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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.

COVID-19 update

Face-to-face Maternal and Child Health (MCH) appointments have resumed for Key Age and Stage appointments. Drop-in sessions remain suspended and breastfeeding support is available by appointment. The First Time Parent Group will remain online.

Conditions of entry for face-to-face appointments are:

  • Only one carer and the child booked are to attend the appointment
  • Please be on time for your appointment as times are limited to allow us to meet COVID Safe criteria. If late, call 9404 8888 to reschedule
  • Bring a blanket to cover the scales
  • All nappies, wipes and other items are not to be disposed of at the centre.
  • PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND THE CENTRE if you or your child have had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed or is being tested for COVID-19, or if you or your child have experienced any of the following symptoms in the past 24 hours: Headache, fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell or any other flu-like symptoms.

    If you have a phone appointment, your nurse will call you at your appointment time.

    For more information, see the City of Whittlesea's COVID-19 FAQs, or to book or change an appointment, please phone us on 9404 8888.

  

  

The Maternal and Child Health team is here for you. To make an appointment or to change an existing one, please call our team on 9404 8888 between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, or email mch@whittlesea.vic.gov.au  

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 centres 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.

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

First Time Parent Group

Our group is offered over 5 weeks and aims to support you in your new role as a parent.

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

The current brochure is available to download here (and accessible version here).

Sleep and Settling

This program aims to help parents better understand their child's behaviour, sleep needs and tired signs.

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.

The Infant Program

The Infant Program aims to support parents with children aged between 3 and 18 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 12-18 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 current brochure is available to download here (and accessible version here).

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

The City of Whittlesea Enhanced MCH 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  
  • 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.

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 - Parent info hub

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.

Council is committed to ensuring that all residents can access information that is important to them. If you have trouble accessing any information on this page, please phone our team on 9404 8888. 

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