How I coped with being a new mom amidst the COVID-19 pandemic


I remember back in March when I had just given birth to my son and still in hospital, I heard nurses and mothers whispering about Corona virus. I had heard about the virus a few months back in January but I never really gave it much thought until when I heard patients and visitors whispering about it and I became scared and I just wanted to leave the hospital as soon as possible.

I was surprised at how quickly the doctors agreed to discharge me, just a day after I had given birth through Caesarian section, I had a very complicated labor and I had to be wheeled to the emergency room for a c- section birth. Come to think of it now, I was discharged early because of covid-19.

  I was discharged from the hospital on 13th March same day the cabinet secretary for health announced the first case of Corona virus in the country. I received the news with mixed emotions because I was happy to be home with my son but then again, I had the fear of the unknown.

In the next few days, life as we knew it started changing, we had to let go of our house help who used to come and clean the house on a daily basis and  we opted to have a live in house help who’s movements were restricted and it was easier managing a live in house help than one who came and left in the evenings and we were also trying to minimize the risk of contracting the virus.

I really wished my mother was around to offer advice to me as a new mom but unfortunately the country was put on lock down and she was locked out of Nairobi, so whenever I had a pressing issue about the new born baby I would call her for advice but still it was not as effective as it would have been if she was there with me.  Breast feeding wasn’t easy I had major challenges and since I had no one around to advise me on what to do, I relied on an online breast-feeding group on Facebook. The community of mothers online gave me advice on how best I would go about breast feeding my son. Apart from that group I also joined other face book groups where moms shared the joys of parenting this kept me at ease and it also helped to know that other new moms were facing the same challenges I was going through.

My hubby and I also experienced a lot of ups and downs as first-time parents. Most of the time I felt like he wasn’t playing his role as a new father even though he was doing his best. Honestly, I wished he would also experience the many sleepless nights that I was going through. He indirectly helped me by cooking dinner when we didn’t have a helper. He did shopping and ensured I had enough food to eat. He did a great job.

After two weeks we had to go back to the hospital for checkup, I really dreaded the thought of being outside. I remember how scared I was that day but I had to put a brave face for my son. Few weeks later I started taking him to the clinic for his vaccinations and this time I felt at ease as the hospitals had put strict measures on social distancing and sanitizing so this made me feel safe.

My son is now 7 months and I have adapted to being a mother. I never leave the house without a mask and a small sanitizer in my bag and when I come back to the house I make sure I wash my hands thoroughly before I touch anything. I’m glad that I have adapted to this new normal and being a mother during this difficult times has taught me to have a tough skin.

My advice to new moms who are trying to cope during this time, take it easy and just know that you are not alone. There are many online communities, forums and whatsapp groups that are helping mothers to cope during this hard time. If you ever feel stuck, please reach out to me and I will be glad to listen to you and offer a helping hand where I can. 

                                                                         Stay safe moms!

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