24th April, 2020
New Parents to benefit from NSW Government Initiative
In a win for NSW families struggling to cope with the stresses of a new baby during COVID-19, today, the Hon Bronnie Taylor, Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women announced, a $1.44 million grant to fund free access to the SleepWellBaby App.
SleepWellBaby is an app-based digital program developed in consultation with Australia’s leading early parenting organisation, Tresillian. It delivers instant access to trusted evidence-based parenting education, advice and tools on key new parent concerns including baby sleep and settling, development, feeding and nutrition via a sophisticated digital platform. The SleepWellBaby program also provides stepped care into specialist Telehealth services offered by organisations such as Tresillian and the Gidget Foundation Australia for those in need of support.
For new parents, the COVID-19 measures have been especially difficult – their ‘Village’ has been taken away. As access to traditional support from child and family health centres and professionals and even Grandparents and friends has been reduced due to necessary isolation measures, there has been an increase in new mothers, in particular, feeling anxious or overwhelmed.
Specialist postnatal support services have recorded significant increases in demand with Tresillian seeing a 50% increase in calls to the Tresillian Parent’s Help Line and Gidget Foundation Australia (GFA) has also reported a 50% increase in website traffic compared to the same time last year. PANDA’s services have had a 20% increase in calls to their helpline with concerned parents of babies as young as 2 days old asking “how do we cope?”
SleepWellBaby will ensure that vulnerable new parents in NSW have immediate, scalable access to specialist parenting and mental health support. The App also allows parents to share information and updates about their babies with Grandparents and family as well as Health Professionals.
NSW parents of newborns to children of 12 months will be able to download SleepWellBaby from the App store or Google Play, and access the program immediately.
For more information:
Public Affairs & Marketing Manager - Tresillian
About Tresillian SleepWellBaby
Powered by Tresillian, SleepWellBaby is a sophisticated digital subscription program and platform that promotes optimal social, emotional and physical infant development (newborn to 3 years). SleepWellBaby supports new parents and their families by providing highly targeted and personalised advice, tips and tools on key parenting concerns including sleep, settling, development and feeding. SleepWellBaby also provides screening and triaging of parents for postnatal depression via an interactive questionnaire based on the Edinburgh Scale.
With the first 2000 days of a child’s life being critical to their life-long physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, there is the potential for far ranging negative impacts on this group from the current social isolation, increased anxiety and lack of traditional support imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic – both now and into the future.
Our leading, expert multidisciplinary team have extensive clinical and first-hand experience informed by national and international research. To learn more please go to https://sleepwellbaby.io
Tresillian is a not for profit organisation partly funded by NSW Health and is proudly Australia’s largest Early Parenting organisation with 14 Family Care Centres across New South Wales.
Established in 1918 in Sydney, as ‘The Royal Society for the Welfare of Mothers & Babies’, Tresillian’s focus is on supporting families during the first 2,000 days of their child’s life. The arrival of a new baby is often a time of great joy and celebration but for many families it can also be difficult, as they cope with a range of life challenges which can impact their capacity to parent. Tresillian’s specialist child and family health expertise supports parents, instilling confidence with issues including an unsettled baby, breastfeeding and nutrition, toddler behaviour and relationships; as well as specialist support for parents’ mental health including anxiety and postnatal depression. Close to 70,000 contacts are made with Tresillian each year.
Services include a 4-night/5-day residential program, day services, counselling and psychology services. A national Tresillian Parent’s Help Line (Open from 7am to 11pm; 7 days a week) provides parenting advice, reassurance and counselling support to over 35,000 parents with small children, each year. To access Tresillian’s Parent's Help Line, parents can call 1300 272 736.
In addition, Tresillian also operates Tresillian Live Advice (Open from 5pm to 11pm, Monday to Friday), an online advice service available by visiting the Tresillian website at https://www.tresillian.org.au
About Gidget Foundation Australia (GFA)
Gidget Foundation Australia (GFA) is a not for profit charitable organisation that raises awareness, provides advocacy and education and delivers treatment services to support the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents to ensure those in need receive timely, appropriate and supportive care. GFA provides free psychological services for people who are experiencing, or at risk of developing depressive, anxiety and trauma or stressor-related disorders, and who are pregnant or have a baby up to 12 months of age. Support is also provided to people who have experienced a pregnancy or childbirth-related loss within the last 12 months, such as stillbirth, miscarriage or termination. Partners are able to access these specialised services as well. To learn more please go to www.gidgetfoundation.org.au
About Sleepfit Solutions
Established in 2016, Sleepfit Solutions is an Australian digital health company dedicated to changing and saving lives the world over through the power of sleep. Based in Sydney Australia, Sleepfit develops technology that makes it easier than ever before for people to access quality, evidence-based sleep and fatigue solutions created by sleep experts. The company works with large organisations and insurers to educate, screen and triage their employees and members into sleep programs, personalised to their needs. Through the Tresillian SleepWellBaby App, Sleepfit now brings scalable help to exhausted parents in need. To learn more please go to www.sleepfitsolutions.com
Here, new Mum, Emily shares her story on parenting a new baby through COVID-19 and how the SleepWellBaby App has helped!
Prior to becoming a mum, Emily was a Primary School Teacher, she said ‘Edward was a much-wanted baby and parenting has been a joy, but incredibly hard at times’. It was when he was 5 weeks old that Emily decided to download the SleepWellBaby App after hearing about it through HCF.
She said the App has given structure to her day, helping her gain more confidence as a new mum. The age appropriate advice on what her baby should be doing at each stage is incredibly reassuring as Edward grows. In particular, she’s appreciated the ability to track his sleep over the course of 24 hours and the App then works out if that’s in the ballpark of what he should be having for his age. She said ‘When I’m feeling tired and exhausted and Edward is not settling to sleep, I have a quick look at the App to check for tips and advice and it helps me feel much more on top of being a new Mum’.
She added ‘After a few weeks I stopped using the App as Edward seemed to be in a much better routine, but things changed and he went back to waking up a lot at night sleeping for 30 minutes and then it would take me 40 minutes to get him back to sleep’. Emily started using the App again to improve their daily routine but felt that she needed more support and it was through the App that she saw the recommendation to reach out to Tresillian’s Parent’s Help Line.
The impact of COVID-19 has been challenging for Emily. ‘It’s been so hard not seeing both sets of grandparents as this is the first grandchild and before COVID-19 we saw them multiple times a week’ she said. Emily had her first Mothers Group on the day before shutdown and fortunately they set up a WhatsApp group. ‘It’s been great to have that support online, however we’re all counting down until we can meet in person’, she added.
Her husband is a shift worker and she often feels lonely at times, missing family and friends.