The Maternal and Child Health Service is a free service, funded jointly by the Victorian Government and local government and is delivered for families with children from birth to school age. Maternal and Child Health centres are staffed by registered nurses with qualifications in midwifery, and family and child health.
The service aims to promote the health, wellbeing, learning and development of young children and their families; and to detect health and wellbeing problems early.
More specifically, at a Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Service you can:
- get information, support and advice on a variety of topics, including parenting, child health, development and learning, child behaviour, immunisation, breastfeeding, nutrition, safety and family planning
- attend at specific times during your child’s early years for a one-on-one consultation that includes a health and development review
- take advantage of additional activities, for example first-time parent groups and educational sessions tailored to your family’s needs and circumstances
- get help to make contact with local services, such as Early Parenting centres, if you need extra assistance
- participate in a parent group where you can get information and meet other parents in the local area.
How do I access the Maternal & Child Health service?
When you have your baby, the hospital or midwife will notify the MCH Service. A MCH staff member will then contact you to arrange to visit you and your baby at home. After this initial home visit, a series of follow up appointments will be scheduled as the baby develops. A total of ten free MCH appointments are recommended over a four-year period. There is a Maternal and Child Health centre located in
Casterton: Kathleen Millikan Centre, 1A Jackson Street Casterton. Open Thursday 9am-5pm. Heywood: Glenelg Shire Council Offices, 77 Edgar Street Heywood. Open Tuesday 9am-5pm.
Portland: Ngootyoong Mara, Dhauwurd Wurrung Cultural Healing Centre, 90 Julia Street
Portland. Open Monday- Friday 9am-5pm.
Dartmoor: Dartmoor Bush Nursing Centre, 28 Ascot Street Dartmoor. Open by appointment.
How do I make an appointment?
To make an appointment or enquiry please contact the MCH central office on:
- Phone: (03) 55210504
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How often should I visit?
The 10 Key Ages and Stages visits include a home visit and then centre visits at two, four and eight weeks; four, eight, twelve and eighteen months; two and three and a half years of age. Additional visits are available for first-time parents and families with particular needs. We also offer additional appointments at 6 month and 4 years for Immunisations.
Maternal Child Health App
The free MCH App provides a modern digital solution and a resource families can use every day for trusted information on child and maternal health. Time saving features include information on popular child health and development topics; click-to-call emergency contacts; prompts for upcoming MCH consultations and regular updates and messages. It is available for download from the App Store and Google Play.
Helpful Links for Parents
Information about the Maternal and Child Health Service in Victoria and related services.
Australian Breastfeeding Association – Breastfeeding Helpline (talk to a breastfeeding counsellor) 1800 mum 2 mum (1800 686 268)
Nurse on Call – 1300 60 60 24 – this telephone service provides immediate, expert health advice from a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Maternal & Child Health Line – 13 22 29 – qualified maternal and child health nurses provide information, support and advice to Victorian families with children from birth to school age (5 years old) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Poisons Information Centre – 13 11 26 – for 24 hour-a-day, 7 day a week advice on poisoning, suspected poisoning, and mistakes with medicine, bites and stings.
Parentline – 13 22 89 – this telephone counselling service is available to parents and carers of children aged birth to 18 years throughout Victoria. They provide information and assistance on a wide range of issues, including those who are struggling with or finding the parenting role challenging. They cannot provide you with legal or medical advice.
Prevention of Violence against Women 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) https://www.respect.gov.au/