FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Being a new parent can be challenging in the best of times, add in the COVID-19 pandemic and it can become an especially anxious time for expectant parents, moms and dads still learning the ropes of parenthood.But there is support available through the Army Community Service-Family Advocacy’s New Parent Support Program.Although many of the New Parent Support Program’s face-to-face offerings are currently on hold, counseling, encouragement and tips continues for expectant parents and those with children younger than 3.“We still offer support, even if it’s by phone but it’s better to see them on video chat,” said Nita Cross, ACS-FAP nurse. “You get a better sense of how they are doing, compared to when they’re on the phone.”The main goal is to continue to educate new parents, Cross said.Social distancing has caused many parents to lose their support network they normally have – from babysitters to day care or Family members who can help out.“We can’t encourage parents to go out and interact with other kids right now,” Cross said. But what we can do is get parents to interact with their kids at home.”Cross said staff has been reaching out to parents in the program, largely by phone, Facetime or e-mail, depending on the need.In addition to sending them tips on how to keep Families healthy, she may send links to resources they may need and other information needs such as how to soothe a crying baby, how to create a safe sleeping environment or maybe even at what age can the baby have solid foods.“We’re still here to help the Families with whatever resources they need, even just finding simple stuff like toilet paper,” Cross said. “We have been able to even help Families with that – what stores to go to, what time to go because we’ve been out, we know who has it and what time they have it. Anything to relieve whatever stress they have going on right now, we’re here to help.”Although some parents may be working remotely, in some cases one parent is tending a young child alone and it can be a lonely job. In the current situation of social isolation, stress could be magnified.“One of our main things we’re addressing is mental health right now because we have so many new moms dealing with depression,” Cross said. “We’re giving them the resources.”That could include video chats or telehealth, Cross said.“We’ll guide them the whole way, because those moms who are depressed, need some guidance on how to access available support and may need some extra encouragement.,” she said. “You have to push them, but you don’t want to overwhelm them at the same time.”Young parents may feel especially closed off because of COVID-19, Cross said.“They’re already depressed and now they’re cooped up in the house with their kids all day and some of their spouses are at work, so it’s just them doing everything,” she said. “They can’t take the kids out to interact with anyone else. It’s just them and they feel like they don’t have any help right not. Everyone needs someone they can rely on. They need to know who is there to support them, and during this time of social distancing a parent’s natural support system may not be available.”There are ways to refocus that stress and help is only a phone call away, Cross said.For more information about ACS-FAP’s New Parent Support Program, or to get assistance, call 270-484-3695, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. After hours visit Military OneSOurce, at https://www.militaryonesource.mil.