These are strange times for everyone, but for parents who are expecting a baby right now, they are even stranger times indeed. The inability to see friends and family for support is one thing, but having to rethink everything from basic prenatal doctor visits to how to handle giving birth in a hospital right now is another thing entirely.
The current climate for a pregnant or new parent is certainly fraught with challenges, and in all fairness to concerned parents everywhere, there is still limited pregnancy-specific data about COVID-19 and its potential effect on fetuses and newborns in particular. More studies are being published daily, which means we’re all learning more each day, including our own doctors.
In fact, the challenge of being pregnant during a quarantine is so unique that Facebook launched Born in Quarantine, a video that helps provide parents solidarity, so they don’t feel so alone. It links to their new Parents Support Hub, a portal designed to help connect parents during this uncertain time.
Knowing you have tons of questions and concerns that may not be answered by just one source, we compiled a list of some of the top resources for pregnant and new parents experiencing this unique moment in their lives during a quarantine. We hope these help to soothe some of your concerns and provide some much-needed information — and peace of mind.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—for up-to-date info
The first stop for many Americans seeking reliable health data, the CDC has launched a comprehensive portal specifically targeted at pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as parents of young children in general. It touches on the often forgotten moments when it’s most critical to wash your hands, like before and after each diaper change, at what age babies need to wear masks, and more.
What To Expect—for advice
Considered by many to be the top pregnancy and parenting brand in the world, What To Expect has added to its vast database of information for pregnant women in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, including fun stuff like how to have a virtual baby shower during a pandemic. From games to invites and everything in between, it’s full of great advice for this topic and more serious ones as well.
Coronavirus Parents: Parenting in a Pandemic—for support and community
We’d be remiss if we didn’t recommend joining our own private Facebook group, a community specifically designed to offer resources, advice, and support to all parents making their way through this crisis. From live Q&A events with doctors to lively comment threads with other parents who’ve been there, it’s a great source of information and connection—particularly important for new parents who are often feeling even more isolated these days than usual.
March of Dimes—for general FAQs
This nonprofit has been educating the public about the many ways to improve the health of moms and babies since 1938. Right now their website lists tons of useful info, including the nine things every pregnant woman should know. For example, a pregnant woman’s immune system is less quick to respond to illness, so they’re more likely to become sick, underscoring the need to continue practicing social distancing and other safe practices even as states begin to open businesses again.
Birth Day Presence—for online classes
This New York-based provider of prenatal classes is offering live online classes including childbirth education, newborn care, and infant CPR.
American Pregnancy Association—for wellness
This longtime health organization is one of the leading sources for promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness. Their website has answers to a slew of common questions about pregnancy and COVID-19, including whether a pregnant woman can pass the virus to their fetus or newborn, a fact that is still unknown, and whether an infected mother can pass the virus to her baby through breastfeeding (limited studies have not yet been able to detect the virus in breastmilk).
Babylist—for pregnancy news
What began as a way to help new and expectant parents merge registries from multiple retailers has grown into a leading source of pregnancy news and health information. They have a slew of articles that link to credible news sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the topics range from what to expect when you’re pregnant during this pandemic to how to navigate your birth plan now that everything we know about how hospitals handle births has changed.
American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology—for health info
The governing body of all obstetricians and gynecologists has added a wealth of patient resources related to COVID-19, including how the virus may affect pregnant women, how to handle both prenatal and postnatal doctor visits, and more.
HealthyChildren.org—for trusted tips from the AAP
The parenting resource arm of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) helps parents figure out if it’s OK to continue taking children to the pediatrician when needed (the answer is yes), whether going outside in high-risk areas is safe for kids, plus tips for coping with a new baby during these stressful times.
Quartz—for links to more resources
The team behind longtime publications such as The Atlantic is also responsible for this useful resource that focuses on world news. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, their portal titled A Support Guide for Parents Raising Babies and Toddlers Through the Coronavirus Crisis has been providing tons of useful information, such as whether social distancing will have any effect on a child’s development. Rather than provide direct resources, however, Quartz collects the best resources from leading pediatricians, advocates, and developmental experts to bring you the pandemic-related news that is most important to new parents.
Martha Stewart Living—for baby shower fun
This website is another source of great ideas for things like how to have a baby shower with social distancing, including how to handle gifts electronically.
Parents Magazine—for advice about visitors
The biggest national magazine for parents has excellent content about when it’s OK to let friends and family visit your new baby, and how to do so safely.
Wired—for info on how to care for kids if you’re sick
Known for their cutting-edge research and reporting on how emerging technologies affect culture, the economy, and more, Wired spoke to the nation’s top pediatric infectious disease experts to find out what parents should do if one or both of you get sick, including a checklist of sorts to consider ahead of time, so you’re prepared.
Mother.ly—for dealing with anxiety and PPD
In response to a growing body of experts’ warnings that postpartum depression is expected to increase significantly as a result of the pandemic, Motherly asked a top doctor and researcher in the field to compile a guide to dealing with both anxiety and postpartum depression during these difficult times.
Long Creations—for documenting your experience
Sometimes the best resources don’t come from huge wellness organizations, but from regular parents who put their skills and talent to good use. Long Creations, a mom-owned digital design company, has created a 15-page booklet to help moms document this historical momentous experience of being pregnant and/or raising young children during a pandemic. Filled with prompts to help them document their thoughts and feelings, it’s the kind of thing you’ll be glad you did when you look back on it years now, perhaps even something you can show your baby one day. The simple documents can be printed out for free and help moms record everything from what their pregnancy has been like so far to what the newborn phase is like during these uncertain times.
Mindful Mamas Club—for self-care
At a time when self-care has become a bonafide buzzword, this website has launched a super helpful guide to pregnancy and self-care, including a checklist to help them plan their labor during the pandemic.
Baby Chick—for getting help
Being a pregnant or a new parent right now is not easy, and this popular pregnancy and parenting blog has a great list of 13 ways that your friends and family can help YOU during this time of social distancing. The next time someone asks if there is anything they can do to help you right now, answer them with this and let them take it from there.
And of course, if you know any single parents who are expecting or wrangling newborns right now, we also have a great read that highlights 11 ways to support single parents during the COVID-19 crisis, too.
Dealing with school closures, childcare issues, or other challenges related to coronavirus? Find support, advice, activities to keep kids entertained, learning opportunities and more in our Coronavirus Parents: Parenting in a Pandemic Facebook Group.
For ongoing updates on coronavirus-related issues and questions that impact children and families, please find additional resources here.