On International Women’s Day, new, expecting mothers continue to feel brunt of pandemic

Today marks one year since the first known COVID-19 case in Iowa
Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 6:24 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Susan Mcloone has co-owned Motherhood Matters in Davenport for three years now and has made some observations during the pandemic.

“If anyone has had to pivot during this, it has been people with children and pregnancy, those are the two big factors that we’re seeing,” Mcloone said, “I think one of the biggest things out there has been sort of the unpredictability of this and not knowing, and having a different stream of sources and one day you’ll hear one thing, the next day you’ll hear something else.”

Mcloone continued, “when we don’t feel that predictability is when our body interprets that as trauma.”

Trauma, on the rise in new and expecting moms. Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston reported in December over one in three pregnant and postpartum women had clinically significant levels of depression, roughly double the rate before the pandemic. But McLoone has bigger concerns for the trauma which could be passed down.

“Because now we’re going on a year of this, this has weathered our bodies and we’re going to find this effect on the people that are living through this and the generations that are going to come after this,” she said, “Why is stress important when a woman is pregnant? It definitely shows up in the expression in our DNA for many generations.”

Mcloone added, “It’s similar to studies after the original 9/11 of 2001 and how they’re showing it’s a lasting effect.”

However, support is on the way, as Genesis Health Systems recently began allowing a second labor support person in delivery rooms.

“It’s going to show up exponentially down the road, I mean we’re going to see that (extra labor support) have a major effect,” Mcloone said.

But Mcloone has made clear, even when the pandemic ends, the trauma and psychological effects of the pandemic won’t fade.

“It’s not just ‘oh, things are going to open up, we’re all going to go back to normal’ that is not a reality, this (trauma) is going to show up later in our lives and in the next generation,” she said.

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