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It's ok to ask for help

3-minute read

Do you ever feel unsure about reaching out for professional help when you’re struggling with pregnancy, birth or parenting concerns? Well, you’re not alone.

A survey conducted by Healthdirect Australia (who manage Pregnancy, Birth and Baby) found that new parents are waiting a long time before seeking professional help, with 49% waiting until they couldn’t cope, 37% waiting until they felt overwhelmed, and 33% waiting until they felt they had hit ‘rock bottom’.

Dianne Zalitis, midwife and the Clinical Lead for Pregnancy, Birth and Baby, says:

“We were worried to learn that half of new parents would wait until they couldn’t cope before asking for professional help. When you’re at rock bottom it is so much harder to find someone to help you. Don’t wait that long, help is at hand”.

Miscarriage is all too common

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby was set up specifically to help people on their journey to parenthood. When trying to conceive, during pregnancy, preparing for birth or adjusting once the baby has arrived, Pregnancy Birth and Baby is there to support you through each stage, and that includes issues such as stillbirth, neonatal and infant loss.

“Sadly one third of respondents to our survey reported experiencing miscarriage, showing it’s a reality for many. Of those, 68% found it difficult to talk about feelings of loss and pain while 32% sought professional counselling. We encourage anyone dealing with a tough time to get in touch with us,” says Dianne.

Barriers to asking for help

When asked about some of the barriers to seeking professional counselling support, many commented that they would feel ‘embarrassed’, ‘uncomfortable’, or as if they had ‘failed’. New mum Ebony, who called Pregnancy, Birth and Baby after her 11 week old baby girl Charli had spent an entire day crying, urges people to not let this fear hold them back.

“When calling, I felt very vulnerable and initially I had that fear of ‘what are they going to think of me?’ I was feeling very emotional, but being able to talk that out with someone was so helpful.”

Other respondents to the survey said they would prefer to talk through their issues with family members or someone they knew.

“Having a baby is a major life change and parenthood can be a rollercoaster. Close family and friends are a great support network for new parents,” says Dianne.

“But in addition to leaning on your friends and family for support, help is at hand via Pregnancy, Birth and Baby, for those times when you might be struggling, feel isolated, or need some professional, non-judgemental advice.”

Unfortunately, some people pointed to financial and distance factors as obstacles for seeking help. Pregnancy, Birth and Baby provides free guidance, reassurance and support from registered maternal child health nurses, 7 days a week.

You can be assured that whatever feelings or thoughts are on your mind, help is at hand via www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au or 1800 882 436.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: December 2015


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Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this publication or any part of it may not be reproduced, altered, adapted, stored and/or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Healthdirect Australia.