Frankston City Council’s maternal and child health centres reopened last Wednesday. Council CEO Phil Cantillon said the centres have COVID-safe measures in place to keep nurses, parents, carers and babies safe, and nurses were loving the transition back to in-person consultations after being limited to telephone calls and short visits for several months.
“While we worked hard to ensure we were there to support parents and carers throughout the restrictions, for many having that face-to-face experience is crucial,” Mr Cantillon said.
New mother Hayley, who accessed the service during the restrictions, said the support provided to her and her eight-month-old daughter Ginny had made a world of difference and given her peace of mind. “The nurses went above and beyond to answer all my questions,” Hayley said. “I didn’t feel rushed, and they’ve been incredibly supportive.”
The council’s maternal and child health team includes business support, nurses, a social worker and an early parenting expert. Some nurses also act as lactation consultants and immunisation nurses. The service includes breastfeeding support, first-time parent groups, and workshops to educate new parents. Outreach and enhanced services are available for families who require additional support.
In 2019-20, the service took 14,692 appointments, provided 13,836 counselling sessions and referrals, and welcomed 748 first-time parents. Frankston City has an annual birth rate of about 1800. To learn more about the service or to book an appointment, visit frankston.vic.gov.au/MCH