How to Find Your Virtual Village
- The pandemic has lead us to find innovative ways to interact and support one another.
- It is important to stay social and not isolate yourself even from a distance!
COVID-19 has upset everyone in some way or another. In order to stay safe, physical distancing from others is still needed until vaccines are rolled out fully. Even though it’s the best thing to do right now, that doesn’t make it easy – especially for pregnant folks and new parents that are probably really tired of being locked in for months. One thing we’ve all learned during this time is the virtual world has a lot of options for people trying to connect, and these social connections keep us all healthy!
Staying Social Is Important
Many of us have heard the phrase, “it takes a village to raise children” and it’s true! Parenting is an amazing part of life, but it can also be really stressful and tiring, even before COVID-19. Pandemic parenting is a whole other ball game! On top of all the usual responsibilities parents are dealing with, COVID-19 has made it hard for parents to rely on their “village” of social support. Feelings of isolation and loneliness can increase a mom’s chance of perinatal and postpartum depression and anxiety.1 It’s important for pregnant and postpartum parents to find new and safe ways to build their “village,” and they can find some virtual options on this Pickles & Ice Cream® blog post!
Virtual Social Support Options
There are so many online resources that have popped up since the pandemic started! With some decent Wi-Fi connection, you could use one of the following:
- Join an online support group for other families or moms like you.
- Set up a regular video chat with friends or families using Zoom, Facebook video chat, Skype, Discord, etc. You could even do activities together like eating a meal or playing a game.
- Stream your favorite movie or show with a friend. Most streaming sights allow you to watch a show with someone else with a chat window now.
- Sign up for an online activity like a baby music class or mom and baby yoga.
- Use social media to reach out to other parents. Facebook parenting groups are great options.
- Posting in the Nextdoor app can also be a great tool for connecting with other parents near you.
- Join Meetup to find local groups for pregnant or new moms. They now offer virtual meet-ups.
- Check out an app made for connecting moms like Peanut!
- Look for other opportunities on Google using words like “online parenting support” or “parenting groups in Georgia”. Check out their COVID-19 safety measures on their website.
- Your Pickles & Ice Cream Team provides a variety of monthly education classes that you can join with friends and family. Our classes are open to everyone wanting to learn, so they are welcome!
Pregnancy and early motherhood can be lonely, especially during the pandemic. Before the in-person groups start up again, search for these virtual options to keep safe and sane! Remember – it’s okay to say no to any visit or activity where others are not wearing masks, staying physically distant or doing anything else that makes you feel unsafe. You have to do what is best for you, your baby, and family. Best of luck building your virtual village!
Reviewed By: Kimberly Roberts, MSW, HMHBGA Maternal Mental Health Program Coordinator, PSI Georgia Chapter
- Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Parents: Care for yourself one small way each day flyer
- Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Personal and Social Activities
- Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Small Gatherings
- Healthline, COVID-19 Has Taken Away the Village: How New Parents Can Cope