October 8, 2021

HSE online webinar to support new and expecting parents



At regular times, having a baby can be both a joyful and a worrying experience. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, expectant parents and parents of newborn babies may feel all the more distressed, anxious and isolated during this uncertain time.

To offer support and guidance to these new and expecting parents, the Primary Care Psychology Department at HSE Community Healthcare West is hosting a live online webinar at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday, September 14. The webinar, titled “Covid-19: Caring for Your Emotional Well-Being During Pregnancy and Post-Pregnancy,” will explore the common anxieties and sources of stress associated with having a baby during Covid-19, as well as specific practical and psychological support strategies that can help parents better manage and care for themselves and their newborn.

The webinar will be moderated by Dr Jeananne Garavan and Dr Clare Thynne, Senior HSE Clinical Psychologists based at Community Healthcare West, both of whom have many years of experience working with parents and families.

Dr Garavan, senior clinical psychologist in primary care in Mayo, acknowledges that Covid-19 has caused additional worry and anxiety for expectant parents as well as parents who have had babies during the pandemic.

“We all live with changed circumstances due to Covid-19, but these can be especially difficult for expectant parents and parents of newborns. For example, they may not have the usual type of support they might normally have had, and they may be understandably worried about their ability to cope.

“What we are doing in the webinar is to name some of these challenges and associated fears that are very common to all future and parents of newborns regardless of Covid but which can now be even more so. given this difficult time that we are living in. In response to this, we will outline some key practical and emotional support strategies to help affected moms and dads and caregivers take care of themselves, each other. others and their babies.

Ahead of the pandemic, Dr Garavan gave a similar lecture for new and expecting parents in person at various locations around County Mayo, but when social distancing restrictions took effect, it was decided to move discussions to line.

“People have not stopped having babies because of the pandemic and it is vital that we continue to provide our services and support in any way possible. We have hosted the webinar four times since the start of the pandemic and we are delighted with the level of participation with over 500 registered for the last one alone, and the feedback we have received, ”she said.

Dr Clare Thynne, a senior clinical psychologist in primary care in Galway, believes that it is really important for new and expecting parents to take care of themselves and ensure their own psychological and emotional well-being. madness for parents. It can be a time of incredible joy, connection, and beauty, but it can simultaneously be a time of frustration, fear, and isolation.

“We want to send the message to parents that it is only normal for the experience to be both joyful and demanding, and for it to be compassionate towards themselves in these difficult times. In addition to key information on how best to bond with baby, we’ll also describe the most common types of pre- and postnatal mental health difficulties and tell people about all the relevant support services available.

“We really want to have a dialogue with the participants, so there will also be plenty of time for questions at the end. “

The free webinar takes place online at 11:15 am on Tuesday, September 14. It is for all moms and dads who are expecting a baby or who have just had a baby. It is also open to grandparents and extended family members or friends who can support someone who is expecting or has just had a baby.

Seats must be reserved in advance by sending an email to [email protected] no later than lunchtime on Monday, September 13.


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