated: Apr 5, 2020
Hello Reader. I was going to wait to publish this site and begin writing, but with everything that is going on with this pandemic, social distancing and stay-at-home orders, changes in birthing procedures due to the pandemic and reducing risk of spread, and general fears about Covid-19... new moms and dads have really been on my heart.
Being pregnant and giving birth is a life-changing thing. This pandemic is changing how a lot of moms/dads/partners are experiencing this. It's ok to mourn not getting to have the birth experience that you dreamed of. It's ok to be sad that you are not able to attend a mommy-and-me class. It's ok to be afraid of catching this virus. In the midst of all of this change, fear, and anxiety we must find a way to slow down, take a breath, and collect ourselves.
Coping with a Pandemic
Gosh, not something I ever even imagined writing.
One main concern I have with this situation we are globally finding ourselves in is the isolation. New moms/dads/partners can already feel isolated... because newborns have weird sleep schedules, because new parents are sleep deprived, because there are general concerns about baby having a compromised immune system and not wanting to expose them to too many germs too quickly.
So how do we remedy this. How do we feel connected when we are being ordered to stay at home.
1. Quality time with your family.
Sit in your coziest spot, with your coziest clothes or blanket, and snuggle. The physical touch, warmth, and sound of your baby and/or partner breathing can be incredibly grounding and bonding. This is a time that you and your partner are going through something that no one from the outside can understand. Everyone's experience with their own baby is unique. Work to bond through this experience by spending a few quiet moments together.
2. Video chatting.
This can be a saving grace. Video chat with family, friends, your therapist, whoever you want to talk to. This time seeing each other face to face can make you feel connected because you are able to talk in real time, laugh together, cry together, and experience being together without being physically close.
3. Online support groups.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) has a directory of online support groups that you can access here. This is a way to connect with other moms and professionals to interact and discuss what you are experiencing.
Reflect on the way that humans right now, while being forced/encouraged to maintain physical distance, are also very connected by this common experience of a pandemic. Reflect on what everyone is going through together in your neighborhood, city, state, etc. We are all truly connected. One human family.
5. Going on a walk.
If you have a safe neighborhood and some space to walk, get outside. In our neighborhood I am seeing neighbors that I have never seen before because now we are all at home. I have had conversations with neighbors from our respective driveways, and even just waving at each other does my heart good. It is a way to see other humans, to know that it is not only you and your family stuck in your house, but all your neighbors are also home, stuck in their houses. Get outside, wave hello, stretch your legs, get some sun, and see some smiling faces that are just as relieved as you are to get out and see other humans.
How are you feeling connected right now in this time of social distancing?