Pregnancy support counselling services under Medicare

If you are currently pregnant or have been within the past 12 months, counselling under Medicare is available if you have any parenting, relationship, or health concerns related to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Find out here if it’s relevant to you, what you’re entitled to, and how you can access this service.

What is pregnancy support counselling?

Unlike mental health psychological services under Medicare, this is a form of non-directive counselling based on the understanding that people can resolve their own problems without being provided a solution by the health professional.

Offered in a supportive, non-judgemental, and confidential manner, it involves the counsellor undertaking a process that helps the patient explore their concerns. They will provide unbiased, evidence-based information about all options and services available.

Who is pregnancy support counselling for?

According to the Centre of of Perinatal Excellence (COPE), you might choose to access this service if you have concerns such as:

  • Making decisions and exploring options about the pregnancy.
  • Coming to terms with unexpected outcomes (eg. stillbirth, miscarriage, genetic conditions, problems at birth, or SIDS).
  • Dealing with a variety of feelings related to the pregnancy, birth, or early months of being a parent.
  • Discussing the pregnancy with others (such as your partner, parents, children, religious or cultural groups).
  • Addressing other medical, social services, legal or financial issues or concerns about pregnancy care, living arrangements, leaving/returning to work, childcare, arrangement of finances.

What am I entitled to?

Medicare rebates are available for up to three 30-minute pregnancy support counselling sessions with an eligible GP, psychologist, social worker, or mental health nurse for each pregnancy.

You may continue working with your health professional as a private patient, or be referred again by your GP under another appropriate initiative.

How do I access this service?

Speak to your GP about your concerns, and they will assess if you would benefit from sessions with a psychologist who is trained to provide this service. Your partner can also attend the counselling sessions if appropriate.

To find a psychologist in your area who is eligible to provide pregnancy support counselling, use the Australian Psychological Society’s directory. A range of fees could be charged by psychologists, so visit the Medicare website for the exact rebate you will receive.


X click to search