BOSTON — Lauren Atsalis is a new mother to Gus, who was born in January. “He’s so special and being a mom is just, I think, probably the greatest thing I’ve ever done,” she said.
But as all parents know, it’s not always easy having a newborn. That’s why a new virtual support group recently launched by Brigham and Women’s Hospital has been a lifeline for Atsalis.
“I was a new mom, no idea what I was doing and in Covid times, completely isolated, completely overwhelmed,” Atsalis said.
To help ease her isolation and anxiety, the Somerville mother meets once a week via Zoom with other new moms. The support group was started by Sarah McNamara, a childbirth and lactation educator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“You’re exhausted and you don’t know what day of the week it is, let alone did I eat today, it’s so helpful to have a sounding board,” McNamara said.
Recent research by the Brigham shows that pregnant and postpartum women reported high levels of loneliness, post-traumatic stress, and anxiety or depression during Covid-19. “As a first-time mom it’s an overwhelming experience, to begin with, and factor in a pandemic, I don’t know that I would do without that group,” Atsalis said.
While having a baby during the pandemic can be stressful, the virtual support group is giving new moms, like Lauren, a big sense of relief. The support group is free for new mothers who give birth at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The moms meet virtually for about one hour per week.
Cox Media Group