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Maternal and child health

Service update: 11 October 2022

Workforce pressures continue to be felt across Victoria’s healthcare sector, which has had a significant impact on the staffing of the Maternal Child Health (MCH) Services. While we manage these staffing challenges, Council’s MCH service is needing to prioritise appointments for newborns aged zero to eight weeks and families with additional needs. 
 
Council is working closely with the Victorian Department of Health, Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and Safer Care Victoria to resolve the workforce issue as early as possible.

Families can still access:

We understand that service changes will cause concern for some families, so please see below for the alternative community supports available.

  • Call the Maternal and Child Health Line on 13 22 29. The line is staffed 24-hours, seven-days-a-week by qualified MCH nurses and provides confidential support and advice about the care and health of your child (from birth to school age).
  • Contact your regular general practitioner or other regular health professional.
  • Visit a SuperCare pharmacy, which provides 24-hour, seven-day-a-week access to healthcare advice and pharmacy services, including a FREE, on-site nursing service from 6 - 10.00 pm each night.
  • Contact an optometrist for vision testing.
  •  Contact your regular MCH service to discuss your concerns. The central booking number for Casey's MCH service is 9705 5590.
  • Visit Better Health Channel

    About Casey's MCH services

    The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Service is a free program provided to support your family with information and child health, wellbeing and developmental checks from birth to 6 years of age.

    Once your baby is born

    Your hospital will notify our MCH service of your baby’s birth.

    We will contact you to arrange the date and time of your first appointment. The first appointment is usually held in your own home, and following appointments are held at your local MCH centre. If you have recently moved into the City of Casey, please call 9705 5590 to make a booking with one of our nurses.

    MCH nurses often work with families using interpreters. This is a free service to the family. The hospital will inform our service if an interpreter is required, or it is available on request.

      Our recommended schedule of visits

      The City of Casey provides over 10 'Key Age and Stage' visits.

      For your first appointment, we will visit you in your home. We will make this appointment for you and you will receive an SMS reminder. Most families will visit a MCH centre for later visits. An SMS text message appointment reminder will be sent to you in the days leading up to each of your MCH Centre bookings.  

      The City of Casey MCH Service provides 10 ‘Key Age and Stage Visits':

      During your visits

      At each nurse appointment you can talk about your concerns or ask questions about your child and your parenting experience. The nurse will check your child's health, growth and development, including hearing, vision, speech, and fine and gross motor skills.

      The MCH nurse can give you information about parenting and children, including:

      • infant feeding and nutrition,

      • sleep and settling strategies,

      • child behaviour and development,

      • family health and wellbeing, and

      • support for the emotional wellbeing of new parents.

      Make a booking to see a nurse

      To see a MCH nurse you need to make an appointment first by calling 9705 5590 during business hours (Mon - Fri, 8:30am - 5pm).

      You can also send an email for general enquiries.
       

      Maternal and Child Health programs

      First time parent groups

      All first-time parents will be invited to join a group with other first-time parents in Casey.

       A range of parenting topics are discussed at the sessions, which are held in the morning and afternoon, once a week for four weeks. 

      Groups are run face to face, with an online group as an alternative option for those who are unable to attend in person

      For more information or to make a booking, speak with your MCH nurse or call 9705 5590.

      Read the FAQs

      Is this the same as Mothers Group? 
      Yes, these groups were previously called “Mothers Groups” - now renamed “First Time Parents Group” or “New Parents Group.” We acknowledge that families are diverse, and we strive to be inclusive for all families and welcome co-parent or family members too.
       
      Can I bring a support person or someone to help me? 
      Dads, coparents and support people are welcome and encouraged to participate in all sessions. 
       
      What if my baby cries or gets unsettled during the group? 
      It is normal for babies to cry and become unsettled at times. We are here to support you and encourage you to tend to your baby as needed. If at any time you need to leave you can. 
       
      Can I feed or change my baby’s nappy during the group? 
      Yes! Please bring all the things you need to feed your baby. All facilities have hot water available and a small kitchen.  All facilities have a baby change table. We ask you to please take your nappies home however. 
       
      What if I am running late? What if I miss a week? 
      That is okay, we understand. Adjusting to life with a new baby makes getting out the door a bit tricky. Please come when you can, and we will be ready to welcome you into the group. Please speak to your facilitator if you miss a week and would like additional information related to that topic. Alternatively you can book yourself into an online sleep and settling or a ‘starting solids’ information session via Maternal and child health.
       
      Can my baby be weighed during a group? 
      No – we are not nurses so cannot weigh your baby. Please call the Central Booking line on 9705 5590 to arrange an appointment with your Maternal and Child Health Nurse or call your GP if you are concerned about your baby’s growth.  
       
