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The NBA has postponed its basketball season until further notice after a player tested positive for coronavirus. Beloved celebrities Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson were also recently diagnosed. Some borders have closed and in hard-hit countries like China and Italy, daily life has not just been disrupted—it's fully at a standstill.

No matter where you live, when you turn on the news or scan the local headlines you're going to learn about cases of COVOD-19 in your area, canceled events and closures—it's stressful, but health experts say this is actually a good thing. As much as it sucks to hear that schools and churches are closing, this is so important. And it will make COVID-19 less scary in the long run.

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"The goal is to 'flatten the curve.' Rather than letting the virus quickly rampage through the population and burn itself out fast, the idea is to spread all those infections out over a longer period of time," Matthew McQueen, the Director of Public Health Program and Associate Professor of Integrative Physiology at University of Colorado Boulder writes for The Conversation.

A chart explaining this was created by the CDC and then adapted by others. This version, by Vox, is going viral and shows exactly what McQueen is talking about.

"Now that new COVID-19 cases are being detected in the U.S. every day, it is too late to stop the initial wave of infections. The epidemic is likely to spread across the U.S. The virus appears to be about as contagious as influenza. But this comparison is difficult to make since we have no immunity to the new coronavirus," Maciej F. Boni, an Associate Professor of Biology at Pennsylvania State University writes for The Conversation.

This is all really hard. Staying home (whether you're the mom of an infant who is worried about public gatherings or the mom of school-age kids who are suddenly stuck at home all day) is hard.

Social distancing is difficult. Let's just admit that. This is hard.

If you are in the postpartum period and feel the pandemic is making you depressed, consider reaching out for help. The Postpartum Support International (PSI) Helpline can be reached at 1-800-944-4773.

Teletherapy is an option many therapists offer and there are even apps like Talk Space or Better Help that could hook you up with a therapist you could talk to from the comfort of your home.

Writing for Harvard Health, Dr. John Sharp, a board-certified psychiatrist on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, suggests that "when anxiety rises because we're facing a distressing threat like the new coronavirus, we need to focus on what tends to work for us to ease anxiety—that, plus doing a little bit more of some actions and a little bit less of others."

One thing to do less of, Sharp says, is taking in headlines.

"Please don't overdose on hype or worry or misinformation. I get some regular updates from credible sources in the morning and check again briefly toward the end of the day. There's no need to stay tuned in 24/7 — it can actually make your anxiety much, much worse," he writes, suggesting that instead we "connect with friends and loved ones through video chats, phone calls, texting, and email. It really helps to feel the strength of your connections to your friends and loved ones, even though you may not be with them in person [and] stick with sources of credible medical information, so you can avoid misinformation about the virus and the illness it causes."

Team Motherly is here for you, mama. This is hard, and we're keeping track of what you need to know about COVID-19. Anxiety is up right now, but flattening the curve of coronavirus will flatten that, too.

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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My husband and I always talked about starting a family a few years after we were married so we could truly enjoy the “newlywed” phase. But that was over before it started. I was pregnant on our wedding day. Surprise!

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