The essential resource list for your postnatal year
When you know where to get help, you feel good about your choices.
Welcome! Many hours and many cups of tea went into creating this resource list, so that you can spend less time searching the internet and more time cuddling your baby. I hope you find it helpful.
After Hours Advice & Helplines
Healthdirect is a 24-hour telephone health advice line staffed by registered nurses. 1800 022 222
Pregnancy Birth & Baby is a phone and online service. Speak with a trained counsellor for information, advice and counselling about all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and your baby’s first year. 1800 882 436
The Australian Breastfeeding Association offers telephone support, playgroups, coffee mornings, pudding nights and other social events. Check the local groups page to find the events closest to you. Qualified breastfeeding counsellors are present at most events and can provide free one-on-one support. The free ABA Breastfeeding helpline is available 7 days a week and offers evidence-based support and advice to breastfeeding mums. The helpline should always be your first port of call, as you can solve many common breastfeeding issues quickly and save yourself weeks of stress & worry. Breastfeeding Helpline: 1800 686 268 (save this to your mobile now)
Private practices (breastfeeding support)
All of these practitioners are IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants). It’s important to get your breastfeeding advice from a qualified practitioner, as much of the breastfeeding information widely available to new parents is inaccurate or outdated.
Canberra Lactation Centre Katherine Stock and Lisa Farrell both make home visits.
Care Midwifery – Ali Teate and Mel Pearce make home visits and also offer an amazing postnatal daystay, providing extra care, support and information with feeding, settling advice and maternal rest in a warm, friendly and nurturing environment.
Monica Hogan can be reached on 0409 985 324
New Lives – Ingrid McKenzie makes home visits.
Free Services (breastfeeding support)
If you birthed at Canberra Hospital you can ask your midwife for a referral to the lactation consultant there.
Many Maternal and Child Health (MACH) Nurses are also IBCLCs. Call Community Health Intake on (02) 6207 9977.
Find-a-Lactation-Consultant – You can search here for qualified lactation consultants by postcode. All listed consultants are members of LCANZ, and have qualified as International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
- Cafe L’Amour – warm & welcoming staff, enclosed outdoor space, indoor playroom (Belconnen)
- Cafe Okrich – excellent coffee & homemade chai, good with non-mobile babies or placid older babies. Small playspace. (Belconnen)
- Indulge Tea – outdoor playspace is good for older babies. (Gungahlin)
- Sprout Cafe at the National Arboretum – peace & quiet, beautiful natural scenery
- Thumper & Miss Bunny – excellent coffee & homemade chai, good with non-mobile babies or placid older babies (Gungahlin)
- Toots Cafe – Kambah warm & welcoming staff, enclosed indoor play space (southside)
- Pollen Cafe at the Botanic Gardens – peace & quiet, beautiful natural scenery
All of these buildings in or near the Parliamentary Triangle have cafes and baby change facilities. The service is nothing special, and they’re not particularly intimate spaces, but the food is typically decent and the surroundings are inspiring. Many of these spaces have play areas for children, or at least large safe areas where you can let a mobile baby crawl freely. If your baby is still small, you could spend a few hours exploring the galleries or museum, with baby in a carrier or pram. Perfect for a rainy or stir-crazy day, especially if you’re new to Canberra.
Lifeline provides 24/7 access to crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services. Call 13 11 14
NurtureLine is a free family support helpline catering for families with a threatened pregnancy, the hospital journey with a baby currently in NICU/SCN, the transition to home and onwards. 1300 622 243
SANDS – Volunteer peer support provided to bereaved parents following the death of a baby from conception to infancy. 24hr support line on 13 000 72637
SIDS and Kids bereavement support services assist families who have experienced the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child, during birth, pregnancy or infancy, regardless of the cause.
StillBirthDay – high-quality support services and resources for parents dealing with the loss of their baby.
Household & Business Support
Conder House Laundry & Linen Service is a cloth nappy laundering service. I have not heard any reports on this service yet so please let me know if you’ve used it.
Dust Buddies/Lawn Buddies – Helen & Mark provide excellent housecleaning and lawn services. 04 0449 9740
Massage & Relaxation
Floating involves resting in a pitch-black tank filled with salty, skin-temperature water (34 – 35 degrees Celsius). Once you’re comfortable in the tank, you can let go of any tension in your body and experience zero gravity – floating weightless and free.
Canberra KaHuna Massage with Deb Namara (southside)
Medical & Physical
Canberra Sexual Health Centre s a free clinic for the testing and treatment of sexually transmissible infections. (southside)
Continence Physiotherapy Treatment and Education – Irmina Nahon provides continence physiotherapy treatment and education (Belconnen)
East Canberra General Practice – a general practice with several doctors including Kate Molinari who is also a lactation consultant. Children under 16 are bulk billed. (airport)
Elevate Womens Health – Ellen Ayling offers postnatal physiotherapy consultations and treatment. (southside)
Innate Being Therapies – Traditional Chinese Medicine, Classical 5 Element & Esoteric Acupuncture with Holly Brocklebank
The National Health Co-op is a not-for-profit, member owned co-operative that provides affordable medical and healthcare services, with clinics in several suburbs. Children are treated free. You can usually get an appointment the same day, so it might be worthwhile to get a membership even if you already have a regular GP, for those last-minute appointments.
The National Home Doctor Service: If your child needs urgent medical care on a weeknight or weekend, but your GP is closed, call 13SICK (13 7425) and request a bulk-billed, after-hours doctor home visit. (save this in your mobile now)
North Canberra Osteopathy offers osteopathy, remedial massage, shiatsu, craniosacral therapy. (northside)
Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT offers a holistic, confidential and respectful service to Canberra and the region. A majority of SHFPACT Doctors and Nurses are female. All doctors and nurses have specialist sexual & reproductive health qualifications and approach all matters sensitively. Services include contraceptive advice and many other services.
Thrive Chiropractic Centre – Sam Bettison is an experienced chiropractor who provides treatment and advice for women and babies, during pregnancy and after.
Cara Toynton provides therapeutic sessions for pregnant women and for mothers who have given birth in the past twelve months and would like support around sleep, relationships or gentle parenting techniques. She also teaches workshops and offers life coaching.
Calm Parenting classes for mothers and babies are held in the Calmbirth training room. These small, mother-focused classes are facilitated by Tracey Anderson Askew over a ten-week period. Each week explores a different theme, facilitated group discussion and completes with a weekly relaxation exercise.
Circle of Security is an early intervention program that teaches parents to understand their child’s emotional world and support their child’s ability to successfully manage emotions. The program is offered at no cost by Belconnen Community Service and Marymead, and for a fee by some private psychologists around Canberra.
New Parent Groups are four week groups for first-time mothers, for when your baby is around 3 months old. The groups are free, and facilitated by a Maternal and Child Health (MACH) Nurse. Although the groups have an educational focus many mums continue meeting after the initial facilitated sessions. It really depends on whether you click with the other people in the group but it’s worth going along, especially if you are new to Canberra. You need to book well ahead by phoning Community Health Intake on (02) 6207 9977.
Safe Sleep Space is a phone consultation service delivered by qualified health professionals who can chat with you about your unique situation and offer recommendations to help you address your sleep and settling concerns.
Sleep Groups are aimed at babies over 3 months of age. Free – bookings essential. Call Community Health Intake on 6207 9977
The QEII Family Centre provides a residential program for families. You will need a referral from the Maternal & Child Health Service or your GP.
Do you have any suggestions to add to this list, or are you a practitioner who supports postnatal women? Contact me.