ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Adjusting to life as a new parent can be difficult, but there are support groups and other resources available that can help make the process smoother.

Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital offers all kinds of help, including dealing with the mental issues that can develop.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, research has shown that depression and anxiety have been exacerbated.

“The best way to heal and to grow and come away from that or learn from that is to seek help and get support,” said Laura Salvatierra, the Maternity Education Programs Team Coordinator at Sentara MJH.

Whether it’s through peer support, which is available for free, or through a counselor, finding help during this kind of transition is important.

"We have been able to really make a difference in helping parents feel like there's options for them, there's support for them, reminding them that they're not the only ones struggling in these areas and with this transition,” said Salvatierra.

“It’s such a major transition to become a parent and have your life turned literally upside-down by the life of this little person who just came into your world."

Support grounds are free, confidential and a way for new parents to speak freely about the many changes happening in their lives and to give them a place to be reminded that they’re not alone.

Most are held virtually, offering a way for parents to get back to a more normal life.

"Parents have felt incredibly isolated during this pandemic and its challenging to get back into the practice of leaving the house and bringing your baby and doing something social that's optional," Salvatierra added.

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