One hundred years ago, a small baby health centre was established in inner Melbourne in an effort to keep babies alive and provide new mothers with advice about caring for them.
Today this Maternal and Child Health service has been adopted by state and local governments across Victoria and provides more than 827,000 consultations a year.
This week Manningham City Council marked the 100th anniversary with a special event honouring past and present maternal nurses, new mothers and their babies.
Manningham City Council Deputy Mayor Mike Zafiropoulos said Council had 11 nurses providing this service across six locations, giving free regular check-ups and health support for children at key developmental stages up to the age of six.
“With Manningham recording more than 1000 new births each year, Council’s Maternal and Child Health Services is relied upon by many parents to ensure the ongoing health of their children,” he said.
“As we celebrate 100 years of this incredible service, Council would also like to acknowledge and honour all the maternal and child health nurses who have helped ensure every child in Victoria gets the best start in life.”
Maternal and Child Health Coordinator Alice Yianni said Manningham’s Maternal and Child Health Services provided many support to new parents including home visits, a 24 hour support line and new parents groups.
“Our objective is to support families in embracing the joys of parenthood,” she said.
Doncaster resident, Georgette Mahoney, said she could not be more grateful for the support the Maternal and Child Health Services has provided her.
“Until I had children, I did not know how much of a minefield parenthood was,” she said.
“There are so many forums and online support out there, but nothing beats one-on-one advice from knowledgeable experts.
“This is an invaluable service that has been a guiding light to all the conflicting advice and has made me a more confident parent.”