Accessing Support in the Perinatal Period

Accessing Support in the Perinatal Period

It can be extremely common for women to experience a wide range of emotions during pregnancy and the post-partum period, whether this be excitement, joy, anxiety, overwhelm, doubt and sadness. The transition to motherhood brings about significant changes to a woman’s life including physical changes, hormonal changes, and lifestyle changes. This stage can bring about changes not only to a woman’s sense of identity but to her relationships.


Seeking support

During pregnancy and the transition to motherhood, seeking support from friends and loved ones, and other parents can be helpful. When seeking support from others in your close circle, it will be important to talk to people who provide a space that is free from judgement, warm and open. However, there are times when it is important to a health professional.


When should I seek further support?

If you or your family members are noticing significant changes in areas such as your mood, emotions, sleep or eating patterns or behaviour in general, and these changes last for longer than a few weeks, it is important to reach out for professional support.

Accessing help during the perinatal period can be hard, and there can be barriers for seeking help including possible stigma around mental health and difficulty opening and talking to someone new. Health professional can understand how difficult this transition can be and can support you through this process. If you are struggling with mental health difficulties during the perinatal period, it is important to understand that it is not your fault, and that help is available. Seeking help early is critical.


Where can I find help?

  • General Practitioners
  • Obstetricians
  • Child and Family Health Nurses
  • Midwives

These health professionals can assess difficulties and refer to other specialist and practitioners. This includes:

  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Social Workers
  • Mental Health Nurses
  • Specialist Support Groups

Other resources:

  • Please refer to the COPE (Centre for Perinatal Excellent)
  • Gidget Foundation Australia website for further resources.
  • PANDA Mental Health Helpline
  • Lifeline Australia
  • Raising Children Network


Remember, if you find that you are struggling or are needing support, you are not alone and there is support available.

Eshani Gunawardena