Mothers and mental health during the coronavirus pandemic


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – This week is National Maternal Mental Health Week and this year mothers are facing more potential challenges in their life because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mothers always want what’s best for their children and will do whatever they can to keep them safe and healthy. However, it’s gotten a little more difficult to provide their child with the help they may need.

“It’s harder to get access to healthcare… If your child is crying a lot then you can call friends and relatives but there’s no one that can see the baby and say the baby looks fine,” said Dr. Gundu Reddy of GAPA Tele-Psychiatry.

One in five mothers suffer from a maternal mental illness such as postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety, but Dr. Reddy and Amber Weakley, a volunteer coordinator with Postpartum Support Charleston, say that depression and anxiety are on the rise among mothers and one of the leading factors is how many different roles a mother can have in the house.

Amber recommends that one of the best things a mother can do when she’s feeling any stress is to practice self care and reaching out to people their friends and family.

“To homeschool and to work and to be a home keeper so taking time for yourself when you can and reaching out for help, reaching out to your friends and calling a friend that you haven’t talked to in a while can really make the day seem a little bit better.”

Amber Weakley, a volunteer coordinator with Postpartum Support Charleston

One local resource that any mother Lowcountry can use is MUSC’s Women’s Reproductive Behavioral Health telehealth program. It allows for mothers to set up virtual appointments to meet with a counselor or psychiatrist within a week’s time.

Postpartum Support Charleston hold online support groups every Sunday at 3:00 PM and coffee chats every Monday and Friday morning to lend a helping hand to any mom in need. They hold both the support group and coffee chats through Zoom. Click here and join the Postpartum Support Charleston Facebook group if you’re interested in participating.

The group also holds an annual mom’s run to support maternal mental health, but this year they’ve decided to make it a virtual run. Registration for the 20th anniversary run costs $20 and all proceeds will go towards Postpartum Support Charleston helping moms in the Lowcountry.

Click here if you’re interested in registering for the event.

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