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Maternal and child health services

Our Maternal and Child Health Service is free and confidential for all City of Whittlesea families with children from newborn to school age. Our staff are Registered Nurses, with additional qualifications in Midwifery and Maternal and Child Health. Our service provides ongoing care to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of families and the learning and development of children.

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COVID-19 update

Information on Maternal and Child Health changes under current COVID-19 restrictions

 

Service closure dates for 2021

Please note Maternal and Child Health service will be closed on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 17 August
  • Thursday 16 September
  • Tuesday 16 November
  • Tuesday 14 December

  

  

The Maternal and Child Health team is here for you. To make an appointment or to change an existing one, please request an MCH Appointment. If your enquiry relates to an appointment in the next two working days, please call our team on 9404 8888 between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

If you have a newborn 

When your baby is born, the hospital will advise our Maternal and Child Health service. A team member will phone you to arrange a date and time for the first appointment, which is usually done at home. Ongoing support is available through our Maternal and Child Health centres. 

If you have moved into the area

If you have recently moved to the City of Whittlesea from overseas or elsewhere in Victoria or Australia and have children up to school age, contact the Maternal and Child Health team directly on 9404 8888, Monday to Friday, 8:30am-5pm.

Key ages and stages

Health and development assessments are performed around the following key ages and stages:

What to bring to your appointment 

  • Your child’s green Child Health Record Book
  • A change of clothes, including spare nappies, for your baby
  • A plastic bag for used nappies
  • Clothes or bunny rugs to cover the change table and scales

The City of Whittlesea has 20 Maternal and Child Health sites located around the municipality. Visit our Community Directory to find your nearest MCH centre or browse by suburb.

These sessions don’t replace your child’s scheduled Key Age and Stage assessments but are suitable for follow-ups and review.

Breastfeeding support

Chat with a Maternal and Child Health Nurse or Lactation Consultant about breastfeeding, or any other issues with feeding your baby.

Open consultation sessions

These sessions offer an opportunity to visit a Maternal and Child Health nurse in between your child’s Key Ages and Stage assessments.

For more information on our drop-in sessions, locations and times, download our brochure here (accessible version available here). Due to COVID restrictions, appointments are now required for these sessions - please call 9404 8888 to book.

Please note: COVID-19 service changes currently apply. See the above COVID-19 update for the latest news.

We have a range of programs that are facilitated by professionals and aimed to assist parents, including a First Time Parent Group, Sleep & Settling program, and The Infant Program. 

First Time Parent Group

Our group is offered over 7 weeks and aims to support you in your new role as a parent. Invitations to join are sent to new parents via SMS.

Benefits include:

  • increasing parental confidence and independence in child-rearing
  • gaining information on child health and development
  • meeting other first-time parents, sharing experiences and learning from each other
  • establishing friendships and social networks

First Time Parent Group Series 3 – age appropriate for babies born April, May or June 2021.

Download the brochure here (PDF) (Accessible)

 

The Infant Program

The Infant Program aims to support parents with children aged between 3 and 12 months and has been developed by Deakin University's Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition.

All parents and carers are invited to attend age-specific group information sessions when their children are 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months.

The program will help you:

  • improve your knowledge and increase your confidence to establish a healthy lifestyle for your child
  • become a role model for your child by promoting healthy eating

The Infant Program series 5 – for babies born October 2019 to September 2020

Download the brochure here (PDF) (Accessible)

Book here for series 5

The Infant Program series 6 – for babies born October 2020 to September 2021

Download the brochure here (PDF) (Accessible)

Book here for series 6 

 

Sleep and Settling

This program aims to help parents better understand their child's behaviour, sleep needs and tired signs. Call 9404 8888 to book a telephone consultation.

You will also:

  • learn about your baby's sleep cycle and how it changes over time
  • establish strategies and techniques that can help your baby with good sleep habits
  • learn how to recognise patterns in your child's sleep behaviour
  • get answers and support so you may cope with sleep disruption.

Our Enhanced Maternal and Child Health (EMCH) Service is an outreach program providing additional support to families with children from birth to preschool age who may be experiencing challenges impacting parenting, relationships and well-being.    

The EMCH team is a multidisciplinary team made up of Maternal Child Health Nurses, Lactation Consultant & Early Childhood Professional, Adult Mental Health Nurse, Infant Mental Health Nurse and Social Worker. 

Our team provides support, listens to and actively works with parents and children around their issues or concerns. We aim to empower and encourage each family to identify and build on their strengths.  

Questions to consider:

  • Are you worried about how you’re thinking or feeling?  
  • Have you got concerns about your relationship with your partner or family?
  • Are you worried about your baby/child’s routines or behaviour?  
  • Do you need practical supports like being linked into community services?  

We can help with:  

  • Early parenting  
  • Child development  
  • Infant and adult mental health  
  • Family violence  
  • Feeding, sleep and settling and behavioural concerns  
  • Referrals to support and health agencies  

We also run specialised programs and groups such as:  

  • Circle of Security Parenting program 
  • New Beginnings new parent support group 

(These vary depending on community need) 

Referrals can be made through your Maternal and Child Health Nurse, via professionals using our referral form here, or by self-referral. Please feel free to call us and discuss, on 8401 6205.  

Our Family Engagement Outreach Program participates in community events and seeks opportunities to engage families in the Maternal and Child Health service.

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement includes the Deadly Boorais and Deadly Families Program, which actively engages families and their children who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and supports their engagement in the Maternal and Child Health service.

Looking for more information on our services? Click on the below links to view and download brochures and forms.

Service Brochures

Maternal and Child Health Brochures and Forms (PDF) (Accessible)You can also view these in Arabic, Vietnamese, Farsi, Punjabi, Tamil and Mandarin.

Enhanced Maternal and Child Health Services (PDF)

 

Consent and Referral Forms

Maternal and Child Health consent form

Maternal and Child Health referral form (PDF) (Accessible)

Maternal and Child Health change of details form (PDF) (Accessible)

Enhanced Maternal and Child Health referral form 

Help with Online Appointments

Microsoft Teams instructions for download and use

The Maternal and Child Health 24-hour health line on 13 22 29 can give you information and advice about the care and health of your child aged birth to school age.

The Maternal and Child Health app provides reliable information that families can use everyday, and can be downloaded by clicking here

Parenting Support

Tweddle - Sleep and Setting Information​

Queen Elizabeth Centre - Early parenting services

O'Connell Family Centre - Early parenting centre

Whittlesea Community Connections - for financial aid, legal aid, family support, settlement services and emergency relief

PANDA - Perinatal depression and anxiety support for parents and families

Orange Door - A free service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence, and families who need extra support with the care of children

Other information 

Raising Children Network - Australian parenting website

Australian Breastfeeding Association - Breastfeeding support and information

Better Health Channel - provides information on a range of topics including sleep and settling

Kidsafe - child accident prevention information

Royal Children's Hospital - kids health information including fact sheets, videos and podcast episodes

Yarra Plenty Regional Libraries - library locations around the City of Whittlesea providing storytime and other events and resources for children

Council is committed to ensuring all residents and ratepayers can access information they need. If you need help viewing any of the content on this page, please phone Customer Service on 9217 2170.