      How long does the group go for? Is it okay if I leave early? 
      Groups run for 90 mins. It is a mix of relevant information related to your parenting experience and peer support. You are welcome to come and go as needed. 
       
      Can I bring my baby if they are not immunised yet? 
      Yes you can. For more information about immunization schedules or to book an immunization session please contact your GP or refer to the page Immunisation for children. 
       
      Can my friend who has a new baby come too? 
       Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate friends with new babies if they are not registered in the group. Please encourage your friends to speak with their Maternal and Child Health nurse if they would like to book in,  or call 9705 5590 to access a new parents group.  
       
      Will there be babies there the same age as my baby? 
       Babies are typically over 6 weeks and under 4 months of age when groups commence.   
       
      What if I do not drive? 
      Unfortunately we cannot arrange transport for families. We will aim to book you into a group closet to your home or public transport. We also offer virtual session on starting solids and sleep, please visit Maternal and child health for more information.

      Enhanced Maternal and Child Health Services

      The Enhanced Maternal and Child Health Service (EMCH) provides in-home support to families who are experiencing significant early parenting difficulties.

      Some issues that can impact their ability to cope with being a parent include:

      • understanding child behaviour
      • skills and knowledge for raising a child
      • attachment concerns
      • isolation
      • mental health concerns for either parent
      • family violence
      • or drug and alcohol concerns.

      Referrals into this program can be made by the hospital, your GP or your local MCH nurse. The child being referred into the program must be aged 3 years or younger. If you think you require this service, please consult your MCH nurse.

      Sleep and settling

      These FREE sessions provide information appropriate to your family's needs and the child's developmental age, covering:

      • Typical Sleep patterns and behaviours
      • Preventing sleep concerns
      • Solutions and strategies for sleep concerns
      • Support and self-care

      Three types of group sessions are offered online and in-person:

      • Newborns to 3 months 
      • 4 to 8 months
      • 18 months to toddler

      You can book online via trybooking

      book on trybooking

      For families requiring additional support, FREE individual home visits with a Sleep Consultant can also be requested.

      For more information or bookings, email mchsleepsettling@casey.vic.gov.au

      Support around sleep and settling can also be provided via the 24 hour Maternal and Child Health Line on 13 22 29. 

      Introducing foods online info session

      City of Casey Maternal Child Health Service is offering an online information session around introducing solid foods (suitable for babies aged 4 months to 1 year old). This will go for around 90minutes and will be via Microsoft Teams. Please register your interest to attend.

      Topics will include:

      • Signs that your baby is ready for food
      • What to and what not to offer
      • How to cope with gagging and choking
      • Finger foods
      • Allergies
      • How to embrace mess and avoid food battles
      • Incorporating foods into the daily routine
      • When to stop bottles
      • Dental care

      Breastfeeding support

       Locations for face-to-face appointments are spread throughout the City of Casey – call the Central Booking Number (9705 5590) for more information on these or speak with, a lactation consultant.

      For immediate support, the Australian Breastfeeding Association Counselling Service is available 7 days a week by calling 1800 686 268

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Contact numbers

       

       

       

       


       

       

       

       

       

         

        • Your General Practitioner 
        • Maternal & Child Health Line – 13 22 29 (available 24 hours)
        • Poisons Information Centre 13 11 26
        • Children’s Hospital (Royal) 03 9345 5522
        • Child Protection Crisis Line 13 12 78
        • Parent Line 13 22 89

         

        • Child Safety Centre (RCH) 03 345 5085
        • Dental Health Services Victoria (Royal Dental Hospital)
        • Kidsafe - 03 9427 1008
          Kidsafe is an independent, non-profit, organisation dedicated to the prevention of unintentional death and injury to children through education, advocacy and research.
           
        • Koori Maternity ServicesBunurong Health Service  (located in Dandenong) - 9794 5933. 
          This State Government program offers flexible, inclusive, culturally appropriate pregnancy and postnatal care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Victoria.
        • PANDA - 1300 726 306 
          Monday – Friday 9am – 7.30pm
          National Perinatal Mental Health Helpline for women, men and their families affected by perinatal mental illness.

         

         

         

        Emergencies

        • Child Protection Crisis Line – 131 279
          A child in need of protection is a child who has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of abuse or neglect, and there is no one to protect them. If you believe that a child is in need of protection please call the Child Protection Crisis Line.

        • inTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence - 8413 6800  
          Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm
          Gives voice and provides culturally sensitive services, state-wide, to meet the needs of women and children from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds (CALD) backgrounds affected by domestic violence. 
        • Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre - 9322 3555 or 1800 015 188
          A 24-hour phone line service for women and children experiencing violence and abuse from a partner or ex-partner, another family member or someone close to them.

        • Early Parenting Centres

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