Preparing for Parenthood

Preparing expectant and new parents on the path to parenthood

  • Information and prepare expectant and new parents for the emotional changes and challenges that can come with pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.
  • Access to valuable resources to support you throughout your journey to parenthood.
  • Discover where and how to access valuable supports in your community and connect to other new parents
  • Digital certificate of completion
  • Accredited by COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence

$79 AUD (plus GST)

Note: Purchase of this course entitles course access and certification for one person or couple only. Group discounts apply for organisations wishing to make this available to their members. To enquire, please contact

Course Overview

Becoming a parent comes with many changes and often challenges – many of which we are are not aware of, and are not spoken about openly. These challenges can impact on our emotional and mental wellbeing.

This course equips expectant and new parents with a greater awareness of the challenges that may arise along the path to parenthood. We explore how we can look after ourselves, and identify and manage stress in the more difficult times.

Having a baby is also the time when mental health conditions are most likely to occur – often arising for the first time. We will review the most common mental health conditions, namely anxiety and depression, and identify what increases the chance of these conditions occurring in ourselves or others. Information about safe and effective treatments and how to access them is also detailed.

Dr Nicole Highet shares over 20 years of experience in working within the perinatal field to inform and educate the community and health professionals.

Course learning outcomes

  1. Understand the context of becoming a parent and the range of common stressors that commonly arise.
  2. Understand the most common emotional and mental health issues that occur in pregnancy, around the time of birth and the first years of parenthood.
  3. Understand how we can identify early signs of conditions such and anxiety and depression in ourselves or others.
  4. Equip you with basic tools and strategies to prevent stress, anxiety and depression, and access quality support and or treatments if and when we may need it.
  5. Offer you an opportunity to be part of a bigger community that informs and empowers ourselves and others.

Course timeline

Complete the course at your own pace. You can return at any time to refresh and get the information you need.


Purchasing or being provided with access to this course entitles access of content and certification by one person or couple only. Sharing of content is in breach of the terms of sale/conditions of course provision.

To enquire about student fees, discounts for group bookings or arrange for an invoice to be prepared, contact us at

About the Presenter

Dr Nicole Highet is the Founder and Executive Director of COPE: Centre of Perinatal Excellence. Nicole has a Doctorate in clinical psychology, specialising in the management and treatment of perinatal depression and anxiety. Following Nicole has lead the development of national education and training programs and health promotion campaigns across the country, in her role as Deputy CEO at Beyondblue.

In response to the need for a dedicated focus on emotional and mental health in the perinatal period, Nicole established COPE in 2013. In this role Nicole has co-chaired the development of the Australian Clinical Practice Guideline, developed online accredited training programs for frontline health professionals, and developed world-leading innovative screening tools to help identify those at risk.

In developing this Program, Nicole serves to inform and empower parents and community leaders with information and resources to reduce the devastating impacts of emotional and mental health amongst hopeful, expectant and new parents.



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Module 1: Overview of Common Challenges

<!-- wp:paragraph --> Pregnancy and the first year following birth can bring many unique changes and challenges. In this Module we will explore the range of challenges that can arise over the four stages of becoming a parent from conception through to the first years of parenthood. This Module consists of five lessons.  Lessons 1 - 4  cover the specific and unique challenges that can arise at <em>each</em> of these stages, with a particular focus on the impact this can have on emotional and mental health. The fifth lesson will focus on some excellent resources to assist you to be informed and prepared for these challenges. As you complete each lesson, simply click on the top right '<em><strong>Complete and continue'</strong></em> link, to progress through the course. Enjoy Module One. <!-- wp:paragraph --> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <!-- wp:html --> <div class="video"></div> <!-- /wp:html --> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->


Module 2: Understanding Mental Health Conditions

Given the range of adjustments and challenges that can occur at this stage of life, it is not surprising that our risk of developing a mental health problem significantly increases when having a baby. In this module we will look closely into the most common mental health conditions - anxiety and depression. We will consider what makes one person over another, more at risk of developing these conditions in pregnancy and the first year of parenthood. Importantly we will also review how we can identify <em>where</em> and <em>how</em> to access information as well as support and treatment in our community through the e-COPE Directory. Let's get started with Lesson 1 by clicking the '<em><strong>Complete and Continue'</strong></em> ink at the top right of the screen.


Module 3: Getting Help and Helping Others

Welcome to Module 3. In this Module we will provide you with important information about what treatments are safe and effective to manage common mental health conditions.  We will also direct you to where and how to access quality support and treatment either for yourself or others. We will also focus on how we as individuals and as a community, can play an important role in raising awareness and supporting others - including some very helpful strategies. Greater awareness and support strategies can play a key role in reducing stigma and the associated impacts of perinatal mental health conditions within our community. COPE welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with you to achieve this mission through our work.