The COVID-19 pandemic may be behind a rise in the number of new and soon-to-be moms suffering anxiety and depression.
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found months after the pandemic started, more than 1 in 3 pregnant women or women who had just given birth had significant levels of depression.
Around that same time, Mental Health of America Greater Dallas launched a virtual program to connect new moms with mental health resources.
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"Mothers and Babies" is an evidence-based program developed by Northwestern University that is guided by cognitive behavioral therapy and attachment therapy to prevent postpartum depression.
MHA Greater Dallas Community Outreach Director Maddie Worley said with many in-person support groups shut down, they launched the program entirely online.
They offer virtual sessions in which moms can connect with other moms and counselors to offer support and strategies to work through the tougher times of new motherhood.
"When we don't take care of stress in a healthy way, oftentimes, it can manifest in health issues. We see headaches, they're tired, they don't have energy and you need all those things to take care of your baby," said Worley.
The six-week program is free, in both English and Spanish and open to mothers statewide.
El Paso mother Madeline Hernandez joined the program when her daughter was five months old.
She said the isolation of being a new mom but quarantined because of COVID-19, at times, became overwhelming but the group sessions gave her the clarity and peace she needed.
"If you take time for yourself, it will really decrease your stress and you'll feel better," said Hernandez.