The newly expanded national Pregnancy, Birth and Baby service now provides support to families of children aged 0-5 years by offering free, confidential and non-judgemental support, guidance and reassurance from healthcare professionals.
The Government initiative now includes guidance from maternal child health nurses, ensuring clinically approved and relevant child health advice for parents and other family members. Additionally, the service offers emotional support, advice on behavioural, growth and developmental issues, and referrals to local health service providers.
“While the early years of child-rearing are the most important, they can often provide many challenges for mums and dads,” Dianne Zalitis, Clinical Lead for Pregnancy, Birth and Baby, said. “We wanted to ensure they have as much information and support at their fingertips to help them navigate through all stages of their child’s development.”
Maternal child health nurses and counsellors will be on hand to support parents when they need it most – from trying to conceive, throughout pregnancy and taking their newborn baby home, to raising toddlers and starting school.
“They can also offer guidance and reassurance to parents who are navigating through their child’s development and behavioural concerns, such as tantrums, toilet training, walking, talking and reading,” Ms Zalitis said.
The expanded Pregnancy, Birth and Baby service offers telephone and video call options, available seven days a week, as well as a website that provides extensive information around pregnancy, birth and children’s development.
Another feature of the expanded Pregnancy, Birth and Baby service is a searchable health service directory, which enables parents and healthcare professionals to find relevant early childhood services, such as speech therapists, in their areas.
A key part of this expanded service is to ensure Pregnancy, Birth and Baby works in partnership with general practitioners, healthcare providers and other early childhood services to complement and support the services they provide to parents and children.
The Pregnancy, Birth and Baby service is accessible by contacting 1800 882 436 or visiting: www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au.