Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
WCH Latest News – COVID-19 Information - Health in Pregnancy and New Parenthood

Women's and Children's Health Network

Mental health in pregnancy and new parenthood

Pregnancy can be a joyful time for most people but it can also raise anxieties with a new baby about to arrive and the worries this may bring with changes to family life.

It can also be a time where tensions increase between partners.

The current COVID-19 pandemic could add to the anxiety for many reasons – concern for your own health and that of your baby, financial stress or the impact of current restrictions.

Things you may wish to consider for keeping yourself well include:

  • Minimising you intake of COVID-19 news and only viewing trusted sources.
  • Keeping some structure in your day.
  • Staying connected to family, friends and work colleagues through phone and internet connections.
  • Trying some gentle meditation or yoga.
  • Get your partner to give you a massage.
  • Keeping to a healthy diet.
  • Getting enough rest and sleep.
  • Exercising – find somewhere outside in nature where you can walk safely and can keep the appropriate social distance.
  • Find sources of support, such as the COPE (Centre of Perinatal Excellence) website, which provides updates on perinatal anxiety, including some general COVID-19 information for pregnant and postnatal women:

    Link iconCOVID-19 updates for pregnant women, children and parents

Also see:

PDF iconPregnancy and new parenthood – You and your partner  (477kb)

PDF iconPregnancy and new parenthood – Mental health  (139kb)

PDF iconPregnancy and new parenthood – Family and domestic violence  (153kb)

PDF iconMental Health & Wellbeing after the Birth of Your Baby  (239kb)

Information for new fathers

It is a challenging time for partners as many hospitals have access/visiting restrictions in place, which can be very distressing. Support for your partner in labour may or may not be possible in the postnatal ward, there may also be other restrictions as social distancing rules are implemented.

When you go home life as a new parent will be different because of COVID-19, which includes restrictions on family visits and may mean you have to provide more of the support than usual.

In infant mental health, it is well known that it takes a village to raise a baby but at the moment it has to be an extremely tiny village and you may be it but you are not alone!!

Associate Professor Richard Fletcher from Newcastle University in NSW has been working with fathers for a long time and runs a program called SMS4dads (Link iconwww.sms4dads.com). SMS4dads provides new fathers with information and connections to online services through their mobile phones. It provides great ideas for men about pregnancy, their partners' feelings and connecting to your new baby.

Associate Professor Richard Fletcher has also written a letter to all new or soon-to-be fathers, which includes guidance and useful information and support services – download your copy now.

PDF iconA letter to fathers  (331kb)

last modified: 01 May 2020