A worrying survey shows pregnant and new mums felt isolated during lockdown
This extraordinary time has put even more pressure on parents. Especially now with working, home schooling and everything else that comes with it. How are new mums coping, in this time, have they been forgotten? Without the normal pre-covid support of baby groups, family and friends visits, coffee mornings, support groups and midwife visits it’s no wonder pregnant and new mums felt isolated in lockdown.
Motherhood app Mush and pregnancy charity Tommy’s undertook research to find out if maternal mental health and wellbeing has been affected in the wake of the coronavirus. Read more of what staying at home has taught the Kensington Mums team.
86% of pregnant women and new mothers reported a lack of social interaction despite UK lockdown easing
The survey of 765 new or expectant mothers found just 14% say they are getting enough human interaction since the pandemic hit (67%) of mums haven’t met up with anyone outside their family in the four months since lockdown measures were introduced. This is so important after having a baby, to interact with mothers in a similar position to exchange advice, stories and also to have some support.
When asked why they still haven’t seen anyone now that lockdown is easing, a quarter (25%) cited concerns about their health and their baby’s safety, and a fifth (20%) didn’t feel confident enough. Worryingly, almost half (47%) just didn’t know anyone they could meet up with, possibly because antenatal groups and baby classes haven’t been available. Contrary to popular belief that we’re all spending more time online, most (60%) mums hadn’t done any virtual activities, which Tommy’s and Mush recommend to help expectant and new parents connect safely.
Almost half (46%) of the mothers surveyed didn’t fully understand what they’re allowed to do now that restrictions are easing, and the vast majority (87%) expressed some anxiety about going out and meeting people, so Mush and Tommy’s have teamed up to encourage mums to socialise safely.
Mush suggest socially distant buggy walks and outdoor picnics as ways for mums to get together while following the latest government guidelines.
Mush founder Katie Massie-Taylor commented: “Getting out and seeing other women going through the same thing as you makes a huge difference to your ability to cope with the huge transition to motherhood, let alone enjoy it!.”
Midwives at Tommy’s saw a staggering 80% rise in demand for their expert advice through the charity’s Pregnancy Line in the first month of lockdown, as the pandemic left expectant and new parents struggling to get the support they need. Mums can find relevant coronavirus information and guidance on the Tommy’s website, as well as asking questions to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant through new Tommy’s Midwife voice skill.