Helpful Resources for new parents to cope with a pandemic

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.

During a pandemic, things get even more challenging for new parents

No visitors, no grandparents to hold your baby while you shower or nap, no new parents group, scarcity of supplies, and a general feeling of fear and panic in the air. We want to assure you that you’re not alone. Not only are there countless parents in your situation, but there are plenty of free resources 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.

Lifeline

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

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

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.

Karitane Careline

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.

Raising Children

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

Coronavirus Health Information Line

Phone the Australian Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) health information line 24/7 if you are seeking information on 1800 020 080.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert

Find out how the Australian Government is monitoring and responding to the pandemic, how you can help slow the spread of COVID-19, and what to do if you have symptoms. They also report the latest official medical advice and case numbers. Stay up-to-date here. 

What else you can do to cope during the pandemic

  • 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
  • You can still go for walks with your baby if you practice social distancing
  • Prioritise your baby’s naps so that your baby doesn’t become overtired and unsettled (and so you get a break)
  • 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 finish that baby book
  • Shop online (treat yourself to something nice once in a while!)
  • Post a question to our lovely Facebook community!

 

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