There are a number of groups and services that provide expecting and new parents with a range of support – from emotional wellbeing and phone counselling to playgroups and parenting support. These services can become an important part of your support network as you move through the perinatal journey and most are offered for free or for a highly-subsidised price.
Australia Wide (in person):
Playgroup Australia: There are thousands of local playgroups throughout Australia, and joining one can be a helpful way to build new friendships and support networks. Playgroup Australia has a searchable database so that you can find a playgroup in your local area. There are even speciliased playgroups for families that speak a specific language or are dealing with a certain obstacle (e.g. disability).
Australia Wide (phone lines):
Birthline: Offers a variety of services, including a phoneline available at 1300 655 156, to women, their partners and their families when they are experiencing distress, hardship or have questions relating to pregnancy or pregnancy loss.
PANDA (Post and Antenatal Depression Association Inc.): Provides free telephone support, counselling and information on antenatal and postnatal depression on 1300 726 306 and helpful information on their website.
Tresillian: An early parenting service offering guidance in the early years of a child’s life. Support includes around topics such as breastfeeding and settling baby, as well as dealing with postnatal depression and nutrition. Tresillian can be reached at 1300 272 736 or via online support.
SANDS: Provides information via their website and confidential 24/7 support by trained supporters who have a personal understanding of the grief and confusion that may be experienced following miscarriage, stillbirth or death of a baby which can be reached on 1300 072 637 or via online chat. SANDS also holds support group meetings in select locations.
MensLine Australia: A professional support service for men to assist with relationship problems which can be reached on 1300 78 99 78 or via online support. Relationships Australia: Provides relationship support services such as counselling and family dispute resolution for couples experiencing relationship problems which can be reached on 1300 364 277 or online (must meet certain criteria).
PANDSI (Post and Ante Natal Depression Support and Information): PANDI has few different support programs for mums living in ACT, including a Daytime Support Group, Playgroup, Yoga Evening Support Group, Fitness and Support Group and Dad Information Nights.
New South Wales:
Gidget Foundation: The Gidget Foundation offers a number of services including professional psychological support and the Emotional Wellbeing Program (for women at North Shore Private Hospital).
Mum for Mum: A volunteer outreach program in the eastern suburbs of Sydney for new mothers and women in the last trimester of pregnancy that offers free in-home family support for women who are in need of a supportive connection.
Tresillian: Tresillian offers a range of parenting group programs to support parents in their parenting role and there are limited childcare spots available during these sessions. They also have outreach, day stay and residential stay programs for parents experiencing parenting difficulties and adjustment issues.
Parentline: This is a telephone information service for parents in New South Wales and can be reached at 1300 1300 52.
Hope’s Room: Hope’s Room provides peer support groups for families suffering from stress, depression or anxiety in the perinatal period.
Triple P parenting program: A free parenting program for Queensland parents with a range of different options to support parents.
Midwife check-in: This program for Queensland residents provides a caring and friendly professional midwife who calls you on a regular basis using the telephone, at a time that suits you.
Parent Hotline: This is a telephone information service for parents in South Australia and can be reached at 1300 364 100.
Ngala: This is a telephone information service for parents in Western Australia and can be reached at (08) 9368 9368 or Country Access at 1800 1111 546.