Maternal and Child Health Coordinator
Describe your role and how you support the health of women in the Macedon Ranges Shire.
“I coordinate the Maternal and Child Health Service across the Macedon Ranges Shire. All Victorian Maternal and Child Health Nurses are required to be a Registered General Nurse and Midwife with additional qualifications in Family and Child Health. Many of the team also have other experience and formal qualifications in areas such as psychiatry, lactation, and remote health.
The Macedon Ranges Maternal and Child Health team consists of nine part-time Maternal and Child Health Nurses working across our Universal and Enhanced programs, a Family Support Worker, and a Supported Playgroup Facilitator. Our centres are located in Kyneton, Romsey, Riddells Creek, Gisborne and Woodend.
The Maternal and Child Health Service offers:
- Ten Key Age and Stage consultations including a home visit and then consultations at two, four and eight weeks; four, eight, twelve and eighteen months; and two and three and a half years of age. At each consultation, family members are given the chance to discuss their concerns, talk about -their parenting experiences and learn how to improve their child’s health, growth and development.
- Specific areas of safety and mental health are also explored with support from the family violence screening and the post-natal depression screening tools.
- First time parent groups offer opportunity to meet other first time parents, and all families are provided with information regarding access to community groups in their area and further support, assistance and referrals as required.
- The Enhanced service is provided for families where additional support may be required.”
Why is it important for women to see a Maternal Child and Health Nurse?
“There are a plethora of reasons as to why it is so important for families to see an Maternal and Child Health Nurse when they arrive home with their new baby. This professional relationship is the bridge between delivery suite and kindergarten, and supports families to navigate the intricacies of parenthood, child health and development, postnatal recovery, family dynamics and creating connections with other local families and supports.
Maternal and child health nurses can:
- give information, support and advice on a variety of topics (including parenting, development and learning, child health, family health and wellbeing, safety, immunisation, breastfeeding, nutrition and family planning)
- monitor your child’s growth and development in a series of one-on-one consultations at specific times in your child’s early years
- help with sleeping, feeding and behaviour problems
- organise parents’ groups where you can get information and have the chance to meet other parents in the local area
- tell you about other local support services
- organise additional activities based on your family’s needs
- help to contact and referrals to specialist services if necessary
- offer additional support and services to families experiencing difficulties.”