Online support helping new parents to get through lockdown

Whether it's an e-card, a video call or flower delivery, we've all had to get a bit creative to celebrate our mums today.

For many new parents they're not just approaching Mother's Day differently but motherhood as well.

Forget brunch or large family gatherings today, it was a simple Zoom call for most.

For new parents Lucy Thompson and Matt Simpson that's all they've known. The lockdown has forced them to 'build their village' by staying close, from afar.

"You conduct your interview with the midwife on the phone and then she says 'ok come in and let's do your blood presure'," Thompson says.

"So you come in and do that and then you're on your way again. No baby shower - which I know shouldn't be important but that was really hard."

That disconnect continued during baby Luke's birth just nine days ago.

Thompson spent seven hours in labour without her partner by her side.

He was eventually allowed in for her emergency c-section but was then told he had to leave.

"He saw his child come out, met him for a few minutes, maybe an hour, and then I was in recovery and then he was gone and that was that," Thompson says.

Lockdown also meant no visits from family or friends and antenatal classes moved online.

"You're looking at 1500-1600 parents who have gone through just in this brief period of time," says Parents Centre CEO Heather Hayden.

Parents Centre has held nearly 70 online classes during lockdown, and says connectivity is more important than ever with up to 20 percent of new mums suffering postnatal depression.

"For those who don't get the support that they need, that can progress on to something much more serious," Hayden warns.

For Thompson and Simpson that support has turned into friendship.

"Being able to be on zoom and share the experience with people who are around the same stuff as me, just gave me that social aspect," Thompson says. 

Weekly catch-ups will continue when Simpson heads back to work next week.

And while staying connected is essential for new mums it's just as important for all of the existing ones this Mother's Day.

Whether that's on Skype, Facetime, over the phone or any other creative way to let them know how much we care.