Motherhood isn’t linear. Every mother knows that every family’s journey is different. Compared to a mere ten years ago, women today have more resources when it comes to navigating the world of motherhood for the first time. Local support groups and mommy-and-me yoga classes are just a few things that mothers say have not only worked wonders but it’s given them the encouragement they need. However, for the women who gave birth during the Covid-19 pandemic, their motherhood journey started off on a different note.
Mothers who’ve given birth during Covid-19 hold extra trauma
According to clinical research, women who’ve given birth during the Covid-19 global health pandemic not only had greater dissatisfaction with childbirth, they all reported an increased risk of postpartum depression (PPD). With mandatory isolation and the constant fear of the virus, new mothers have endured isolation and disassociation more than ever before. Mothers who already had children had to embark on the new reality of virtual learning, working full-time remotely, and managing the day-to-day.
“One of the biggest means for new mothers is having support available and with the Covid-19, these opportunities are limited,” says Dr. Glowiak from Choosing Therapy who has been treating new mothers during the pandemic. “New mothers were already reluctant enough to take their newborns out in public out of fear of becoming sick. There’s a significantly higher likelihood of children becoming sick, especially being that there’s no present vaccination for newborns. Combining this reality with PPD further compounds to intensify symptoms.”
Numerous women have reported stories of giving birth alone as hospitals prohibited a support person due to the fear of the virus. This resulted in nationwide distress in women’s health pushing new mothers to seek other much-needed opportunities for self-care.
CBD has been the cornerstone of mental health aid for new moms during the pandemic
Karen Herrera, the owner of Palm Organix and mother of four sees the shift that the cannabis industry is making in the areas of motherhood. “I feel the CBD industry is marketing to moms two ways. One is at a beauty level: there are a number of new products for skin care. And the second is women’s health issues: such as stress, trauma, insomnia, menstrual/menopause.”
The latest CBD/THC research reports positive effects on decreasing anxiety and depression through medically tested doses. The majority of mothers using cannabis to treat postpartum depression (PTSD) state it’s a better form of medication than the standard prescription medications that are used today, such as Zoloft and Lexapro.
Although moms can now use cannabis, there’s still much work to be done
The legalization of cannabis is making headway across the US, currently totally up to 19 states. However, even with the ongoing reports detailing the positive benefits of CBD and THC, cannabis is still not FDA approved to aid in any health issue. And although more research is being discovered, the stigma around cannabis still hasn’t faded away.
“The biggest issue with mothers is the stigma around it,” says Dr. Glowiak. “Many mothers, especially those who have never used or thought of using it before, may believe that they’re compromising their integrity during a monumental moment of life. But I do see both CBD and THC becoming normalized in treating PPD in the future.”
With the enormous gap and lack of support that mothers experienced, the pandemic unintentionally opened a new doorway and a potential market for the cannabis industry. Yet there is still more work to be done. This is why advocates need to continue to speak out and push against the stigma in order for the cannabis industry to be more accessible to people who need it most.