New moms seek virtual help during coronavirus pandemic
Posted April 6, 2020 7:42 a.m. EDT
Many new and expecting moms are now feeling more isolated due to pandemic restrictions and are turning to virtual support systems for help.
Hunter Ashley was born March 1. Now three weeks in, mom Sydney Ashley said the coronavirus restrictions made her postpartum experience with him much more difficult than it was with her first two children.
"Typically my pediatrician's office would offer lactation appointments, but they had to cancel that," Ashley said.
Instead, Ashley turned to a telehealth option with lactation specialist Karissa Binkley.
"Even on a good day, new parents are navigating a wholly unfamiliar new normal," Binkley said. "And then you add a pandemic onto that."
Binkley said social distancing during the current viral threat increases new moms' feelings of isolation.
"They unfortunately don't have the help, because Grandma or friends can't come over," she said.
For that reason, Binkley switched over to offering all of her services online through an encrypted telehealth platform. She used a webcam to interact with Ashley and help her with breastfeeding struggles.
"With the help of my husband, he was able to get the camera angles and everything," Ashley said. "And it was amazing just how helpful it was."
Binkley advises postpartum moms to ask for help before it becomes a medical issue.
They should reach out virtually to people for social support, lower expectations of themselves and their newborns and practice self-care.
According to Binkley, health insurance usually reimburses -- or pays for -- all lactation consults as part of the Affordable Care Act.