support for professionals

We understand it's complicated

Working within the field of prenatal diagnosis is inherently complex. Managing expectations and uncertainties, and supporting families through the unexpected takes its toll, which can result in compassion fatigue, ethical dilemmas and burnout.

Through the Unexpected advocates for reducing the systemic hurdles that complicate the experience of supporting expectant parents through prenatal diagnosis. We encourage workplaces to implement formal support for employees, and for people working within this space to take the time to check-in and seek support.

We provide this (hopefully growing) list of supports for professionals, in the hope to support the workforce that supports people through the unexpected. Along with the services below, many professionals will have access to EAP programs within their workplace.

Thank you for the important work you do. 

I really nearly came undone with it, … I went to a psychologist at one point and said “I just find myself waking up in the night with those sad faces and I feel like crying a lot myself” … I realized that I really needed to steel myself a bit, … I had to work really hard at not getting too involved because that’s burnout material.

Maternal fetal medicine provider (Menezes et al., 2013)

Hand-n-Hand Peer Support

Free, confidential peer support for health professionals in Australia and New Zealand.

“You sign up, and we match you with a peer support volunteer from a similar field and level of training. Once linked in, you can catch up whenever suits you both, as often as you need, online or in person.”

Fantastic volunteers are experienced healthcare professionals with dedicated mental health training. Both one-on-one and group peer support are available. 

Nurse & Midwife Support

Nurse & Midwife Support is here for all nurses and midwives, nursing and midwifery students, employers, educators and concerned family and friends. We provide confidential advice and referral, promote better health for nurses, midwives and students, and safer care for the public.


1300 Dr4Drs (1300 374 377) Mental health support service for urgent and non-urgent support.

Mental health support 24/7, 365 days a year, free and confidential

Doctors and medical students can access support from the network of doctors’ health services across Australia.

Eliza Strauss, Bereavement Midwife, Bereavement Care Consultant

Exposure to birth trauma, perinatal loss or when supporting parents through an unexpected diagnosis can be an occupational hazard for health professionals and can result in stress and vicarious traumatisation in attending staff (Leinweber et al., 2017).

As a practising Midwife, with a postgraduate qualification in bereavement counselling, Eliza mentors and supports health care professionals who support these families.

Eliza provides a forum in which health professionals (including nurses, obstetricians and midwives) can debrief difficult or confronting experiences.

​This service can be utilised on an individual basis as a one off or multiple sessions, or for groups, as requested by the individual or maternity setting.