Epworth HealthCare is urging new and expectant parents to make sure they take time out for themselves during this current pandemic in Victoria.

This current Stage 3 COVID-19 lockdown and associated restrictions has seen a rise in the number of Victorians feeling heightened levels of anxiety. Many people are being forced into finding new ways of taking care of themselves and their families, at home.

Many new and expectant parents are feeling these changes and restrictions in particular. Epworth Maternity team members witness this uncertainty first-hand and are doing all they can to support families and the wider community.

Associate Director of Clinical and Maternity Services, Maree Mendola, said that it can be hard to practice self-care as a parent.

‘We know just how demanding babies and small children can be, but we also know how important it is to look after the mental health of new parents. With that in-mind, we have launched an initiative that aims to encourage parents to think about baby steps to self-care. We call it the ‘one handed rule’ - you choose five simple things, just for you, each day.’

‘These things might be having a shower and washing your hair, using that special teacup for your morning tea or listening to your favourite music. Taking time and space for you can act as a circuit-breaker by using mindfulness to reduce stress.’

‘There will be some days when you might only manage a couple of fingers’ worth. That’s okay because you are doing the best for you and your family, by giving yourself permission to prioritise your own wellbeing.’

‘After all, as parents, we are used to getting things done with just one hand!’

Don’t be afraid to speak up if you are feeling overwhelmed. Your Epworth Maternity team is here to support you. For more support and information, head to Epworth Mobile Midwife, stay in touch through our Epworth Facebook Maternity community or Epworth Maternity.