To shine a light on ways to help and find support, we investigated a few avenues that can provide some relief. Below, find seven resources that cover everything from food insecurity and job searching to keeping mentally well.
7 resources for moms during COVID to provide some much-needed support of any kind.
Last year, March of Dimes started the Mom and Baby COVID-19 Support and Relief Fund, which addresses several types of needs for expectant mothers, mothers, and infants, particularly those who are feeling lonely and don't have the type of support system in place that they would have if not for the pandemic. For example, the program facilitates education for pregnant and postpartum people along with virtual support groups to connect those who don't have access to a community of folks navigating similar situations due to being in quarantine.
Many mothers are facing a collective burnout as they try to play the dual role of parent and teacher via virtual learning. Those juggling additional employment may feel stretched even further. Luckily, Project Matriarchs can help with certain aspects of this never-ending to-do list, like monitoring completion of homework (isn't everything homework now?). The organization uses a network of college students that will happily tutor your children when you're too exhausted to figure out fractions, and they work on a donate-what-you-can system.
3. Community Fridges
Food insecurity has risen to frightening new levels in pandemic. Feeding America reports that prior to the pandemic, food insecurity was at the lowest it's been in 20 years, but currently, about 50 million Americans, including 17 million children, may experience food insecurity due to effects of the pandemic.
Community fridges can help. Freedge has a large database of community fridges across the globe for those seeking nourishment, and ChangeX has resources to help activists set up a community fridge in their neighborhood.
Open Path Collective is network of mental-health professionals with relatively low-cost sessions, hovering between $30 to $60 each. This matters, since parental stress in lockdown is prevalent, and it extends to expectant mothers, too. One December 2020 study found pregnant people to be experiencing elevated levels of depression and anxiety, specifically with regard to getting proper prenatal care and COVID-19-related health concerns for themselves and the baby.
If those prices are still too high, know that there are other routes to access affordable therapy, such as talking to nurse practitioner psychiatrists or investigating universities and state health departments offering free sessions.
Disposable diapers can cost parents between $70 and $80 a month, but here's the good news: Diaper banks exist to ensure that every infant can get the care they need. The National Diaper Bank Network not only has programs for that, but it also focuses on resolving period poverty, making sure menstrual products get to those who need them.
Black people who give birth are disproportionately prone to higher rates of maternal mortality and a higher incidence of racial health disparities. Compounded with the dangers associated with hospitals reaching capacity during the pandemic, midwives and doulas might make for a valuable alternative or supplemental aspect of a birth plan. Sista Midwife Productions has a wide directory of maternal wellness practitioners who can offer their expertise and support.
Trying to get a job during a pandemic is tough enough. But finding "professional" attire when you've lived in food-smeared sweatpants and a constant state of exhaustion for 11 months? Horrible. Dress for Success not only provides a wardrobe for those interviews, but it has multiple resources that help empower and educate women so they can achieve economic independence. It's also bolstered its program in the wake of COVID-19, and is now offering virtual training services, a supportive network for jobs and opportunities, and more.
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