wellbeing support

While there are many individual prenatal diagnoses, pathways and outcomes – many parents describe a rollercoaster of emotions after receiving unexpected news.

One positive step you can take is to seek support early.

We have curated this list of professional and peer support services so that you can find the right support for you.

If you have been given a specific diagnosis, you can find support by reaching out to a diagnosis-specific support group. These groups may be formal support organisations or informal support groups  – click here to view our directory.

COPE logo

COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence is Australia’s peak body focussing on the emotional and mental health of hopeful, expectant and new parents. The new eCOPE Directory lists professionals and support organisations with a special interest, knowledge and/or expertise in pre and postnatal emotional health.

You can search the eCOPE Directory to find support for decision making, and coping with the news and the time beyond. The directory offers specific categories for people who are:

  • Expecting a baby and birth, seeking support for congenital anomalies, and
  • New Parents, seeking support for infants with special needs

We collaborated with COPE to create some information about coping with unexpected news, seeking help following unexpected news, and tips for families and friends.

ForWhen provides new and expecting parents—mums, dads, and guardians—with a caring, supportive mental health navigation service, to guide you and your family throughout your perinatal journey, from conception, up until your child is 12 months old.

It’s a national support line that connects you to the right service that can help you understand what you’re feeling and provide the guidance and support you need at the right time.

ForWhen helpline: 1300 24 23 22
9.00am and 4.30pm Monday – Friday to speak with a local specialist.

PANDA logo

PANDA offers a range of programs to support people and their families to recover from perinatal anxiety and depression and to raise awareness in the community. PANDA is driven by the lived experience of people affected by perinatal anxiety and depression. The PANDA website has a mental health checklist to see how you are travelling.

PANDA helpline: 1300 726 306
Monday – Saturday 9am – 7:30pm AEDT

Gidget Foundation Australia supports the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents. The website includes a range of resources for parents, including parent stories and information about emotional wellbeing.

Gidget Foundation provides specialist perinatal telehealth counselling services, in person and via telehealth – free with a GP Mental Health Plan in place. The Gidget team includes practitioners with interest and experience in supporting parents who have received a prenatal diagnosis, including support to cope with the news, decision-making, before or after a TFMR and support to navigate the transition to parenting.

Service enquiries: 1300 851 758
Please note, this is not a crisis support line. Please use the other options if you need to talk with someone immediately.

Peach Tree Perinatal Wellness is a community based mental health organisation, which provides services for parents, partners, and families who are impacted by emotional and mental health challenges in the period of pregnancy and early parenthood, through trauma-informed, recovery-oriented, and person-led approaches.

“We use a Lived Experience Workforce which means that everyone who delivers our services and programs has personal insight and experience into the challenges of becoming a parent and raising small children.  Our Peer Support Workers, Peer Educators and Peer Coaches are all dedicated to providing compassionate, meaningful, and inclusive support.”

Peach Tree offer a range of programs which are delivered across Brisbane, West Moreton and Darling Downs and Moreton Bay areas.  They also offer online options. View the options and book online.

The Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA) is a peer-led community dedicated to helping Australians and New Zealanders prevent and heal from birth-related trauma. “Birth-related trauma” includes any injury or trauma, whether physical or psychological, sustained at any time in connection with pregnancy, labour or childbirth. This definition is intended to be broad and includes trauma related to receiving a prenatal diagnosis of a fetal anomaly.

ABTA offer free peer-led support programs for women, birthing people and families. Programs are available across Australia, offering different ways to connect at the right time, space, place and pace.

Book through the website or email support@birthtrauma.org.au. The organisation also runs a Facebook group for online support.

Miracle Babies Foundation supports families:

  • during their baby’s hospital stay in the NICU or Special Care Nursery and for years beyond discharge.
  • who have been advised by their healthcare team that their baby may be expected to require care within the NICU (premature or sick), or have been advised that they are at risk of preterm birth and require delivery at a hospital with a NICU.
  • who are grieving the loss/death of their newborn who was born premature or sick.

Family support helpline: 1300 622 243
National 24 hour support line

Image of a little green heart illustration

Check-in point: The following organisations provide information and support for women and families who face loss or the death of their baby, whether through a life-limiting diagnosis, unexpected death or termination for medical reasons (TFMR).

Not all fetal anomalies or differences prompt decision-making about the pregnancy or are considered life-limiting, but for those who have received such a diagnosis or face the options, it is important to know that support and understanding are available.

You are not alone.

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Harrison’s Little Wings supports women and their families who receive a poor or fatal diagnosis during pregnancy. Founder, Melanie McKenzie, and other mothers created a peer support program that provides very unique offering – support for families suffering and struggling along this journey, designed by mothers who have already been on that very same journey and had faith, comfort and support to pull them through.

“We care about making the journey as comforting, supportive and helpful as possible.”

Harrison’s Little Wings offers a range of support programs both online and within the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas.

Red Nose Grief and Loss provide specialised bereavement support free of charge to any person affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child during pregnancy, birth, infancy or childhood.

“No matter where you are at in your grief journey, Red Nose qualified Bereavement Counsellors are available to support you by phone, face to face or online via web chat.”

The Red Nose Grief and Loss website includes information about medical termination and they provide free support to families who have experienced loss or have moved through a medical termination. This support includes the Hospital to Home program. Support can be provided face-to-face, by phone or videoconference and is tailored to individual needs. Parents decide how they would like to be supported

Red Nose 24hr Support line: 1300 308 307

The website includes a peer supporter live chat option.

The Pink Elephants Support Network

The Pink Elephants Support Network provides the latest resources, information and peer-support for anyone impacted by early pregnancy loss.

“Our Peer Support Programme is a community of women who have all gone through the heartbreaking experiences of losing our much-loved babies, and we want you to know we truly understand, you are not alone, and you did nothing wrong. We’ve been where you are, we get it. And we’re in this together.”

The Pink Elephants website offers information and stories related to Termination For Medical Reasons (TFMR) along with ways to connect with the TFMR community.

The Perinatal Loss Centre Logo

The Perinatal Loss Centre provides support to health professionals and families affected by the death of babies.

The Perinatal Loss Therapist Register is a courtesy facility to provide information on registered therapists who may be available to support bereaved parents, to support access to Australia-wide counselling support for parents who have experienced perinatal loss. The therapists on the register have completed The Perinatal Loss Centre’s training course, Perinatal Loss in Practice: What Therapists Need to Know.

The register is available here.

Sands is a volunteer-based organisation providing individualised care from one bereaved parent to another, giving them support and hope for the future, following the death of a baby. Sands aims to meet bereaved parents wherever they are, physically, or emotionally, when their pregnancy has ended, or their baby has died – whether recently or many years ago.

The SANDS website offers a section on medical termination with a fact sheet and a link to contact a parent supporter.

SANDS 24hr support line: 1300 072 637
24hr support line for miscarriage, stillborn and newborn death support

Bears of Hope support families who experience the loss of their baby. The website includes many resources, keepsakes and many different options for support including groups and events.

Some of the resources include the Guide for Parents, information for families, friends and colleagues and information about when to seek help from a counsellor.

Grief counsellors: 1300 11 HOPE