Maternal and child health
Discover what supports are available to you and your family with parenting, health and early development.
Our Maternal and Child Health (MCH) service supports your family with parenting, health and development. We can also offer referrals to other professionals. You and your child will have regular appointments from birth to 4 years of age.
Darebin MCH returning to its usual program
Darebin MCH service is returning to its usual program, following the COVID Hospital and Maternity services Code Brown. Darebin MCH service is now offering all children and their families centre based appointments.
New Parent Groups and Sleep & Settling groups will recommence face-to-face sessions, using a combination of outside sessions and larger venues, to meet COVID safe guidelines.
To keep a COVID safe environment for everyone coming to MCH services, we ask that face masks are worn by all people over 8 years and QR code check in continue.
Please do not attend your MCH centre if:
- you or a member of your household is unwell
- you are in 7 days isolation following recent COVID infection
- you are waiting on a COVID swab result
- you have returned from overseas in last 7 days.
MCH nurses are registered general nurses with postgraduate qualifications in midwifery and child health.
We provide 10 key ages and stages consultations with a MCH nurse, including:
- a home visit after your baby is born
- consultations at two weeks, one month, two months, four months, eight months, 12 months, 18 months, two years and three and a half years
- MCH can respond to individual family needs and circumstances to offer an appointment in addition to these set visits.
Our nurses will:
- assess your child’s health, development and wellbeing
- listen to your parenting experiences and any concerns
- provide guidance, emotional support and education on childhood illnesses and behaviour.
The service is free and strictly confidential.
You can also call our 24-hour Maternal and Child Health line on 13 22 29.
We can also provide extra support if you're having significant additional early parenting difficulties. Your nurse will make any necessary referrals.
MCH centres and appointment bookings
Find a Maternal and Child Health centre near you.
Our free MCH app gives you reliable information that you can use every day. The app can help track your child’s growth and remind you about upcoming MCH appointments and/or immunisations.
First aid for new parents
We recommend that new parents go to a first aid course. Knowing what to do in an emergency could save your child’s life.
Call 03 8470 8648 for more information and to find a course.
Sleep and settling sessions
We offer free sleep and settling sessions for parents and carers of newborn babies and toddlers.
Sessions include information on your baby's normal age-appropriate sleep, and how to create appropriate sleep patterns for your baby.
- 0—six months
- 6—12 months
- Toddlers (1—3 years)
New parent groups
If you're a first-time parent, we'll offer you these sessions when your baby is about six weeks of age.
Speak to your nurse or email email@example.com for more details.
Breastfeeding support service
Your MCH nurse can help with breastfeeding or other feeding issues. Extra breastfeeding support is available for mothers of infants aged 0 to four weeks. If you have additional needs, one-to-one breastfeeding support sessions are available by appointment. Please discuss with your MCH nurse which is the most suitable for you.
Helpful websites and books
Understanding your baby’s needs
The Australian Childhood Foundation has a booklet I need you A-Z: understanding your baby’s needs to help parents.
Raising Children’s Network
The Raising Children's Network is a complete resource for parenting, from newborns to teenagers.