Postpartum depression on the rise during pandemic, experts say

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The coronavrius pandemic is presenting new challenges for new moms.

It’s not only strict hospital restriction during labor and delivery, but postpartum depression is on the rise during the pandemic.

Typically one in five new moms will experience a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, but experts say that number is even higher since the pandemic hit Indiana in March. Referred to often as the “baby blues,” experts say people becoming parents during the pandemic are also experiencing a wider range of emotions that can even include anger and rage. But Tracey McInnes with IU Health said she’s also seeing an increase in the number of women reaching out for and getting help.

At first, when McInnes was ordered to work from home, she worried about how her support groups would continue but by moving those group meetings to virtual mediums like Zoom, more women are finding the courage to attend and share their stories.

“There is no road map, we just literally have to take it day by day, we are just doing the best we can. Self-care, it has always been a part of my group, but never like this,” McInnes said.

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Alyson Spille has a 4-month-old at home and says the support groups have carried her through this challenging time.

“I’m doing so much better on the other side now but I just feel like I really want to help other moms as well because it is a difficult time and we all need to lean on each other,” Spille said.

Mcinnes said many moms feel stripped of their support systems right now since grandparents have not been able to lend a hand during those first weeks of parenthood. She also said some are missing out on the celebration of their little one since social gatherings have not been encouraged, so feeling isolated it a big challenge for new moms.

And the pandemic isn’t just affecting mothers. Normally one in 10 dads can experience mood or anxiety issues just before or after the birth of a baby and that has also increased in these last few months.

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