Having a baby, particularly for the first time, can be exhausting, anxiety-inducing, and incredibly isolating. So much time is spent at home recovering, getting to know your baby, and being up several times in the quiet of night.
We want to assure you that you’re not alone. Not only are there countless parents in your position, but there are plenty of free sources of support available to you that you can access from home.
For professional advice and support for you and your baby’s health
Maternal and Child Health Services
Qualified MCHNs offer information, advice, and referrals to all families with young children (a translator service is also available). If the problem is not urgent, call your MCHN for advice. See this list from the Royal Children’s Hospital for contact details in your state.
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Helpline
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby provides free, non-judgemental emotional support and reassurance from midwives and maternal and child health nurses. They’re available 7 days a week over the phone, or via video call between 7am and midnight. Phone 1800 882 436 in Australia (free from landlines).
Australian Breastfeeding Association Helpline
The ABA runs the National Breastfeeding Helpline 1800 mum 2 mum (1800 686 268). The helpline is available 24/7, and is staffed by trained, volunteer counsellors.
PANDA National Hotline
PANDA’s (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression) national hotline is Australia’s only free helpline service for women, men and their families affected by perinatal anxiety and depression. Highly trained and caring counsellors can help you work through your challenges. Phone 1300 726 306 between 9am – 7.30pm Monday to Friday (AEST/AEDT). Fill out their mental health checklist here for expecting mums, dads, and non-birth parents, as well as new mums, new dads, new non-birth parents, and partners/carers.
For crisis support and suicide prevention, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 24/7, or chat to them online nightly 7 days a week.
MensLine Australia is a telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns. Call 1300 78 99 78 24/7 or you can access free professional online and video counselling.
Relationships Australia provides relationship support services to all members of the community, regardless of religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, lifestyle choice, cultural background, or economic circumstances. Phone 1300 364 277.
When you call Karitane Careline, a friendly and experienced Child and Family health nurse will support you with guidance and encouragement on topics such as sleep, settling, playing and connecting with your baby, and your feelings and adjustment to parenting. Phone 1300 CARING (1300 227 464) or (02) 9794 2350 Mon – Thu 12.30-9pm and 11pm – 6pm, Fri 8am-4.30pm, Sat 9am-3.30pm.
Health Direct Hotline
Call the Australian Government’s healthdirect hotline to speak to a registered nurse about your health concerns on 1800 022 222 24/7. Use their coronavirus (COVID-19) symptom checker if you or your baby are unwell.
Funded by the Australian Government, Raising Children provides free, reliable parenting videos, articles, and apps backed by Australian experts. Check out their website for your answers to hundreds of parenting questions
What else you can do to cope during the postpartum period
- Turn off the news, and instead listen to your favourite music or podcasts
- FaceTime with family and friends
- Find YouTube videos for meditation, yoga, and other gentle exercises
- Go for walks with your baby
- Read to your baby, or read books yourself while you feed or hold your baby for naps
- Discover loads of baby play ideas on our website
- Join or start up a Facebook new parents group in your area
- Write in a gratitude journal or finally write in that baby book
- Shop online (treat yourself to something nice once in a while!)
- Post a question to our lovely Facebook community!