In Covid-19 Era, New Mums Face New Challenges Caring for Newborns

For one group of Malaysians, navigating the Covid-19 pandemic has proven to be doubly challenging.

New mothers already have to deal with how to take care of their newborn baby but with the pandemic, there is a whole new level of anxiety and fear thrown into the mix.

Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood, executive director at Sunway Centre for Planetary Health at Sunway University, agreed that technology has afforded mothers some good communication tools to help keep away postpartum blues.

“They don’t replace human interaction and touch, but having meals together with extended families virtually, regular chats and other interactions can help.

“Everyone must increase their self-awareness. What are the limits we can tolerate with stress, identify the triggers that can lead to any form of mental or emotional breakdown and build a circle of support you can turn to,” she said.

Dr Jemilah, who is an obstetrician and gynaecologist, also said that the best way to help these mothers get over their fear of Covid-19 is to get vaccinated.

“Most importantly pregnant women need to be vaccinated. This protects her and her child from severe illness. It’s crucial as pregnancy is a state of reduced immunity so gravid women are at a higher risk,” she said.

“When the baby is born, make time for yourself too and ensure there is support to help you with the newborn and your own daily chores,” she said.


This article was published in Malay Mail on 12 September 2021. Read the full text here.