A psychiatrist says mums-to-be and new mums feeling isolated during the COVID-19 lockdown don’t need to be alone.

Epworth perinatal psychiatrist Dr Andrea Rapmund said about 20 percent of women normally experience anxiety around pregnancy and that’s likely to have increased during the shutdown.

“It’s a concerning time for new parents but they’re not alone,” Dr Rapmund said.

“New parents should feel comfortable to have an open and honest conversation about how they are feeling, and connect with other new parents, family and friends online.”

Dr Rapmund will present live on the Epworth Maternity Facebook page tomorrow, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 at 2pm AEST.

Technology is playing an increasing role in preparing Victorian mums, who are having their babies at Epworth Freemasons and Epworth Geelong, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women can expect the same level of care that Epworth Maternity is renowned for, however in the current climate, the team has switched the delivery of some face-to-face classes to online experiences, to keep families safe.

Within weeks of COVID-19 becoming a global pandemic, Epworth Maternity’s most-popular class was delivered into families’ homes by experienced midwife educators. The Antenatal class is usually run across a number of evening sessions or as a six-hour weekend class; designed by Epworth experts to comprehensively cover a wide range of topics. Within hours of the new COVID-19 restrictions coming into force, the midwives were adapting these classes to a new online format.

Parents now receive their course via a series of videos to watch from the comfort of their couch followed by an interactive two-hour Q A session, hosted by a senior Epworth midwife to answer any questions about our hospitals, maternity care or how to navigate life with a newborn.

Epworth Freemasons’ Associate Director of Clinical and Maternity Services, Maree Mendola, said the midwives are acutely aware of how this worldwide pandemic is impacting on mums and moved quickly to ensure they could support their patients, beyond our hospital walls. Ms Mendola said the feedback for our online classes has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive feedback about our virtual classes for new parents,” Ms Mendola said.

“Understandably, many women were concerned about having a baby during the middle of a global pandemic but we’ve been able to allay those fears by providing trusted, quality information and interactive Zoom Q & A sessions to answer all of their questions.”

Our dedicated maternity social media content (Epworth Maternity and Epworth Babies) continues to offer support and advice to mums. Epworth has also launched a virtual mother’s group, known as ‘Epworth Iso-Mums’ in the Epworth Maternity Facebook Page, as a direct response to feedback from our online community.

Epworth’s successful Mobile Midwife initiative has seen a spike in visits during the pandemic, as parents search for trusted parenting content, online.

You can take a virtual tour of Epworth Freemasons also.